Thursday 5 May 2011

Wildflowers, bees, butterflies and garden projects.

Last autumn I decided to extend the woodland walk. My aim was for it to stretch the width of the garden. During November I removed the turf, covered it with newspaper, and piled leaf mould and garden compost on top, leaving the worms to do their work. Today I planted 30 foxglove along the woodland area. Mostly white, but also some of our native pink. I grew them from seed last year and they have come on well. I cannot wait to see them in bloom.

I have also added Brunnera. A true shade lover, and such pretty little blooms. Dicentra and ferns are also amongst the planting.
You may be surprised at this addition. Gunnera would not be everyones choice but I saw similar planting at Leeds Castle recently and I really liked it. My thought is that the Gunnera will tower above the woodland plants and shelter them. The Gunnera will get some protection from the trees that surround this area.
The lovely piece of wood you see in the photograph was given to me by my little Grandson Riley. He had found it in the wood at the bottom of his garden, and brought it home for me. Whilst I would not usually encourage the removal of such pieces from wild areas, it was such a sweet gesture and it will be well loved here.

As you walk along the new area wildflowers, ferns and arum italicum dominate.

The ferns have been moved from the copse, the arums are divisions and the wildflowers I have grown from seed. I am so pleased that little has been purchased for this area.
Early spring I decided to extend and add more wildflowers to the butterfly garden. Most of them I have grown from seed.......
I have planted dozens of wildflowers today.

Also cranesbill and cosmos, which you can see in this image.
Herb Robert, our native geranium, so very pretty.
Wild garlic. Takes me back to childhood and holidays in Cornwall.

My great grandmother's favourite wildflower, ragged robin. Did you know this charming native is in decline? How about planting some in your garden, lets keep our native wildflowers, good for us, good for wildlife. If you would like some seeds in the autumn, leave a comment and I will be more than happy to send you some.

Red Campion, a must for anyone who likes butterflies and moths. During the summer months I watch the moths feeding from them........the bats flying above hoping for a quick meal. The circle of life......

Forget me could anyone forget them, delicate, pretty, somewhat invasive in my garden but hey I am not worried....they can travel as far as they like.
Of course, butterflies are the best addition to any garden. The brimstone has teased me for many years. Flitting across my garden, never stopping to say hello. But today she stayed, enjoying the red campion blooms but finally settling on sweet rocket allowing me to take a photograph.

I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to see her here. Did you know that Brimstone's can live for anything up to five years.
I also spotted a comma, peacock and blue today......happy butterfly days.


  1. Hi Cheryl...Foxgloves are such a dainty looking. I used to fuss and worry,but found them to be very capable of handling there own life cycle...they just keep dropping seeds and I move the seedlings where I want them!!
    Ragged Robin so beautiful...there are places where I find them and places they used to be where fields have had the top soil removed and houses built!! : {
    Forget me nots can grow where they want to..and they there blue color!!
    Your photo of the Brimstone is so lovely sitting on the Sweet Rocket..nice soft color combo...
    We say Dames Rocket instead of Sweet and it grows merrily where it wants in my gardens!! I have tryed placing it,but preferes to do it's own thing lol
    Sorry so long...your photos of your gardens and all that dwells there are always so lovely, thanks for showing us around!! ♥ Grace

  2. I thought maybe you would be getting some rain since it didn't rain here today. We did have a light frost this morning. Boooo. I think everything survived. I had forgotten that Cosmos was a wildflower in your country. I just love them. I sometimes plant them in the side lot. They do well there on their own. Oh that sweet little butterfly. It has a little tip on its wing. FUN to see them in the garden again. I can't wait until the butterflies start coming out every day here. Soon maybe. Your garden extension is grand. That Riley is a sweet boy taking care of his Grandma so good.

  3. Hi Grace,

    Foxgloves seem to be very unpredictable in this garden, hence why I brought them on in the greenhouse. I also wanted the 'alba' variety.
    I wish they would seed around this garden. I find most of them on the compost heap....ha! Perfect situation for them I guess.

    I love the colour combination of the Brimstone and you say soft colour combo.

    Have a lovely weekend my friend.

  4. Hi Lisa

    Cosmos are a non native species.....poor writing on my part and not explaining properly!!
    I believe they are native to Mexico??
    We treat them as annuals here. I have grown dozens from seed in the greenhouse. Rabbits love them, so I struggle to keep them. Planting with the cranesbill may just keep them away as rabbits do not like the scent of this particular plant.

    Riley is a darling, and I love him for his kindness and much more.

    Still no rain Lisa..... the garden really does need it. We also had a frost Tuesday night and I agree Boooooooo.

  5. Another delightful post Cheryl. I am so pleased you managed to photograph the lovely Brimstone, I have not managed it yet this time. I have seen them (although not in the garden) but they haven't settled.

    How busy you have been, your dedication really is admirable!

    Every year I mean to plant Brunnera, this year I really will.

    Your photos are lovely again, I think my favourite is the one of the Forget-me-nots, beautiful!

    Now I have a guilty confession to make! Due to my husband's illness the Campion seeds you so kindly sent me last year didn't get planted :( I feel so bad after the time and trouble (and postage expense) you went to but I wondered if I was to plant them soon, do you think they will flower next year? And after that I am going to be cheeky and say I would love some of your Ragged Robin seeds if you can spare them!

    Have a lovely weekend Cheryl :)

  6. Hi Jan
    Thank you once again for your kind comments.

    I would try the red campion now. Although it is a little late, they do flower until the first frosts. If they are not successful let me know and I will send you some more. It would be a pleasure to send the ragged robin seeds.
    They are such a delightful little flower.....and as they are declining in the countryside, our gardens are becoming more important to them.
    I walked Nella today, and found some of my wildflowers blooming in the verges. So exciting. Every little helps!!

  7. Beautiful new flowers. If I were a butterfly, I would surely visit them.

  8. OH Wonderful! Everything, and the butterflies! What a thrill! Time is flying here in the southern US! Baby birds are leaving the nest, butterflies and a corn snake was spotted in the field! I'm very happy to see all the beautiful things growing!

  9. Hi Eve,

    This time of year is always so fleeting...or am I getting older perhaps.
    There is so much to see, sometimes it is difficult to take it all in.

    Happy May Eve

  10. I also find this time of year fleeting. Actually, it seems time just flies no matter what time of year it is!

    That piece of wood caught my eye right away. Such a treasure from dear little Riley. You wonder what goes through their little minds when they see something and think of you. Or maybe he just thought it would look nice somewhere in your garden.

    You have so many interesting plants; such a lot of hard work goes into gardening and the plants respond to a nurturing touch.
    What a cool name for a butterfly - Brimstone! I like that.

  11. Dear Cheryl,
    Brimstone is gorgeous! Growing the wildflowers is best .....
    the butterflies do love them. Lots of host plants too I bet in your Woodland gardens. Ragged Robin is delicate looking.
    Being connected to your Great-grandmother through the wildflowers touches me deeply.