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I love this locally grown plants shrubs and tree's lets hope more people love our native species, shame we haven't our native squirrels instead of these North American grey intelopers that destroy everything in site.My garden is too wet to be able to make a start, my heavy clay like a quagmire, slipped over several times already, so folks be careful out there.
Collecting seed of local provenance ticks all the boxes. Not only does it guarantee growing tough, locally sourced plants but it provides us, the gardeners with that indefinable sense of satisfaction that only growing your own can provide! I too have combed the Chalk Downs above my house, collecting seed of native plants there for some of my gardening projects. My biggest success was with the Yellow Horned Poppy, Glaucium flavum. Here on the West Wight chalk cliffs they cling to life precariously, whilst cliff falls regularly occur,plunging whole colonies of plants into the sea below. So, I figure that it is really a duty to collect and grow plants that are rarely grown and could also be in danger.
This is the problem with guerilla gardening - it spreads plants which contaminate local provenance. How to be 'sound' then??? Brighten derelict places up - but at that cost to the local environment. Hmmm.... Did dan address that issue?
Anne, this has been a problem in Bristol since Victorian times when people with gardens used to throw their spent biennials like wallflowers over the seawall into the gorge, unaware of the endemic rarities they were endangering. They have had to be weeded out ever since. I do agree local plants do well in gardens - the Bristol onion, Allium sphaerocephalon, which grows on the Downs and in the Avon gorge does very well in our gardens. Another allium - Allium vineale or Crow garlic grows everywhere around Bristol in the grass verges and on the Downs and is an unwelcome visitor in people's lawns in the spring when they first cut it if they do not like the smell of garlic. This one is endemic to the Midlands and my research into when it first arrived pinpointed the filling in of Charleton village to make the Brabazon runway by topsoil brought from Birmingham to Filton Station. As my garden is very near that runway crow garlic is with me for ever. It is fascinating to find out which of your "weeds" are truly local and which are not.


Forgot to say my present from the birds last year( probably several years ago but now big enough to be noticed) was a spindle tree. It flowered and I just loved the orange seeds in the pink seed-heads. This was brought from the remains of an Elizabethan hedge in Cribb'sCauseway nearby.
this way of gardening is by far the most rewarding and "untidy" does not exist in nature xx
alanthomas-you too can join in the new gardening and grow some locals. If they grow too big after a few years you can give them to people with larger gardens A friend of mine had a present of a native willow tree from nature and , as she only had a small back yard, she dug it out when it was 4ft tall, strapped it to her bike and peddled through Bristol with it to me. Twenty-five years on it is fully grown, teaming with wild-life, and the pussy-willow branches adorn mine and my friends' houses every spring. The smaller branches bend to make rustic fences and I would not be without it. If you want variety why not grow alpines in pots - you can grow hundreds of different species and contribute to biodiversity as well as helping our most recently evolved plants survive climate change. Many species of cyclamen are endangered in the wild and who knows what will be our local flora in the future?
Fascinated by this blog as it is right up my street. Bristol and Liverpool ships brought many plant seeds in their holds in the middle ages which have gone native, so to speak. Bristol University Botanic garden trialed many of those in their Ballast Garden this year as Bristol Corporation have plans for a permanent Ballast Garden near the dockside. It was fascinating to find out this was how our English marigold arrived as well as curiosities like the squirting cucumber. Nowadays planes bring foreigners to our land on their wheels and wings and there are some rarities brought thus on Salisbury Plain.
Anne - Dan didn't address that issue, and I don't think we can lay the blame solely with guerrilla gardeners. Seeds from gardens can be easily carried over the fence by birds, mammals and wind, as we've sadly seen in the invasion of cotoneaster, Himalayan balsam, Japanese knotweed and buddleia in the countryside. And weeding out endemic species in favour of exotics is something gardeners have been doing for centuries. Happymarion - thanks for the info, how fascinating. We should give you a blog!! Kate
Sorry to have flooded your blog, Kate, but you do seem to blog about my favourite topics and I love it when you do.
Happymarion - you have not flooded the blog at all, but enriched it with fascinating information! So glad I blog about some of your favourite topics. I enjoy your comments (and learn from them) and think my blogs are much better for them x x Kate
just thinking about deforestation being the cause of the terrible floods in Brazil and the damage that none native plants are doing to this Country, really good that people are looking to the hedgerows for inspiration,just hope that everyone knows the differance between native species and these foriegn inports that are causeing so much trouble.
Collins New generation Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain and Northern Europe has been my "Bible " on native species for a long time,kaycurtis, and our marvellous Botanic gardens work hard to give us displays. There is a garden full of Welsh rare native flowers in the Welsh National Botanic Garden and the Bristol one has collections of natives in the Somerset levels, the Avon and Cheddar Gorges and soon the Quantocks and Mendip regions. People who live near or in London can "go down to Kew in Lilac Time" and see the native alpines in the rockery cascade. Combining an interest in botany with gardening I find makes both subjects much more exciting and, if you add an interest in our native fauna as well you eliminate all of the hassle like weeds and pests - their no longer are any.
I would love to know the first recorded evidence of lavender in England? I have conflicting evidence so far. Romans v Normans. Hope someone can put me out of my curiosity? Living in the Nene Valley I cant see why the Romans could grow vineyards, but didnt bother with Lavender and all its usefull healing propertys. Ta for the new book source Happymarion :)


Sorry to offend anyone, but I live in an end terrace with a 3 x 5 front garden and pots in a rear yard, any ideas other than strawberries and hanging basket tomatoes. oops said the wrong thing again.

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