More councils are transforming roadside verges with wildflowers in an effort to reverse declines in wildlife after it was revealed the UK has over lost 97 percent of its wildflower meadows since the 1930s.
But wildflowers aren’t just reserved for public spaces – you can easily create a wildflower haven in your own backyard.
The gardening experts at The Greenhouse People reveal the top benefits of introducing wildflowers to your garden.
The biggest reason to create a wildflower haven in your garden is to attract pollinators such as bees and other bugs which have been in decline since the 1980s.
Bees play a critical role as part of the food chain and are hugely beneficial to the ecosystem – it’s estimated a third of all food we eat relies on pollinators. Without them, British-grown fruits such as apples and strawberries could become extinct within 25 years.
Native plants and wildflowers rich in pollen and nectar are the best for enticing bees, providing a floral buffet for them to feast on.
Supplying bees with a variety of flowers will also boost your garden’s growing potential. As more bees flock to your garden, they will fertilise your plants and ensure seeds are produced.
To invite more bees into your garden, you could also install bee hotels. Although we typically think of bees as part of a hive, some bees are solitary and will lay their eggs alone in tunnel-like nests. Bee hotels are simple to make or can be bought for under £10.
Wildflower havens encourage biodiversity
Not only are you likely to see a variety of plant species in your garden, but various animal species are also attracted to wildflower havens.
Diversity of plant life and tall grassy areas will invite bugs since conditions are perfect for breeding. Also, the wide variety of protein-rich food available entices small critters like hedgehogs and other mammals to visit your garden.
This is particularly important in urban areas where food sources are scarce, and shelter is limited.
By creating a micro eco-system in your garden, you provide refuge for wildlife that allows them to not only survive but thrive.
Cover up patchy grass
Growing wildflowers could be a practical solution for those struggling to achieve a perfectly green, patch-free lawn.
Wildflowers, particularly perennial wildflowers, grow best in disturbed soil where grass is thin, so they’re perfect for filling any gaps in your lawn. Simply rake the desired area and sprinkle over some seed. You won’t need to cover the soil since wildflowers need light to germinate.
Almost any garden can accommodate wildflowers, and all can benefit from their ability to bring interest to your garden’s landscape design.
Contrasting crisp manicured lawns with mini wildflower meadows adds visual variety by giving your garden a mix of texture and height. And if you opt for a traditional colourful variety such as cornflowers, poppies and marigolds, you can expect vivid pops of blues, reds and yellows to brighten up your back garden.
Low maintenance and low cost
With green-thumbed Brits estimated to have spent a whopping £16 billion on their gardens last year, there’s no denying gardening can become expensive and time consuming.
If you’re looking to buy exotic imported plants, you can expect to pay a premium. But gardening doesn’t have to blow your budget.
Choosing native plants is not only cost-effective but also typically easier to grow and better for the environment.
Wildflowers seed packets can be bought for less than a pound, and as they require less fertiliser and water, they make the perfect budget-friendly addition to your garden.
Additionally, once created your wildflower haven is low maintenance, perfect for the gardener that prefers to leave nature to do its thing.
For more tips to encourage biodiversity in your garden, visit our gardening channel.Last modified: August 11, 2021