On the wild side by Catherine the Garden Lady
Mid-summer can certainly put a smile on your face and the many fragrances coming from your garden can trigger long-forgotten memories. There are many plants, shrubs and climbers such as Jasmine and Honeysuckle that have wonderful fragrances and are an excellent addition to your garden including creating a wildflower meadow.
Wildflowers are also very popular these days. They have turned from being weedy invaders to plants of desire. Years ago, the idea of introducing wildflowers to your garden would have been shocking, however, in the 1980s wildflower seedsman John Chambers began creating ground-breaking displays using wildflowers at the Chelsea Flower Show.
Wildflowers attract beneficial insects
Wildflowers attract beneficial insects such as ladybirds and hoverflies whose larvae, and in some cases adult versions, feed on common garden pests. They also house spiders, which provide an invaluable pest patrol service, and attract pollinating insects which are at great risk these days.
Have a look at your garden and see if there is an area where you can grow wildflowers. A wildflower meadow can provide flowers from May to September depending on the varieties planted. Choose wildflowers according to the soil type, site conditions and the effect that you want to create. Old-fashioned cornfield species suit an open sunny site, grassland plants should be planted in damp areas. Look at early flowering species to create a meadow that looks best in the spring and to shade tolerant plants.
Many people imagine that the way to grow wildflowers is to scatter a packet of seeds over the surface and leave it to nature. However, you need to lower the fertility of the soil and choose a seed mixture suited to your soil type. You can also use plugs or buy wildflower impregnated turf.
July Gardening Tip:
Deadheading is crucial if you want to get more flowers from your summer plants.