Simon King Wildlife on Wildflower Meadows

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I’m so delighted to see how quickly Wild Meadows has become a colourful carpet of wildflowers since our sewing the seeds here two years ago. Where last year we were treated to an explosion of annual species like poppy and cornflowers, this year has seen the perennials kick in; Ox-eye daisy, wild carrot and knapweed to name just a few. This profusion of floral magnificence is not only exquisite to look at, but it plays a very real and multi purpose role in the environment. Every plant stem is locking up carbon from the atmosphere, delivering water cycle services through roots and transpiration and, of course, providing food and sustenance to the legions of mini beasts and bigger creatures that depend on them. Any patch of land you are able to devote to wild flowers and native grasses will make a huge difference to the biodiversity on your patch too.

Alongside native flora, the single most important habitat you can introduce to your patch is a body of fresh water. From a small pond to larger water bodies, such as the one we dug here in Wild Meadows two winters ago, water is an essential ingredient for life and attracts a host of new species to even the smallest garden. Everything from the subtle sub aqua community like water beetles and boatmen, to the more showy pond stars like dragonflies and kingfishers may turn up making a massive positive difference to your patch. We will soon be making more ‘How To’ films on creating these habitats, so keep an eye on the website and our YouTube channel for updates. There’s really so much you can do to invite wild creatures to your garden, let us help take you on that journey…

via Latest news from Simon King Wildlife.

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Yesterday I saw a Comma …

Comma

Yesterday I saw a Comma in the garden – the first of this year. Do hope there’ll be more. It’s ragged wing edges are so obvious it’s an easy one to spot. The wing undersides are brown with a white mark shaped like a comma – hence its name. It was on a Common Nettle (Urtica dioica) – telling me what more of my work must be today! While I’ll keep some nettles for the Commas I need less in the garden as they’re strangling other plants. The Comma also uses Hop (Humulus lupulus), elms (Ulmus spp.), currants (Ribes spp.), and Willows (Salix spp) – I’ve got willow and currants in the garden, and a special place for the nettles :-), so they’ll do all right.

comma underwing

via Butterfly Conservation – Comma.

Garden Tips from the Butterfly Conservation

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Dig It: Find Your Garden Favourites

July is a great time to sit outside and enjoy the rewards of your gardening efforts.

Many plants will be in full bloom, providing a feast for the eyes as well as a nectar buffet for butterflies and other beneficial insects.

It is now you will start to notice how successful certain plants are at attracting different species. Make a note of the most popular to inform future planting decisions.

Don’t forget to dead-head fading blooms to keep your flowers and the butterflies coming back throughout the season.

via All Aflutter – Back In Time For Butterflies

Why pollinating insects are important and how gardeners can help …

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I seem to be in a regular Bee-Thing at the moment – this is my 3rd successive bee-post :-). This piece, from the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society, is very helpful … Flying insects such as bees and hoverflies which visit … Continue reading