Bees, Butterflies and Blooms

Well done, Sarah Raven!  I was thrilled to see that this programme was finally being aired last week, and last night's episode was brilliant. I hope members of local councils were watching and taking note, though I do wonder who might object on health and safety grounds to bees invading our public spaces....there's always one image


  • This is a long awaited shake up for the spray it, squash it, kill it brigade

     lets hope its not too late .

    Its going to be an uphill struggle but we can all do a wee bit and many wee bits make a huge bit eventualy.

  • I agree, the Sarah Raven programme was fantastic, and it all makes sence, just let the hedge rows/wild flowers grow,we have many baron fields around us that look dreadful so why can't they be ploughed then sewn with wild flower seeds, then left to get on with it, the flowers will look stunning then they will set seed, then the seeds will grow and the whole cycle starts again, hence lovely flower fields and more impotantly plenty of food for Bees etc, but then again it probably pays the farmers to keep the fields baron !!!

  • I think it would be great if there was an area in every public park for wild flowers - long grass & flowers that kids come run through.  Also roundabouts that currently getting summer bedding schemes could be planted, verges the side of major roads could be planted - we all need to lobby our councillors.

  • I noticed whilst walking the dog yesterday, one of our grass verges is full of yarrow.  It crossed my mind that it was a pity that the council mowers would be along before it had a chance.  We have a local group that organises the flower beds and planters around the village, all of which are filled with sterile bedding, and there are certainly plenty of green areas that could be transformed with a bit of imagination.  I might have to become a mole.....

  • I enjoyed the programme too.  It has inspired me to choose plants based on the pollen factor first then the wow factor.  Thanks Sarah

  • Thought the programme was very good, that is what got me into thinking about planting up a meadow garden. As no one has answered yet, may have to pop along to garden centre and ask advice from there.

  • (sorry, registering meant my reply was lost!) I also loved this programme but was disappointed that even the RHS' own plant selector on their website doesn't allow a search by wildlife friendliness. Shouldn't be difficult to add to their plant database so that you could search in the same way as you select full sun / shade, clay/loam, etc However all these bugs need other types of plants too, for example the evergreen hedge on the boundary with my neighbours is teeming with moths, because it is a good sleeping place. Also, moths and butterflies can be very specific about larval food plants, such as the holly blue (holly, unsurprisingly!) and a fantastic white fluffy moth which I've forgotten the name of, but I think only feeds on bindweed. So, 'perfect for pollinators' needs to encompass the other stages of the life cycle too. And be a search term on gardening websites.
  • RonRon Posts: 33

    What a nice programme, interesting too. It's all about the subject and not the presenter that makes it for me.

  • I thoroughly enjoyed the programme, and have been looking on the web for wild flower mixes....have found a few on ebay from Garden Centres for a few pounds and intend to sow a few beds in the garden this year, but more needs to be done by all the local councils to encourage the wildlife back. Far too many gardens now are lacking the flowers and plants to attract them, it seems its all about the 'Trendy' minimal garden.

    I am also tempted to scatter a few along the hegderows on my walks around the estate would rather look at them than the rubbish that accumulates in them.

  • RonRon Posts: 33

    Amanda, A few years ago I scattered wild poppies and Hollyhock seed on my favourite walk but not one appeared.image

  • I am pleased to say that our local council already plants wild flower 'meadows' on roundabouts and central reservations.  The scene changes week on week with certain flowers becoming more prominent, before the next one takes over.  I'm keen to sow something in my own garden, last year I did a test pot from a free seed packet given to me at Gardening Scotland, but I faffed about too much and didn't get around to doing it until mid July.  This year, I'll be direct sowing into a bit of empty ground the first chance I get.

  • AliPAliP Posts: 64

    Excellent series! I'm inspired and will be design a wildflower area into my garden. I've also noticed an area at my son's school which would be perfect and a real opportunity for the children at the school to get involved... watch this space!
    Lainey - that's great that your council does so much already, it makes sense...less mowing, weeding etc. win, win financial and ecological!

  • Agree this has been an excellent series. Good, basic natural gardening that can encourage us all to provide the spaces for the wildlife to follow. It can only make sense as our own sustainability depends on these creatures. Botticelliwoman made the point about Health and Safety! Must say we at home had the same thought. Lets hope we can get something up and running before they try to get their mowers started. ( your dog is great by the way, he/she is the spitting image of ours indoors)

  • Hi MoK, she wasn't great when she jumped on our resident hedgehog the other night image
    My pal and I have started a wildlife gardening business and are campaigning like crazy both with the borough council and the local town council.  We're writing a series of articles for the local magazine to encourage everybody to think before they buy new plants and how to encourage all wildlife to their gardens.  Our village is filled with beds, troughs and baskets which look reasonably pretty (if a bit samey, year after year) but have absolutely no benefit to wildlife.  We're taking the softly-softly approach (though we'd like to scream at them to stop) with these 'in-Bloomers', who, like the Harrogate folks, are a little set in their ways.

  • Just like you all i have also chosen to grow wild flowers this year after being inspired by Sarah Raven's programs. So much of what she said really hit home and the fact that we have lost some bees already and more are on the way out means we have to act fast to save the rest. It is high time we started to do some thing to help our wild life and as gardeners we are perfectly placed to get the ball rolling, and by setting an example maybe our local councils will take note and and pull their fingers out. But what ever little we can each do, as a wholw will go a long way in getting things starting to change.

  • cloud8cloud8 Posts: 101

    What a refreshing piece of programming that showed all parties in agreement rather than having the usual row that is supposed to make 'good television', but then I always did think gardeners were the nicest sort of people.  

    The only thing that did bother me was whether all of these wonderful changes to city bedding schemes would put groundsmen and women out of work which would not be great timing.

    But really, well done Sarah, it's inspirational.

  • maybe gardeners world mag could follow up on this and maybe have a free packet of wild flower seeds to sow this spring.

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