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Wildlife border

I'd like to have wildlife borders in my garden, but as I'm creating my garden from scratch they are just bare soil at the moment. I'm worried that I'll just end up with borders full of weeds. I'd like them to have wild grasses/flowers and was also thinking of putting some blackberry plants and hawthorn bushes in.

Any tips on how to create a wildlife border from scratch would be very helpful image

Could I also put a few bulbs in now ready for spring?


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,149

    How big do you want these borders to be?  Blackberry bushes and hawthorns grow very big indeed.

    If you let us know the space you have perhaps we can make some helpful suggestions image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,191

    And what type of soil do you have? Sandy, clay, acid, chalky etc.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • The borders are only about 1.5 feet deep, but I thought I could keep the bushes pruned to a manageable size?

    The soil is on the clay side, but not heavily clay.

    I've already dug manure into one of the borders, but then I read that wild flowers grow better in unenriched soil image Could I plant grasses instead?

    One of the reasons that I want to put some sort of bushes into the borders is to stop cats running riot in there and killing any animals that might visit. My street has so many cats, including mine!

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,149

    I think it would be best to steer clear of blackberries and hawthorns in such a shallow bed. Blackberries are not easily confined whatever the conditions and can take over an area as soon as you turn your back.Grasses and wild flowers would be fine and you could maybe put a layer of chicken wire on the ground to keep the cats from digging everything up.

  • Okay, I'll check out the grass and flower mixes at the garden centre. Any idea if blackberry would be happy in a large pot?

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,149

    Blackberries send out very long shoots, all armed with lethal spikes (unless you get a thornless variety but where is the fun in that?) so it will be almost impossible to keep one neat and tidy in a large pot. You could try raspberries and there are now dwarf varieties that are happy growing in containers.

  • Very kind of you to offer, Jo, but I have to confess that I'm not very keeb on lamb's lugs image

    I promise to put other bee-friendly flowers in my garden, though!

  • Hi Jo47

    Can I ask what Scabious variety you use? I planted some Devils Bit Scabious back in 2014 as I heard they were bee magnets. The first year they just formed a (basal?) of low green leaves, this year from about late august they've produced many purple heads on stems about 1-1.2m high. I'm happy with them and the bees love them but they seem a bit taller than I was expecting, and later flowering. I'm thinking of planting Small Scabious for next year.

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