Ok, so you may not have the space to grow a wild meadow but even in the smallest of gardens, growing wildflowers means that you can create a lush habitat to help support bees and butterflies and in turn our environment.
Wildflowers help to provide food sources for pollinators such as bees, even often during times when crops aren’t producing flowers. And as many of our favourite fruits and vegetables rely on insects to pollinate them to grow, it’s important that we do our bit to sustain the insect population.
As well as a food source, wildflowers also provide shelter and places to breed. The insects then pollinate the wildflowers encouraging them to produce seeds to spread and grow in other places.
Many gardeners will appreciate that there are good insects and bad ones – ‘pests’ and the good insects, which we’re trying to encourage with our wildflowers will help to keep the pesky ones away.
Did you know that some wildflowers even contain compounds that can be used in medicines? Foxgloves for example contain chemicals used to treat heart conditions.
So what wildflowers should we be planting?
Believe it or not, some of the best wildflowers are those which are often considered as weeds, including the dandelion. The dandelion is one of the earliest to bloom offering an important food source to bees early in the season.
You may also hear the terms native and non-native wildflowers. Native flowers are essential to support our native insects, and often you can buy mixed seed packets which are easy to sow and grow.
Flower meadows are of course hugely important to the environment, however creating ‘green spaces’ in more urban areas is important as often the distance between flower meadows is far too great for insects to travel.
Create a little safe haven in planters or pots on your windowsill, or dedicate a larger space in your garden.
If you have children, it’s also great to get them involved and understanding the importance of supporting our environment.
Sources : www.growwilduk.com and ww.woodlandtrust.org.uk