Did you pledge some of your garden for wildlife in the “Metre Square for wildlife” campaign?
Yes. I have quite a few metres that are particularly good for wildlife including hedges, shrubs, a pond and a wilder area with a compost bin full of slow worms!
Tell us about one of your metre squares..
A few years ago I tried to plant perennial wildflowers in a recently cleared area near trees/shrubs, but it didn’t work well – the soil was too thin and I just got lots of bristly ox tongue and sea beet. The next year I got someone to build me a raised bed with sleepers, and filled it with gritty compost to make a herb bed.
Tell us more about your space.. Is it sun or shade, chalk or clay soil, in a wild area or urban area?
It’s mostly sun in the Summer, but shadier in Winter, it’s very close to the sea and on chalk, so suffers from salt air, high winds and being quite hot and dry in Summer and exposed in Winter.
What did you grow there?
Mostly herbs. The herbs are great to eat, and many herbs are loved by wildlife. I had rosemary, thyme, chives, garlic chives, sage, feverfew, marjoram, borage and allowed some marigolds and poppies to self-seed. I also had lots of tubs of mint nearby and allowed some to flower.
I did have a beautiful angelica there too, but that was happier in a big pot in a shadier spot – and was adored by bees and hoverflies too.
Angelica in a pot
What creatures did you see there?
There were lots of different bees and hoverflies, also a lot of brown-tail moth caterpillars and mint moths, and butterflies including Painted lady, Holly blue and Common blue. The chives were the most popular with the bumble bees!
What would you do differently this year?
Some of the herbs were struggling for space, so I might take the rosemary out and replace with a smaller cutting or something else. Parsley struggled, so might put that in pots so I can give in more water and feed it.
Are you going to pledge any more of your garden in 2022? And if so what are you going to do there
I need a bigger garden! I’ll just keep squeezing in as many wildlife friendly plants as possible. I use a lot of pots, so I can move things around, as they come in and out of season.
Thanks for that. We would love to know more about your “Metre Square for Wildlife” Can you answer the questions above, for your garden?