All posts filed under: Wildlife Gardening

Frosty flower heads

Seduced by Seed Heads

Around this time of year, as the glitter of the festive season begins to fade, the majority of my garden maintenance clients expect to look out on a neat and tidy garden, all set for the new growing season ahead: leaves cleared, last year’s flowers cut down and barely a fallen twig out of place. I have to confess that there is a certain satisfaction in digging up spent annuals and cutting down last season’s dessicated perennials – their collapsing, straggly stalks and rotting or crusty brown leaves, if left in situ, can easily give the impression that the garden is unkempt and uncared for. But as both a keen wildlife gardener and photographer I can also offer a different viewpoint. Seed heads provide a vital source of food for hungry birds, especially during a harsh winter, and hollow flower stalks make great hiding places for countless invertebrates. To add to the argument, all it takes is a touch of frost to add sparkle, structure and interest to the winter flower border; cut them down …

Wildfowers at Ness Gardens

Wildflower Meadows at Ness Gardens

Wildflower meadows in the UK are increasingly under threat and today cover only a tiny fraction of the area they once did. So when, a few years ago, the curators of Ness Botanic Gardens on The Wirral had the opportunity to re-purpose a large expanse of rugged land running down from the main garden to the banks of the River Dee, it was an easy decision to turn the area over to wildflowers and the ‘Wilder-Ness‘ project was born. As a result of the project a number of new wildlife habitats have been created, enabling the introduction of a wide range of wildflower varieties that were once a common sight in our meadows, marshes and hedgerows. ┬áThe local wildlife has given the Wilder-Ness area a huge ‘thumbs up’ too, with a notable increase in recorded species; two new butterfly species to Ness have been spotted already this year. You can keep up with the latest wildlife sightings by following the Wilder-Ness blog.