30 Days Wild – Day 18

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_18Day 18 of 30 Days Wild and we’re Malvern bound as the car is in for its MOT, so no grand excursions today! So I decided to spend a bit of time in the garden and review how my “wildflower meadow” was progressing. Meadow is probably a bit of an exaggeration as it is very small – more of a meadowlet on what used to be one of our veg patches.

Back in March this is what the old veg patch looked like. We were rubbish at growing veg as we didn’t water or weed regularly enough, so we figured we might as well turn the patch into something more wildlife friendly.

Meadow before

And this is what it looks like today. Shame it wasn’t a sunnier morning for photographs, but it’s amazing what a difference a few short months have made.

Meadow

Meadow 2

The “meadow” is still maturing – some flowers are at their peak and fully open, while others are still a way off. I’m not great on flower ID, but even worse when the flowers aren’t actually out and I’ve only got leaves to go on. So I’m not sure of all the species we’ve got. But here are a few I can manage. The first is the Bladder Campion with its unusual “swollen” flowers. This is supposed to attract froghoppers, although I’ve not actually seen any on it. It’s fragrance is apparently stronger in the evening and attracts moths – I must check it one night.

Bladder Campion

I think the next is Phacelia, which as you can see is already attracting plenty of bees.

Phacelia

Bee on Phacelia

The Poached Egg Plant is a real cheery addition to the meadow. I bought this as I read on someone else’s blog (sorry I can’t remember who, but thank you whoever you were!) that it was particularly good for hoverflies. Not seen that many of them on it yet, but it’s only just come into flower and the weather’s not been great since then, but hopefully it will live up to its promise soon.

Poached egg plant

The corn chamomile has spread and formed a large patch which has been attracting hoverflies. Sod’s law being what it was though there weren’t any on it this morning – but if you sow it they will come!

Corn chamomile

The Borage is looking good and just starting to open its flowers and will hopefully be pulling in the bees soon.

Borage

The next two haven’t really opened up yet, but I think they are a Cornflower and some kind of Poppy.

Cornflower bud

Californian Poppy

The Nasturtium wasn’t really planted as part of the meadow, but I’ve left them there as they’re good for insects too. We had a go at companion planting with them a few years ago and as they tend to produce masses of seeds, they’ve been popping up everywhere since!

Nasturtium

There are a few other things poking up through the meadow, but I’ll have to wait until they hopefully flower to work out what they are. I’m really pleased with the results so far though, so much better than a scruffy, ill-maintained veg plot!

Poppy 30 WEEDS

And finally weed No. 18 in my 30 Lazy Garden Weeds is this Poppy. They are so delicate and ephemeral – each flower lasting barely a day, but that makes them all the more special. They pop up everywhere from cracks in the drive to the flower beds and remaining veg plot. Collecting seeds from their rattly seed heads reminds me of childhood – not that there’s really any need to collect the seeds – they’re doing a pretty good job of seeding themselves!

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