mix of wild flowers

Thank you all for your comments, and for now I’d like to answer Sue about the wild flowers I intend to plant at the foot of the new hedge.

Was I really right in calling them wild flowers ? At least it’s the feeling you get when they’re all in bloom, jam packed and tall in long beds. I got the idea with the trend now in urban areas to fill in whole borders, normally flanking roads or roundabouts, so as to give a countryside effect and of course encouraging lots of insects and birds and small mammals to benefit from it, in a frenzy of life cycle thing…

So I actually bought ready made mix from my local garden centre.

One is called “specific mix for banks” (I figured out I would get a tiny slope after the removal of the conifers – I knew my garden was higher than the street level). It is composed of 27 flowers (!) and in particular Eruca sativa, Calendula officinalis, Papaver rhoeas, Matricaria officinalis. They are resistant to dry spells and yes, even in the north of France we get dry spells, at the moment for example, there are floods in the south but here not a drop of water for a week, and no sign of it for next week.This mix is to be sown preferably now, but can be sown from March to June as well.

The other mix I got is called ‘Orient’, and is composed of 25 flowers among which Anethum, Helianthus annuus, Cosmos sulphureus, Scarbiosa atropurpurea. It’s a promise of a whole summer of flowers, I’ll make sure of that ! To be planted from March to June.

The main advantage of planting wild flowers along hedges, is that it cuts down the dreaded weeding operation ! And again, it encourages wildlife.

Concerning the new hedge, I am delaying the posting of a photo of the new planting because… well the tree surgeons didn’t do a very good job with it. One could argue it’s not their speciality, I agree, but why then did the company let them do the planting instead of hiring a proper gardener ? It’s a lesson learnt : hire a tree surgeon to cut your trees, then call in another company specialized in plants for planting.

Yesterday I called in my friend Hervé who teaches plants and planting techniques at my lycée, and he gave us good advice and a long list of the plants we had to move, or simply get rid of ! Yes, you read properly : he said some of them like for example the Eleagnus ebengii were monsters-to-be that had no justification in a hedge like mine.  Also the planting was much too dense (hardly 80 cms between 2 plants, when they’re supposed to reach 2m in diameter !), too close to the fence – for the Witch hazel in particular. Mainly what he reproached the tree surgeons to have done, was to have chosen shrubs or small trees that were all the same height, planted in a line. He advocated for an alternation of height and a wavy planting, and of course to remove a least one shrub out of two.

So what we’re trying to do this weekend, is to find room somewhere else in the garden to plant the “rejects”. More about it tomorrow !

PS : Hervé gave us plants from his own garden last night; so it’s even trickier to find room for eveyone !


Nov 12, 2011

6 comments to mix of wild flowers

  • Hubby

    When do we have to plant these wild flowers by the way ?

    • Céline

      well I thought I would do it this Friday as the weather forecast said we may have some rain ; I figured out the mix would stick better to the slope… what do you think ?

  • Chrissy Maddening

    Maybe you should mix the seeds in a bucket full of peat/compostand then sprinkle it on top of the bank and lightly trowel in the seed mix to the top soil – normally you dont have to plant too deep these things. With some rain it will surely be better and then you will not run teh risk of them getting blown away in the wind.

  • Patricia

    Did you finish the wild flower sowing ?
    And did you truly go along all 4O metres of that border where your new hedge is ?

    • Well…I ttaloly agree and understand you… I’m in the same situation. We just moved to our new house and although the garden was lovely, we still had to do a lot of work. Our garden is wild, but there is still plenty of work even if it looks like the nature is the only designer of it:)Have a great summer!

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