Chew Magna resident, Judy Kendall, has successfully grown a wonderful, wild flower lawn. Wildflower lawns can display for many months, and use annuals or perennials. Whether you have rich or poor soil can be a factor in governing your choice. Whichever type you have, the wildflowers will help the pollinating insects they feed, and also animals that eat the insects, such as birds, hedgehogs and bats. See under the Nature and Wildlife tab for more information on planting wildflowers, making a meadow etc. and on choosing organic, peat-free grown seeds. Here is Judy Kendall’s story in her own words:
When we converted our barn in 2004 I decided to make the front garden look like an orchard, so we planted a Hawthorn hedge and Crab Apple trees, and underneath, wild flower seeds.
The first year they were very colourful but I didn’t want to seed every year, so waited to see what came up. Ox-eye daisies appear every year and now I have common geranium, primroses, cowslips, hawkweed blue bells, clover, scabious, giant knapweed, fox and Cubs, yellow rattle, buttercups, common vetch, teasels, and many different grasses. The bees love the spring blossom and the early crocus. Lots of insects, slow worms, butterflies, toads as well as the birds love the area.
I have also planted daffodils, Camassias and a few dark irises. The Camassias seed and I get clumps of single flowers.
I mow a strip around the edge and a path through the middle so that it looks as if it’s meant to be, and not just a weed patch as one friend calls it! My greatest joy a few years ago was finding hedgehogs in my back garden, one even came in through the back door! Unfortunately I haven’t seen one for some time. Every year I hopefully find something new – I’d love to get some cow parsley but it doesn’t want to come.
In late summer I strim it then leave it for a day then remove the cuttings.