REQUIRES – a garden or yard of which you can dedicate it all or a part to the wild.
HOW TO – There’s two routes here – do it yourself or let nature do it – the amount of time and money you would invest will obviously differ depending upon your choice! Perhaps the most natural way is to simply stop tending an area in your garden and see what starts growing there. Natural succession means that nature will take back what you leave it to manage and you may well begin to see a range of plants (and corresponding insects) that surprise you. Other people like to create a prettier option and create a wildflower meadow, but to do this be aware you may need to treat your soil for a few years by continually mowing back growth and removing it. This is because garden soil is often rich in nutrients – what’s wrong with that I hear you say? Well rich soils favour fast growing plants such as grasses which easily out compete our delicate wildflowers. English wildflowers are evolved to grab the opportunity to grow- even on poor soils, so trying to remove nutrients from your soil gives them a better chance. After this process try to purchase some good quality wildflower seeds of local provenance and you’re onto a winner!
CONSIDERATIONS – How much time and money you have to spend will greatly contribute to how you manage your wild area.
HOW DOES THIS HELP – Native wildflowers give bees many opportunities to pollinate especially in gardens where people have often unwittingly planted beautiful but non-native sterile flowers which have nothing to offer our bees.
BONUS REWARD -A pretty garden (if you go down the designer wildflower meadow route – I can’t promise the same if you leave it up to nature, although look around she’s pretty good at making things gorgeous!
FURTHER INFO – To learn more visit BBC Gardening who have a dedicated page