Friday, 29 August 2014

creating floral diversity...

This has been bountiful summer with bumper harvests collected by our farmers and by many gardeners too.
For those who trudge through waste land, along footpaths and hedgerows collecting wildflower seeds, its been a good one too. We're the ones scooping seed heads into little bags always with beady eyes glinting with thoughts of next season.
My seed collecting has seen limited successes so far, with snowdrops, primrose and cowslips, yellow rattle, foxgloves, giant mullein, red and white campions and honeysuckle successfully established within the flora of the site. But now that the orchard meadow and the new wildflower meadow areas are ready for work, I'm a man under pressure..
The seed collectors' collection...
So your own trudger-in-chief has been out collecting the seeds of lords and ladies (arum maculatum), field scabious (knautia arvensis), birds foot trefoil (lotus corniculatis), knapweed (centaurea nigra) and self-heal (prunella vulgaris).
Some are in sown into trays, but the majority have been or will be broadcast directly onto the ground to increase the floral diversity of our wildflower meadows. The seeds must avoid the birds and the seedlings must fight off the slugs and snails before they can reward me with their flowers.
Each is a useful nectar or pollen supply for butterflies, moths and bees. They are frequently also vital host plants for the eggs and caterpillars of our native butterflies and moths and without which the next generations of these pretty insects will struggle.
The common blue butterfly is one of a number of butterflies that rely on the low-growing birds foot trefoil as a host for its eggs and caterpillars. The Northumberland Moths site lists over twenty species of moth that use this plant as a larval food plant. At the moment is doesn't occur anywhere on the Cordwood site.
My mission is to provide as wide a range of floral diversity as possible across as long a period of the year that I can. With luck, this year will see more small steps towards that goal,


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