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Creating a wildflower garden



  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,810

    If oxeye daisies will grow, you could try their big bully boy cousins the shasta daisies.

    I find they spread like crazy in sandy soil, and very little will grow between then.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • TallulahTallulah Posts: 38

    Thanks for suggestion about shasta daisies fidgetbones but if I'm going to have a wildflower patch I would like some diversity of form and colour to create the fresh and airy quality of a typical wild flower meadow.....can't actually believe that I'm the only one facing what I would have thought was a perennial problem in wild flower plantings and yet Monty and co. never seem to mention what to do about the Thugs.

  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916


  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 750

    Hi  Tallulah 


    it is a common problem, I really rushed in when I read the comment about adding shasta daisies. If you want to create a wildlife garden the last thing you want it to add more thugs, that is more none natives that are not going to add much wildlife value other than pollen. If you want to add diversity then you must use natives, and if at all possible, use local natives not ones from the other side of the country. I know that may not be practical or if it's in the confines of your own garden the not really necessary, but if you do have access to local seed the please do use it since that will maintain national diversity rather than creating a homogeneity. Well regarding the thugs. Ideally you want to reduce fertility, that means either removing topsoil, the quick solution, or remove all cuttings rigorously. I’m passionate about wildflower planting but have to go. I’ll get back later from home. image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    If I had the time and energy, or the money to pay someone else, I would strip off some topsoil, along with its hogweed, and reseed.

    Agree with Jim, if you're looking for a wildflower meadow, choose wild flowers, not garden thugs.

    The course stuff, docks, nettles, hogweed is what happens when it doesn't get cut/grazed

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 750

    Wild about Flowers re yellow rattle, it needs quite a long period of cold, you are best sowing before december, not sure now what date exactly but sow in autumn. The seed doesn't live very long in the soil so it needs to be sown every year. Obviously it will seed itself but needs a few sowings to get established and will not flower if cut during the season except at the very begining when it can tolerate a little cut. The bees love it and I sow more rather than less and it really does work in reducing the grasses, incidentally it can parasitis herbs too.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    What else does it affect Jim? Not hogweed that's for sure. Still waiting for something parrasitic on that.

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 750

    I'm not sure but I have it seeded itself growing the thyme, orchids and Epilobium. I can't remember where I read that it can affect other herbs but it's favourite food is grass as you know. I'm not saying it's growing really well with those above plants but that might have more to do with conditions. I just don't know. Anyway, it's great in the meadow and bees really love it.

    I read earlier in the thread something about cowslips. They're notoriously bad at coming from seed from the big seed companies or at least they used to be I'd got one or two come up after a couple of years then they'd die. I've since found Emorsgate seeds and they germinate really well but need chilling, however if you collect seeds while the seeds are still green and sow straight away they will germinate rapidly. I just collect them and throw them where I want them to come up and the next spring I've got a new patch of cowslips. They do hybridise very easily with oxlip and primroses which will include garden hybrids so I now only collect seed well away from houses and with the land owner's permission of course. There's thousands near me so no trouble getting seeds

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,160

    mine's pretty tall this year. When I first sowed it I didn't really expect it to have much effect on grass but it really has created some very low grass areas. 

    Hogweed is the spoiler in my meadow. it's just so big and overwealms everything else. I'm going to try digging out some growing tips, don't think I can get the whole plant or all the plants but it may make a difference 

  • Jim MacdJim Macd Posts: 750

    Thankfully I don't have hogweed. I've inherited a few nasties but nothing I can't live with or deal with. I have spent days digging out couch grass but I now just accept it. I had barrel loads of alstormeria but got rid of most of that and I"ve only got a tiny patch of nettle which is, at least, the food plant for some butterfiles. image Oh and Spanglish Bluebells. That's going to take years to get rid of from all those awkward places. I planted English ones when I moved in but I regret that now since I can't let any of them set seed. I might get rid of them if mowing impacts on the other woodland plants. 


    Yeah, the Yellow Rattle really does stop the grass in its tracks, even rye grass. I think I'll buy more seed this year then hopefully I can just let it look after itself after that. I have expanses where you just don't see any grass, the speedwell really looks great amongst the yellow flowers. I tried a couple of its relatives, Melampyrum arvensis and M. nemerosum, but no luck with those. I haven't had any luck with Eyebright either, I don't know why since it grows locally. I'll try again this year though with that. The toothworts flowered this year on the willow, though, that was a treat. 

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