Don’t despise monoculture
“Nothing exceeds like excess”
In farming monoculture has received a bad press. But Nature if it finds things to its liking, goes for it in a big way.
Winter is the time for planning. Holidays, if that is your thing, but your garden also. I get inspiration for my garden from nature, and here are a few ideas:
February (January in 2022) - snowdrops.
You can be a galanthophile and collect different varieties, but I would recommend that you spend your money on a big patch of the cheapest simple single (or perhaps the almost as cheap common double).
There are lots of gardens and wild areas where you can view snowdrops, from Cambo estate, Fife, to the plant centre on the Waitrose estate in Hampshire. But below is a corner of my garden. (The Crocus tomasinianum in the pic is a very fast spreader too)
March – daffodils.
The wild ones are the most delicate. The garden when I moved to it had a patch of daffodils of the usual big and clumsy bold yellow types With wind and rain they collapse, with frost they droop and the slugs get them. I keep them for cutting. I have not (yet) succeeded with the wild Lenten Lilies after several attempts, gifts and purchases. I settle for “Topolino” as a good wild-looking cultivar.
This pic is Dorothy Wordsworth's orignal "host", Ullswater.
April – cowslips.
This pic is from the Sheepleas area of Surrey. There are also good stands near Studland on the Dorset downs and Polly Joke, Cornwall. My orignal plant was a rescue, uprooted in sandhills by rabbits &or /sheep. It was dry and nearly dead, so no conscience. It survived and is spreading from seeds,
May – bluebells.
see my pic in the thread : weeding bluebells.
Some regard them as weeds. Mine are pure Scilla hyacintha and locals. My neighbour has some Spanish bluebells and some have spread to my garden, plus a small patch of hybrids. I leave these but keep a close watch and never let them ripen seeds. We might have to rely on these if global warming continues,
May – fritillaries.
North Meadow, Cricklade, is worth a journey.
I have been there several times, once about June to see whether Lily Beetle was eating them, but no sign of any. One advantage of monoculture is that it may encourage predators as well as pest. I confess to a lack of success in naturalising fritillaries in a silty-clay part of the garden that should be suitable; the roe deer eat the flower heads.
In June, the predominant flower at North Meadow is dandelion. I am not recommending this, but it would be OK in a mixed meadow.
This pic is not my garden, noe my taking, just pulled off the internet.
June - wild garlics or ransoms.
Surrey Hills, my pic but not my garden.
Edible as well as decorative. If you don't like the smell, dont' walk on it, and try to keep animals off it.
"Have nothing in your garden that you don't know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."