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02/06/2013 at 21:26

This is out bit of paradise. WaF. Dog daisies are a bit lacking in themeadow this year but there plenty behaving as weeds in the rest of the garden so I'll have a reseed ina thin piece of grass, the yellow rattle have created a few of those and so have the ants with their nests.

05/06/2013 at 12:36
Hi Nutcutlet,
Have just come back from visiting family in Cheshire. It was very hot and
the country lanes looked wonderful with banks of beautiful wild flowers and
hedges white with hawthorn. Wish I still lived in the country - it was difficult
leaving!! Still I have my wildflower garden here and it is coming along a treat
though many of the plants have yet to flower. I am amazed by the the poppies
which are growing there in places I haven't yet seeded or even raked. There
seem to be hundreds of them - how on earth do they get there? We've never had
any before - is it due to us having rotovated there? Must get some yellow rattle -
one plant I haven't yet planted and it's very useful isn't it for keeping weeds down?
I'll post some photos as soon as I have plenty of colour to show you.
Love your meadows they are beautiful!
05/06/2013 at 19:06

Hi WoF, sounds wonderful. Not sure if I live in the countryside. Agricultural desert I think. Poppy seeds germinate after years in the ground when the soil is disturbed, (eg Flanders). Yellow rattle is parasitic (or maybe semi parasitic) on grass, won't.  affect other weeds unfortiunately. I'm waiting for something that's parasitic on hogweed  

06/06/2013 at 19:55
Will let you know if and when I hear anything useful re Hogweed Nutcutlet!
Thanks for the info on the poppies - I hadn't realised they could lie dormant
for so long! It's good to have an explanation for their appearance!
06/06/2013 at 22:35

Perhaps the GM people will come up with something WoF, though my hogweed is likely to be quite low down their list of things to do

16/06/2013 at 18:32

I would like to introduce more native species into my garden as it is amazing to watch all the insects at work. I have recently posted a list of wildflowers that I would like to add to my garden,it is on the potting shed forum under seed swap.I will gladly swap seeds with anyone.can anybody help me?

17/06/2013 at 22:50
Hi Cotty,
I would love to exchange seeds with you, when I learn how and when to collect
them as I am a real novice at all this. I hope you will help with this one Nutcutlet
When exactly is the right time to collect wild flower seeds and will they actually
germinate where they fall? I would like to collect some and try to grow some
plants in different parts of the garden from them and it would be good to be able
to exchange some too. So any advice would be much appreciated. Will get
back to you on this one Cotty! Also I had a big surprise today. I found one of
the seed trays I discarded in a corner of the garden (the only one I hadn't
cleaned out from the seeds I sowed back in February - none of which germinated
if you remember! (Oh except 6 oxeye daisies!) Lo and behold dozens of little
tiny seeds have germinated!! Five months it's taken them - and I haven't a clue
what they are as I discarded their identity tag! Ah well - I'll just have to wait
and see!!
17/06/2013 at 23:19

Hi WaF and cotty

the right time is when they're dropping naturally. The trick is to get them before you lose them. They'll germinate when they fall but not very reliably in grass. I usually transplant from pots or garden to the meadow.. 

I think the right day comes along for germination, all circumstances are right. Mr Bowles golden grass germinated this week from about March. Never chuck too soon.

We going to have to mow quite a bit of the meadow, winds and downpours have made a right mess of it As long as we leave a good patch of yellow rattle to seed I think everything else will come up again and perhaps flower later. A sort of chelsea chop.

I'm keeping an eye on the hellebores cotty

18/06/2013 at 14:54

Thanks nut.

W a F pop over to the seed swap around  Aug or September for advice and swapping.

18/06/2013 at 19:57
Thanks Nutcutlet and Cotty - I'll do what you both say and let you know
what happens!
26/06/2013 at 09:08

hello everyone ...I'm new to this discussion but need advice about wildflower THUGS! I have a strip of land adjacent to my drive on which nothing which I have ever planted over the years will grow.....even buddleias !! I think it's because it used to be a sand/ gravel heap left by builders which was eventually levelled and then  covered with a thin layer of rubbish soil. Its also subject to watershed from winter rains which presumably drowns anything with half decent roots. However I have noticed in summer I get a healthy crop of oxeye daisies , buttercups, vetches and other unspecified ' weeds'....sadly including thugs such as  docks , nettles , thistles and brambles. None I of these have been planted by me.... and since weeds( wild flowers by another name ) seem to be the only residents happy to occupy that particular space I've decided to give in and go with the flow and redesignate it as an official 'wildflower strip'. The first and most pressing of my problems now is how to deal with the aforementioned thugs ( ideally without  decimating existing wildflowers) and then how to keep them at bay in what they clearly regard as a des res!

 

26/06/2013 at 09:16

If oxeye daisies will grow, you could try their big bully boy cousins the shasta daisies.

I find they spread like crazy in sandy soil, and very little will grow between then.

27/06/2013 at 00:03

Thanks for suggestion about shasta daisies fidgetbones but if I'm going to have a wildflower patch I would like some diversity of form and colour to create the fresh and airy quality of a typical wild flower meadow.....can't actually believe that I'm the only one facing what I would have thought was a perennial problem in wild flower plantings and yet Monty and co. never seem to mention what to do about the Thugs.

KEF
27/06/2013 at 07:10

Bump

27/06/2013 at 14:28

Hi  Tallulah 

 

it is a common problem, I really rushed in when I read the comment about adding shasta daisies. If you want to create a wildlife garden the last thing you want it to add more thugs, that is more none natives that are not going to add much wildlife value other than pollen. If you want to add diversity then you must use natives, and if at all possible, use local natives not ones from the other side of the country. I know that may not be practical or if it's in the confines of your own garden the not really necessary, but if you do have access to local seed the please do use it since that will maintain national diversity rather than creating a homogeneity. Well regarding the thugs. Ideally you want to reduce fertility, that means either removing topsoil, the quick solution, or remove all cuttings rigorously. I’m passionate about wildflower planting but have to go. I’ll get back later from home.

27/06/2013 at 15:55

If I had the time and energy, or the money to pay someone else, I would strip off some topsoil, along with its hogweed, and reseed.

Agree with Jim, if you're looking for a wildflower meadow, choose wild flowers, not garden thugs.

The course stuff, docks, nettles, hogweed is what happens when it doesn't get cut/grazed

28/06/2013 at 11:46

Wild about Flowers re yellow rattle, it needs quite a long period of cold, you are best sowing before december, not sure now what date exactly but sow in autumn. The seed doesn't live very long in the soil so it needs to be sown every year. Obviously it will seed itself but needs a few sowings to get established and will not flower if cut during the season except at the very begining when it can tolerate a little cut. The bees love it and I sow more rather than less and it really does work in reducing the grasses, incidentally it can parasitis herbs too.

28/06/2013 at 11:54

What else does it affect Jim? Not hogweed that's for sure. Still waiting for something parrasitic on that.

28/06/2013 at 14:07

I'm not sure but I have it seeded itself growing the thyme, orchids and Epilobium. I can't remember where I read that it can affect other herbs but it's favourite food is grass as you know. I'm not saying it's growing really well with those above plants but that might have more to do with conditions. I just don't know. Anyway, it's great in the meadow and bees really love it.

I read earlier in the thread something about cowslips. They're notoriously bad at coming from seed from the big seed companies or at least they used to be I'd got one or two come up after a couple of years then they'd die. I've since found Emorsgate seeds and they germinate really well but need chilling, however if you collect seeds while the seeds are still green and sow straight away they will germinate rapidly. I just collect them and throw them where I want them to come up and the next spring I've got a new patch of cowslips. They do hybridise very easily with oxlip and primroses which will include garden hybrids so I now only collect seed well away from houses and with the land owner's permission of course. There's thousands near me so no trouble getting seeds

28/06/2013 at 14:14

mine's pretty tall this year. When I first sowed it I didn't really expect it to have much effect on grass but it really has created some very low grass areas. 

Hogweed is the spoiler in my meadow. it's just so big and overwealms everything else. I'm going to try digging out some growing tips, don't think I can get the whole plant or all the plants but it may make a difference 

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