Nature works in so many wonderful ways, but sometimes she needs a helping hand – yours will do!
Wild flowers grow in places like meadows (fields), forests or woodlands, and on riverbanks and mountain slopes . Most wild flowers only grow for one spring and summer season. Their seeds are scattered by the wind or animals. When autumn arrives, the wildflowers stop flowering and the plants die. The seed produced in autumn germinates the following spring to start the growth cycle all over again.
Because wild flowers are wild and not used to being pampered, they’re pretty easy to please. They are best sown in spring or autumn, but not the middle of summer when it’s hot and dry, or the middle of winter when it’s cold and wet. Here’s how…
Wild flowers to grow from seed
Cosmos, Shirley poppies, Soldier poppies, Californian poppies, Cornflowers, Calendula, Larkspur, Linaria, Nemophila, Alyssum, Phacelia.
Make a mix of your favourite flowers or choose a readymade mix like Yates Wildflower World.
Lots of gardens these days don’t have as many nectar-rich flowers, or as many different types of plants, as they did in the olden days. This means less food and less variety of food for insects, which results in far fewer insects in our gardens. Wild flowers produce lots of yummy nectar that helps attract and feed insects like bees.
Bees and other pollinating insects are really important because they pollinate our food crops. Without these busy little creatures, our fruit trees and tomato plants wouldn’t produce any fruit – YIKES!! In fact, if we wanted any fruit at all, we would have to go around pollinating the flowers ourselves, by brushing the flowers together. So...pollinating insects not only make food for us, they save us a lot of time too!
Honey bees are the unsung heroes of the garden, pollinating our fruit trees, beans and tomatoes. But worryingly, bees are dying out all over the world and no one really knows why. Encourage bees to visit your garden and neighbourhood by :
Unable to see red, bees are attracted to white, yellow and blue flowers (including ultra violet, which humans cannot see). They also have an excellent sense of smell and are attracted to flowers that produce ample pollen and nectar. Simple old-fashioned ‘single’ flowers are best.
Bee favourites include; alyssum, salvia (sage), lavender, rosemary, catmint, cosmos, aster, borage, thyme, monarda (bee balm), and fruit trees.
A wildflower garden