Tuesday, 3 April 2012

sowing wild flower seeds

wild flowers, food for bees and butterflies
This week I have been a little bit cheeky, and whether or not I will get away with it remains to be seen. At the end of march, Q Lawns exhibited at the Ecobuild show in London and I managed to escape the stand long enough to have a good chinwag with Nick Mann from Habitat Aid who is of a similar mindset to myself in that we both want to see more gardeners, and indeed farmers, creating and conserving wildlife habitat.  Nick sold me a little packet of "Meadow Anywhere" seeds for a very reasonable price.

Now if it were for my garden, I would use Meadowmat any day of the week, but I have a special plan for Nick's seeds and it involves a teeny bit of sculduggery.  Meadowmat just wouldn't be subtle enough for this.

My husband is a farmer, and, in common with many of the farmers in this area, regards wild flowers as weeds that compete with his crops for light, water and nutrients.  I can see his point, but being born under the star sign Libra, I like to think there's a way of finding a balance.

nutrient poor soil in a sunny spot..ideal for wild flowers
Around some of the corn storage sheds are areas where the soil and chalk banks have been dug away to improve access and where potentially, wild flowers could grow completely undisturbed by farming activity.  Conversely, they won't affect crops apart from helping to support pollinating insects in the area......can you see how I'm thinking? 

There is no water supply to the area, and anyhow, we're about to be hit by a hosepipe ban, so Meadowmat just won't do, but I think I can get Nick's seeds to grow here...doesn't matter if it takes 2 or 3 years for them to get really well established....I can wait.  So, armed with a packet of seeds and a promise from Carol on BBC Breakfast that it will rain here tomorrow, I have spread my wild flower seeds. I haven't prepared a seed bed...Mother Nature never does so I know I can expect germination to be erratic; Now all I need to do is wait.

I suppose technically, I am now a Guerilla Gardener...not something I would normally advocate, but in this case, I can placate the farmer with Lasagne and Apple Pie...not everyone has that luxury so please be careful about planting things on someone else's land and I can't stress enough that guerilla plants or seeds should be from native stock.
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