|Holly Blue butterfly tucking in|
One of my projects this year is to turn the area in front of the bee hives into a wild garden, providing board and lodging to our insect friends and their various associates! The existing herbage is predominantly grasses, clover, docks and Creeping Buttercup (the great plants), who are all going great guns on the heavy, fertile soil which is of course precisely the type of site one should avoid when attempting to develop a wild flower meadow. The Creeping Buttercup was until a week ago my sworn enemy, as it lives up to its name and sneaks around all over the shop no sooner than you turn your back on it. However, now the bally thing has come into flower, looks incredible, and my bees, the treacherous swines, are swooning all over it!
One tactic I have been employing to battle with this tricky site is growing wildflowers in plug trays, sowing one or two seeds direct into the module, and then growing the plants on until they have a decent enough root developed for planting. This then gives them at least a sporting chance, and ensures they aren’t immediately swamped by thugs like the blasted Creeping Buttercup! Cornflower seen above is particularly suitable for this method, as the large seeds are easy to sow in a single module and grow on to plug size without the need for potting on. This saves time and compost!