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Friday, 16 May 2014

Growing Wild...

The View From My Window
Today I'm publicising something that's as close to my heart as writing.  Anything that helps my bees thrive and produce plenty of delicious honey gets my vote, so I'm all in favour of the Grow Wild project. Their motto is "Flower to the People" (groan), and it's a project that's both useful and beautiful.

GrowWildUK is a nationwide project supported by the Big Lottery Fund and masterminded by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It's a programme that will run for four years, bringing people together to sow UK native wild flowers. They want to transform the whole country, turning unloved spaces into wildlife-friendly wild flower havens.

Busy Bees, via Wikimedia
One of our neighbours has spent the last couple of years turning a paddock into a wildflower meadow. This is its first year of flowering, and the effect is stunning. Tottering Towers is following suit, but starting small. We've spent years building up the fertility here, so the patch we choose will have to be stripped of a lot of goodness, or big tough plants like nettles and bracken will out-compete the smaller (and usually prettier) plants.

Wild orchids have popped up spontaneously only a mile or two away from here, so with luck the spores will find us eventually. Until then, we'll be concentrating on the simple, annual flowers that bees love, such as all sorts and sizes of native daisies, along with poppies, foxgloves and other "pretty weeds" such as scarlet pimpernel. They're the type of thing that will thrive anywhere, from cracks between inner city paving to our country garden.

Watch this space for updates about how we get on!