My wild and wildlife garden

by Jane on June 4, 2012

I have to confess that as a garden designer my garden is nothing like what I design. Because I am not yet fit enough to garden myself, I pay someone else to do mowing and some weeding, but a lot of the time the beds look after themselves. This year I even left the area I usually plant veg in to go wild, as it had a lot of foxglove seedlings in it, as well as purple toadflax, and it was time the garlic moved somewhere else as it was getting mouldy.
The new wild patch
The wildlife love this arrangement. I tend to stress about it early in the season, but when the weeds have grown tall I let go and just enjoy what I’ve got. And my meadow, which I’ve deliberately grown wild, is really developing well.

This year we got around to cleaning out the pond completely. We found some more newts in a bucket and put them in the pond, along with a baby grass snake found in front of the garage. There are already some toads, and a diving beetle, so the pond is a great source of interest every day. I’ve replanted it – same waterlily but additional flowering rush, marsh marigold and a smaller iris than before. It’s going to look great! The surroundings already look pretty good I think, because the carex is very pond-like and the irises and aquilegias this time of year are beautiful. (Spot the black and white cat having a drink here.)
The pond, with cat
The meadow has 4 nice clumps of red campion out now, some cornflowers and some vetch (the latter is spreading really well).
Red campion in meadow

I’ve also planted a few ragged robin as an experiment.

Lastly, I replanted a bed after de-couch-grassing it last year. The idea was to create a proper herb bed, so I planted sage, ginger mint (mint is elsewhere), chives and thyme, and added sweet ciceley, alliums for decoration, some chrysanthemum-type white daisies and some geraniums, with a miscanthus in the middle as centrepiece. Here the weeds have been prolific as usual, and again they are decorative enough for at least some of them to stay this year: loads of oxeye daisies and some purple toadflax. The sweet ciceley was well worth it – lovely cream umbellifers to contrast with the round purple alliums ‘Purple Sensation’.
New herb bed with alliums
I look forward to more decorative weed and perennial combinations! What have you found works?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Greg Cooper June 4, 2012 at 6:31 pm

You paint a restful picnture. I can smell your garden all the way from Bristol. Good to see you on Saturday.

Jane June 4, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Thanks Greg. The bluebells did smell great when they were in full bloom. Good to see you too!

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