Saturday, 7 May 2022

Wilding part of my garden

Wilding seems to be the thing nowadays. I heard it mentioned yet again on the radio recently: a keen gardener, proud of the well-planned and precise formality of his large garden had had a change of heart, and had decided to wild part of it, creating an area where Nature would do the planting and growing instead, more or less untended. A haven of course for all kinds of insects and other creatures. And in time, an area that should burst with a profusion of natural flowers. I'm guessing that most plants would be allowed to grow unhindered. Perhaps that gardener would root out brambles and thistles and invasive species. But the overriding notion would be to set aside a kind of miniature nature reserve, and enjoy the result.

This was most appealing. I have a good-sized rear garden and could let a well-defined part of it, separated from the rest by a path, turn into my very own natural meadow. It's this strip, up against the fence on the north edge of my garden. It looked like this a week ago:

Due for another mow, and showing a sprinkling of bluebells and dandelions.

Years ago it was densely planted by my parents and displayed a far more varied collection of flowers and shrubs. That ornamental tree is the sole survivor from those days. Mum and Dad devoted a lot of time to making their garden look well-tended and colourful. But I couldn't do the same. After a hopeless struggle to keep all the growth in check, I eventually decided to grass it over instead, using grass seed after much soil preparation. But that wasn't a complete success. The ground was always too bumpy for a proper lawn. And some of the old plants kept coming back. 

This part of my garden looks OK after each mowing, but a bit rough, and certainly nothing special. Recently I've been thinking about doing something different with it. Now I've hit on something definite to try. Let it become a glorious rainbow of English meadow-colour, a magnet for bees and butterflies! It ought to work: this is the sunniest spot in my back garden. 

So when mowing my back garden again yesterday, I left this long strip of bumpy grass alone. 

I'm about to have a week's caravanning, and I hope to see some early results on my return. Longer grass, anyway! But other plants too. Let's see how it goes over the next year or two. I'll keep the edges neat, and intervene to take out anything I don't like, but otherwise I'll be interested to see what grows. 

It might of course become a sanctuary for mice and slugs. But that's being pessimistic. I'm confident that my very own Wild Garden will prove fascinating. Who knows, I might be able to charge 6d for admission, if people are keen to see it...   

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