Monday, 28 January 2013

Native flowers and grasses for frost-resistant gardening

frozen spider web. frost highlights the wonder of nature
The mood for today has been one of relief.  I love snow and I love how beautiful spiders webs, seed heads and bare branches become when they’re covered in frost, but I also love that the snow has melted and it’s safe to drive to work in my car (instead of by tractor), that I don’t have to waddle down the garden before breakfast to de-frost the chickens’ water and that I can once more get down and dirty to tackle the weeds that escaped my attention in the summer.

I have to say that I’m surprised, given how delicate some of the leaves and flowers look, at how well my mini-meadow has coped with the winter weather.  In fact, I’m quite certain that it’s grown a little under its duvet of snow.  I know for a fact that the “undesirables” in my perennial bed have put on a growth spurt, but I console myself with the knowledge that the bigger they are, the more compost they’ll produce.
For me, most of the pleasure of growing plants that are well adapted to UK weather conditions is in convenience.  I do like the idea of trying to outwit Mother Nature with heated propagators, horticultural fleece, bubble wrap and paraffin heaters; but it’s a bit of a palaver and quite honestly, I’m too old and too busy to faff around.   In Jardin Lambert, things either live independently (within reason)…or they succumb to the rigours of frost, drought, small boys, hungry chickens and other natural phenomena beyond my control.
So, for this spring and summer, I am looking forward to seeing and hearing lots and lots of bees collecting pollen and nectar from the native plants in my mini-meadow and in my flower borders.  Long live wild flowers.
PS for more info on creating a wildflower meadow, take a look at
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