Saturday, 3 March 2012

insect friendly hedgerow border

On the northwest corner of the site is an overgrown hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) hedge. At around twenty feet high, it needs a good haircut. We still need to decide on whether we simply 'top' the hedge to bring it down to a more manageable six feet high, or lay the hedge in the traditional Midlands Bullock hedge style.

A decision is needed before the growing season gets too much closer!!

The hedge is straggling and thin. We hope to thicken the hedge over the coming years with holly (Ilex aquifolium) and dog rose (Rosa canina) so that there is a more secure boundary and one that is less easily seen through after leaf fall. A few of my stash of honeysuckle (Lonicera pericyclemenum) seedlings will also adorn this section of the hedge. Can't you just picture it? It will be beautiful!

But the exciting planting will come when we begin to establish a wildflower border on our southern side of the hedge during the spring. All will be simple flowers that insects can nuzzle into, guzzling nectar and dusting themselves in pollen.

We have already planted red campion (Silene dioica) in this section and have seedling foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea) ready to be moved in. I will broadcast more of the red campion seed - last year I collected lots!

We will also other native wildflowers including the bee magnet that is Vipers Bugloss (Echium vulgare), White Campion (Silene alba) and Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata).

Good old Honesty (Lunaria annua) , towering Giant Verbascum (Verbascum thapsus) and bee-friendly Borage (Boragio officinalis) will also go in in year one.

I am also interested in sowing Good King Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus). This is an old perennial vegetable variety.

What a wonderful picture!!

Post a Comment