Mother Nature and the Wildflower Patch

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My garden is looking pretty good for its first year. It is obviously a very young garden but I have some lovely colours going on. The buddleia, sweet peas, dianthus, geranium and daisies are all looking splendid. As I stroll further down the garden I can see small green and red apples on the apple trees, young plums and damsons and one fledgling pear.

Then I get to my wildflower patch. And this? Well. It has just not happened. It is my biggest disappointment this year. Well, my only disappointment. I put so much hard work into it and my hands - and back - have still not properly recovered. It just hasn’t gone the way I wanted as I’ve had a run of bad luck. Mother Nature, as is her want, and her right, has decided that the ants and the slugs were more deserving of the wildflower seeds and seedlings than anyone or anything else.

I put two lots of seed down. The first batch did nothing and, after many weeks, I realised nothing was ever going to happen. On closer inspection I found two ants’ nests. Which explained that. So I tried another batch of seeds. And this time, to my great excitement, seedlings began to appear. As did the slugs. I could have wept.

However, in the last week or so flowers, the slow starters who hid from the slugs, have gradually made an appearance. Not many. But a few. They are blue and purple and rather pretty. Because I got despondent with it all the nettles have also grown amongst the wildflowers along with thistles. I’ve been through and weeded but even so, it’s not what I’d hoped for.

Yet closer to the house I have some amazing cornflowers. I love the colour of them, it is such a shame you don’t see as many out in the wild anymore.

The insects, however, are not going hungry. In and around our field are nettles with flowery beards, thistles with purple crowns, white clover and patches of some rather gorgeous purple clover. My five-year-old daughter and I went exploring earlier today for insects, or rather mini beasts - as she calls them. We’ve seen caterpillars, all sorts of butterflies, all types of bees, hover flies, pollen beetles, and ants. And these are the ones I can name. So despite my wildflower patch not behaving we still have the buzzing and the fluttering of insects hard at work.

On another positive note we did have big patches of sunny buttercups in the field. Instead of mowing over them we left a few pretty circles.  Unlike digging the soil and preparing for the scattering of wildflower seeds this meant no work at all. In fact, it saved us work.

So I’m now thinking about how I’d tackle it differently next year. Despondent I may be. But I’m not giving up.

Thanks for reading,