Creating a Wildlife Friendly Garden
A wild-flower garden is possibly as close to nature as we can get. It can remind us of wandering through the woods, perhaps collecting wild flowers, or better still, just admiring them in their natural habitat.
A lot of people say they have no luck at all with a wildflower garden, but it is not luck, it is understanding nature that counts more. The type of habitat that a plant has been used to in life is generally what it needs in the garden. Give it something different, and it will probably die, or at the very least it will not do at all well. So what we are trying to do is mimic nature and transpose that type of habitat to our garden. If we are hunting wildflowers, then we should choose flowers while noticing the kind of soil they are in, the conditions, the surroundings, and the nearby plants.
For example, if we found dog-tooth violets and wind-flowers growing in the same area, perhaps in a semi-shaded part of the woods, then that is how we should re-plant them in our garden. Or if we were to come across a particular type of violet in an open situation; then that’s how it should. You see the point, do be I our wild garden. If we want wild flowers to grow in a tame garden, then we stand a far better chance of success by making them feel at home. Make them believe that they are still in their native habitat.
Wildflowers should be transplanted after they have blossomed, take a trowel and a basket and carefully take up a few beautiful specimens. Be sure to take some of the roots and some of the plant’s soil, then pack it around the roots when replanting. The bed where these plants are to go should be carefully prepared beforehand. It will need some soil from the woods, dark and rich and full of leaf mold, and drainage should be excellent. It may even be that the garden will need to be dug very deeply and stone and gravel put in the bottom. At least a day before planting water the soil well and allow it to settle.
The way to design a wildflower garden is to go with seasons, spring, summer, autumn, and winter, again mimicking nature. Each season’s plants are collected and transplanted after flowering; then the ground is prepared for the following season, and so on. So it will be-be a full year before the fruits of our labor are fully realized. Changes to the design will almost certainly have to be made as the garden matures over time, This is not a task that can be hurried in any way!
Something that must be born in mind before starting the project is that it is sometimes illegal to dig up flowers in the wild, so we must be careful. At the very least permission must be sought from the landowner beforehand – and, once granted, be sure never to leave the natural habitat short of a particular species. A few transplants will soon start to flourish and spread in a garden that is well prepared.
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