I have this lost chunk of garden out by the drive. I call it my accidental flower bed. In my last post Strawberry Fields Forever I wrote about how brilliant I am at growing weeds and certainly this bed towers with goose grass and stinging nettles. Every now and then I tackle it whole heartedly and in the Spring months can get it fairly neat and tidy, but once Summer is in swing it roars into life with every type of greenery imaginable. It is now July and I can barely get in there without getting prickled, sticky, stung and generally told off by nature for interfering.
When we moved to this house we took on a stunning garden. The previous owner is a gifted, green fingered and lovely chap. He sculpted a beautiful garden with huge borders, topiary, hedging, ornamental trees, fruit, roses, clematis, you name it. Luckily he now lives next door, so I can run over and beg for advice. There is a lot to do here and we barely keep on top of it all. This particular bed quickly became forgotten and quite unloved although I can see it from the kitchen window where we hang out all the time, so it was silly really. It should have been a priority.
Given that it is already wild and that I do manage to weed it down to bare earth in the Spring this presented what I thought might be the ideal spot for some wildflowers. I know I have mentioned many times that the kids love sowing seeds and boxes of wildflower seeds have to be the ultimate bumper treat, as they are huge compared to the usual little sachets you can buy. Then of course there are all the other positives of having wildflowers and lots of vegetation for bees and other wildlife to make their home.
There are lots of options for buying wildflower boxes of seeds either online or at your local garden centre, even in supermarkets these days. My favourite is Sarah Raven. These are a little more expensive, but the mixes are beautiful and very inspiring.
In our haphazard way this is our easy attempt at creating a wildflower garden in simple steps:
- Cut everything back in Autumn so the bed doesn’t get too gigantic. Add some bulbs at this point too. Why not! Aliums are my number one favourite because there are so many different kinds and they flower for ages. Once they have finished flowering their seed heads are also beautiful. Plus they come back every year. In my book that’s a massive win! Plant it once and enjoy it forever (hopefully)…
- Clear weeds down to the bare earth in Spring, then sprinkle and shake the wildflower seeds (grab kids, have fun)
- Weed obvious weeds early Summer. Honestly I can’t tell the difference between a lot of plants and especially not when they are seedlings, but I’ll grab out as many obvious weeds as I can and then keep doing that until I get repelled by crazy foliage.
- See what pops up and be patient. This is our second year of haphazard weeding, seed shaking and more haphazard weeding and the bed is starting to look quite colourful and pretty.
Now when I look out of the kitchen window I really like our accidental flower bed. It really took no effort at all. With a bit of practice and not too much worrying about it, we will start the process all over again in the Autumn.