Hopefully many of you will have received your Homes for Wildlife e-newsletter today, in which I focus on doing things to make your grassy areas as wildlife friendly as possible. It's accompanied by my blog on the subject http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/wildlife/homesforwildlife/b/gardeningforwildlife/archive/2012/05/31/long-grass-that-looks-great.aspx , and a fact sheet, but I'm eager to hear your thoughts too.
If you've got any tales of things you've done with your lawn, or photos to share, it'd be great to hear and see them. Have you let bits grow long? have you planted bulbs or plug plants in the grass? What wildlife comes to your lawn? Have you even tried to sow a wildlife meadow from scratch (which is quite a challenge)?
If you want to drop by my RSPB wildlife gardening blog, it is updated every Friday, and I'd love to see you there - www.rspb.org.uk/community/blogs/hfw
I mowed my Lawn last week and left the bottom 10m uncut and when the Clover grows in the rest of it i mow round it..last year it was covered in Bees.
My photos are on Flickr and Website
Haven't mowed mine for 9 years! :-)
Have now bought a meadow mix with Yellow rattle to try to introduce more wild flowers into the grass!
"All weeds are flowers, once you get to know them" (Eeyore)
My photos on Flickr
MarJusHaven't mowed mine for 9 years! :-)
That was an amazing sight when you showed a photo of it last year, Marjus. LOL How about another one.
My Flickr photostream
A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. (Chinese proverb)
Will do if I remember to take one when I get home! :-)
Nice one! And clover I think makes such a good looking lawn too. AND the kids can hunt for four-leaved ones - it's an all-round winner in my book.
Has the Yellow Rattle grown, MarJus? It's the magic ingredient for a true wildflower meadow - soaks up all that boistrousness of the grass, and gives bees nectar too. Look forward to the photos
It seems quite obvious to me, that nobody needs to shave their lawn or drown it in chemicals. Unless they plan to play bowls on it. But even though it is common sense, most people think I'm crazy to grow grass and weeds. It was so refreshing to find that you are a fellow crazy person, Adrian !
A few remarks. If starting from scratch you need poor quality soil; take the top off if possible. If the soil is too good, it will encourage the grass too much. When I started, you could mostly just get "meadow mix" seeds, which had grass in them. I think now you can get just "wild flower mix" which doesn't have grass, and sounds good. You don't need extra grass, you'll have got lots already. Although some grasses are attractive and useful, there's always a struggle against them. Especially if you would like your garden to be colourful as well as environmentally sound. Yellow rattle is supposed to deter grass but I've never got it to work.
I've bought plenty of new flowering plants over the years, some have worked and some haven't. Probably the one that attracts most bees and butterflies is knapweed. But a lot of good things you'll find growing in the garden already if you let them, like garlic mustard and dock.,
By the way, I don't know anything about gardening or botany, I just blunder along !
I quite agree with you about the value of leaving areas of longer grass and wildflowers, but I think the people you really have to convince are the Town and Parish councils. Ours have a fetish for neat and tidy! This year is even worse, as they have to be extra tidy for the Olympic Flame!! It's down to the personal preference of the councillors, plus, perhaps, their lack of knowledge of the natural environment. Maybe when local election time comes round, we should be asking the candidates what they know about wildlife, as well as 'normal' local issues.
Has the Yellow Rattle grown, MarJus?
Has the Yellow Rattle grown, MarJus?
As usual I was impatient to get going with the pack, but the instructions were to sow in autumn as the yellow rattle apparently needs a cold spell for germination. I could have tried a few days in the freezer but thought better to let nature work it's magic!! So hopefully by next spring I'll see some signs! :-)
Threads merged as requested.
Thanks MrsT! Got a little confusing there and it doesn't take much for me! Lol!
Partly my fault I was trying to split and then merge threads... need a lie down now. I always leave a 30 cm wide patch along my lawn uncut. I get cowslip, clover and coltsfoot growing there most years.
That's a superb variety for a relatively narrow strip!
Do you get the 4 days off this weekend?
Sorry MrsT if i've given you a headache (probably not for the first time lol)