An alternative A-Z of gardening for wildlife, regeneration, and wilding, Part 6

An alternative A-Z of gardening for wildlife, regeneration, and wilding, Part 6

U is for untidiness and unnecessariness – Remember your mindset at the beginning of the Alphabet. You are gardening for wildlife, and it loves a mess of habitats dead and alive. Your job is to manage this mess, harness its beauty, and see wildflowers in the lawn for what they are flowers to be appreciated, and for all the leftover clippings there is compost and those hideaways in the hedges.

V is for voles and vegetables – Under some old, corrugated tin in an area of long grass hide families of voles, along with a toad, a surefire safari stop off when explaining nature to children. The best free nature home you never found in a garden center.  Later in the year, the grass snakes will push out the voles as they lie under the steely warmth.  I call out vegetables because it keeps you alive to the seasons and your healthy garden will need no sprays with all the birds and insects.

W is for willowherb - In addition to the common deep pink flower, there is also a beautiful white and a lighter pink variety. Be careful it is quite invasive, but I grow it for the flowers and for being the food plant of the elephant hawk moth. Another example of a wonderful flower usually denigrated as a weed.

X is for Xcelerate and xecute –Sure I struggled here so I am stylizing the words to say get on with it

Y is for Yellow Rattle and yaffles – Rhinanthus minor (yellow rattle) your most important plant, in the Wildflower meadow parasitising off your grass. We all love a good yaffle stabbing the lawn

Z is for the zoo – You may not realise it, but you already have your own wildlife zoo in the garden, you are just the zoo keeper. Your very own Jonny Morris in your own ‘Animal Kingdom’ 

Good luck


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