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Posts Tagged ‘growing wildflowers’

Ah, we’re getting into the swing of this. Here’s no. 2.

Apple blossom has taken up the baton from the Pittosporum, and once again, bees are vibrantly humming around the garden. It’s a glorious time of year as plants and flowers begin to unfurl and bloom.

For our second podcast, I’ve been talking about sowing wildflower seed mixes. Some people are worried that sowing flower seeds at this strange time is a bit frivolous, but I say, not a bit of it! Flowers attract pollinators for our fruit and veg and also give a huge amount of much-needed joy!

For those with a precious bit of spare ground (and not grass I hasten to add, as these mixes need soil that is weed-free and raked to a fine tilth to grow well), it’s time to start sowing. And for those who don’t have any spare acreage, or any soil at at all, above is a mini meadow that I grew in a suitcase. Why not have a go?

Funnily enough, neighbours seem to be using lockdown as a good time to declutter and I’ve seen a few old suitcases in front gardens, waiting to be rescued and recycled. What better than to reuse these to bring a bit of floral joy into the neighbourhood. Where we live in Finsbury Park in North London, a number of front gardens are completely paved over, so this decluttering couldn’t come at a better time.

Pictorial Meadows seed mixes are a great place to start as this is the company that designed the wildflower meadows for the Olympic Park back in 2012. They have around a dozen very tempting annual seed mixes to choose from (and only one is sold-out at the moment!) and what I love is that each mix contains two waves of flowering. This means that you get one period of flowering in mid summer, then another new wave of blooms later in summer, with some mixes lasting into autumn. Above is the first flowering of Candy mix with the jewell-like Fairy toadflax,

and this second pic, above, is the following wave with Corncockles and Californian poppies. I planted just a few square metres in a front garden, but the effect was still stunning, and stopped many a neighbour in their tracks as they passed by! I mean, what’s not to love!

I also mentioned ‘Dazzling Blue Kale’ from the Real Seeds seed company. At the moment, this delightful website is only open intermittently for orders, but they have such a wondrous collection of veg seeds, that it’ll be worth persisting with.

I’ve started off Dazzling Blue Kale  which I’ll be sharing with Simeon and other neighbours, and will be using its small leaves for salads to mix in with lettuce leaves and herbs. And I plan on sowing another batch later in the year for some hardy winter leaves.  Real Seeds describe it as ‘a blue-green palm kale with a striking pink midrib’ and I do like the sound of that. No doubt I’ll be Instagramming its progress!

Next week I’ll be talking more about veg growing and what I’m sowing and planting right now in my garden. Hope you’ll be able to join me.

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