Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Explore a Wilder Side of Life

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Explore a Wilder Side of Life

Article excerpt

Derek Hilton-Brown requests your help for the wildlife in your garden.

NOW is the perfect time for the gardener to learn from nature, so take a walk in the countryside or visit your local nature reserve and get some great tips for your garden. The native hedgerows are covered with May Blossom and the woodlands are carpeted with bluebells, wild garlic and wood anemone.

Multi-coloured butterflies can be observed fluttering along these hedgerows and woodland glades sampling the nectar of red campion and birds foot trefoil to name but a few.

Take your cue from the natural world and sow a wildflower meadow, plant a mini woodland using our wonderful native trees, or why not under plant your shrubs with some of the glorious hedgerow flowers you've seen. Grow them from seed or buy plugs - never dig them up from the wild. Don't fight nature - follow its example.

Hanging gardens

However, for those of us with limited space or those who like to add another dimension to our gardens, growing plants in containers is the ideal solution.

An added bonus is that this way of gardening can be invaluable to wildlife, especially if you use the following wildlife friendly plants.

When preparing your containers and hanging baskets it's essential that adequate drainage holes are provided to prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged.

An aid to drainage is to cover the holes with a layer of broken earthenware pots or polystyrene pieces. The next stage is to sprinkle a layer of pea gravel followed by a layer of leaf mould.

This is finally finished off by peat-free compost. After planting the flowers, ensure that they are kept well watered.

Why not try one of these other imaginative natural planting designs in your garden.

A woodland pot - suitable for that cool shady corner.

* Red campion (Silene dioica)

* Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum)

* Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)

* Bugle (Ajuga reptans)

* Wood forget me not (Myosotis sylvatica)

* Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

* Yellow archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon)

* Primrose (Primula vulgaris)

* Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis)

* Ivy (Hedera helix)

Make your own Mini meadow window box for a sunny area with;

* Corncockle (Agrostemma githago)

* Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)

* Common poppy (Papaver rhoeas)

* Corn marigold (Calendula officinalis)

* Corn chamomile (Anthemis arvensis)

Wildflowers grown in this way may look beautiful but they can be enhanced further if they are grown in containers made of natural materials. …

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