Happy New Year to You!
I’ve already been thinking about what I’d like for 2017 and as usual I have a long list of places to go, people to see and lots of things I’d like to do. Writing such a huge list always means that I never manage to complete everything on it. Usually that doesn’t worry me at all because it’s easy to carry things over to the following year and I know that sooner or later I’ll make it happen.
We have plans for our garden too. We are planning to rejig a couple of well established borders, remove some old shrubs that are past their best and update a planting scheme or two. My lovely husband will help me. But I’m not kidding myself … I already know that I’ll probably have to carry some less urgent things over until 2018. But there’s something important on my list that just can’t wait.
In 2017 I want MORE.
- More Bees
- More Butterflies
- More Hoverflies
- More Birds
- More Small Mammals
Dreaming about a beautiful garden full of flowers and wildlife is lovely but I know that action is needed too. I’m saddened by the decline of our native wildlife. Someone has to do something about it! So in 2017 I’m doing more for wildlife than ever before.
I’ve decided that I’m growing and planting more:
- Annual Flowers for Cutting such as Cleome, Agastache and Snapdragons in a dedicated cutting patch
- Wildflowers and a strip of Long Grass at the bottom of the garden for crickets and butterflies.
- Hedgerow Shrubs including Hawthorn, Elder and Wild Roses to provide berries for birds in autumn and winter.
- Early Flowering Perennials such as Aquilegia, Viola and Nepeta for an early supply of food for visiting Bees.
- Companion Plants in the Veg Plot to attract Hoverflies and Ladybirds which will feed on aphids.
- Sweet Peas & Flowering Herbs in containers and our herb bed for Hoverflies and other beneficial insects
- Ornamental Grasses, Teasels and Sunflowers which produce masses of seeds for wild birds and small mammals.
It won’t cost a great deal. I love to grow my own plants from seed and cuttings. It’s easy and quicker than you might imagine.
I’m starting with hardwood cuttings this month to add to the hedgerow. I rather fancy growing some more Willow for their colourful winter stems and beautiful fluffy catkins which also provide an early source of pollen for bees. I’m also sowing Sweet Peas again and Cleome and Antirrhinum (Snapdragons) too.
I know that whatever we do here in our garden has a massive impact on wildlife. Despite lots of mature trees there were virtually NO wild creatures here when we moved in. We’ve added hedges and a pond, distinct planting schemes for specific areas and lots of nest boxes. We don’t use any chemicals at all. I believe that they harm our wild creatures. Our flowers are scented and draw in bees, moths and butterflies just as we hoped. Now we have hedgehogs, bats, wild birds galore, masses of insects and small mammals including wood mice and voles visiting our garden. If you’d like to know more about our garden and wildlife you are welcome to read more.
Just imagine what we could achieve if everyone ditched the chemicals and gardened with wildlife in mind! As well as the most gorgeous colourful scented gardens I am sure we’d all have clouds of butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects too.
What are your plans for your garden this year?
Are you growing plants specifically for wildlife?
Will you be ditching the chemicals?
Wishing you a Very Happy & Flowery 2017!