Wild areas of garden

This year, I've decided to allocate an area of my garden to wildlife. It's working (hedgehogs, frogs, field mice, bees and bugs galore so far), but doesn't look great. Has anyone been able to grow a wild area that attracts wildlife but also looks nice? If you can provide pics I'd be much obliged. image

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  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 27,226

    My wild garden looks like that too - minus the oil drum - but I have a lot of flowers growing in mine.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • The_herpetologistThe_herpetologist West YorksPosts: 435

    image

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 27,226

    I think your garden looks great! image

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • The_herpetologistThe_herpetologist West YorksPosts: 435
    Ladybird4 says:

    I think your garden looks great! image

    See original post

     Yeah, I guess the point of a wild garden is not to worry too much about how it looks, but I have seen wild patches that are even more beautiful that the cultivated areas. Not sure how people achieve this. I've planted wild flower seeds but they don't take. The large grasses (wheat, rye, barley) seem to crowd the flowers out. I do like the tall grasses though - and so does the wildlife.

  • GrannybeeGrannybee Sunny South EnglandPosts: 218

    It takes some time - about 4 years to have an effect. If you sow yellow rattle it should begin to decrease the quantity of grass next year - it is a parasitic plant. Then sow / plant some wildflower plugs in the wild bit - that will help to make it more attractive.

    When you cut the grass, take off the long grass otherwise it will increase the richness of the soil & you don't want that.  

    A bit muddled - sorry!  Research wild flower meadows or wild gardens to give you a bit more of an idea. Ours looked terrible until we began to mow paths through it, then it looked as if the wild bit was done purposefully. I also make sure that there are parts of the garden which are definitely not wild so it makes the wild bit look more deliberate, rather than just neglected.

  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 3,274

    The grasses will out-compete the wild flowers so they would need a dedicated area to start with. I think Yellow Rattle weakens grasses to allow the flowers to thrive so might be worth trying. I have seen 'bee highway" wild flower areas planted on road verges or on roundabouts and noticed the ground is cleared and prepared, like a traditional flower or veg bed, prior to seeding. 

    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 3,274

    Posted mine before I saw Grannybee's sorry - but that confirms my thought about Yellow Rattle - thanks.

    There are so many 'bee-friendly' plants that you can have those in other parts of the garden to supplement and complement the wild garden. Excellent stuff! 

    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 27,226

    I have yellow rattle in mine and it does weaken the grass but I have to keep on top of it all the time. If the 'critturs' like it - thats the important thing!

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
  • imageimage

    We added water (see pond), and a meadow area for wildlife.

    Both work. image. Bees, butterflies, damselflies, frogs (eventually, frogs took a while)...

    If you don't have room for a pond - even a small bucket with stones in it would do - would suggest just adding a small birdbath into your wildlife section - the birds seem to like the deeper old fashioned bowls over the modern shallow bowls, the bird baths in my garden seem to have queues of birds waiting to use them. They love them! And we have cats..

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,089

    I have a birdbath, stylish (lol) but the birds use anything and everything elseimage

    Have places that you leave alone, when clearing up has to happen don't do it all at once, leave areas for things to move into and hide.

    Yellow  Rattle reduces grass big time but it's an annual and as soon as it's gone the grass is off again so let the YR seed to keep it going. 

    image

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