Friday, 9 June 2017

#30DaysWild day 9 - Planting for wildlife

I have spent day 9 of #30DaysWild planting loads of lovely bee and butterfly friendly plants in our new wildlife garden.

I'd dug up some night-scented stock and evening primroses when we moved from our old house. They're both loved by insects and are especially good for the evening flying insects, which in turn are food for the bats. They're also both extra special, as the night-scented stock always has orange tip caterpillars feeding on the seed pods and the evening primrose seeds are a favourite of the goldfinches.
Night-scented stock - it's flowered already this year, but hopefully we'll
find some orange tip caterpillars feeding on the seed pods.
I bought some Viper's bugloss plants at the Wild Fair in Oxford last week. They're especially good for bees, but they won't flower until next year. A few of the plants were grown from seed, including cornflowers, rudebechia, chives and marigolds. The rest of the plants all came from Nanny Moth, who dug up seedlings from her garden for us. They include herbs such as marjoram and thyme, foxgloves, teasels and several other bee friendly flowers. The teasels are a real favourite of mine as the flowers attract the bees and butterflies and the goldfinches eat the seeds.

The wildlife garden is in the back of a large flower bed and was a wasted space, full of ground elder. We dug a pond last week, so today's job was to dig up more of the ground elder and plant all of our plants. The ground elder is a bit of a nightmare, but I dug up as much as I could, but tried to leave the clover, buttercups and creeping Jenny that was already there as much as possible.

Before the pond was dug
It has almost broken me, but I'm really pleased with how it's looking. There's a large buddleia bush (also great for butterflies) to the left of the pond, so I planted the foxgloves in the part shade that it provides. There's also a large half-buried flower pot by the pond that we plan to turn into a frog/toad house. The sun-loving plants like the teasels, viper's-bugloss and herbs are on the right of the pond. We've left part of the lawn unmown (more on that in a later post), so the pond and wildlife garden are on the edge of our mini-meadow, which is full of ox-eye daisies and buttercups. It's all started to come together very nicely!

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