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Comment from Candy Blackham

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I have planted a new hedge which is next to a pavement and very bare around the edges - I know it will eventually thicken out - and so would like to plant some wild flowers along its 'feet'. They will need to be reasonably robust and substantial; I also plan to put in some bulbs in the autumn. Are there any suggestions?

  • Views: 1040
  • Replies: 7
  • Posted: Tue. 22nd March 2011 08:23

Re: Wildflowers

Reply from Barry Tabor

Hello, Candy,
I am very surprised that your question has attracted no replies. I do not know if you still need info., after so long a wait, but if so, I would want to suggest that the plants that do best in that situation are the 'woodland edge' species and woodland plants. Probably the hedge is deciduous and you would do well to have early spring plants like primroses and bulbs like bluebells, depending on the aspect. Early plants are going dormant by the time the hedge is casting deep shade and the soil is dried out (as are most woodland floor plants in natural surroundings). If there is sun at the base of your hedge later in the year, Geranium pratense is a handsome, long flowering plant. Some native plants are thugs and will crowd out the smaller more delicate natives, unless they start into growth after your native flowers have begun to die back. Take a look at the listed contents of some commercially available wildflower seed mixtures recommended for woods and woodland edges, pick some you like, check flowering times and sort out which will suit the aspect you have. If you are still in doubt or need more info., please do not hesitate to ask me again, perhaps giving more details of soil, aspect and driness . Good luck - I think not much looks better than a nice display of primroses and English bluebells in early spring, and grasses and geraniums later, but there are native plants to suit all tastes and most situations...... I was once told that Primula vulgaris seed is more valuable, weight for weight than platinum, so do not go ordering an ounce of the seed, which would quite literally contain millions of seeds. If it is a Leylandia hedge, you are banging your head against a brick wall.
Barry

  • Posted: Tue. 9th August 2011 10:21

Re: Re: Wildflowers

Reply from Candy Blackham

Dear Barry
Thank you very much for your response. The hedges are all south-facing and I am planting them differently. The first one, on the pavement, includes both evergreen and deciduous plants. It is hot and dry. I have planted some primroses, which are doing ok, and some ox-eye daisies which are happy. A bladder campion has appeared and I have planted its seeds. There is also cinquefoil, bugle and wild marjoram. I have another small section of hedging in front of which I have planted stipa tenuississima and bergenias. The ground is clay, but has been enriched. I am not sure bluebells will be happy but wait to hear your further thoughts. Suggestions much appreciated. I have posted some up to date pictures of the garden, but not the hedging yet. Thank you! Candy

  • Posted: Tue. 9th August 2011 13:45

Re: Re: Re: Wildflowers

Reply from Barry Tabor

Thanks for such a rapid response, Candy, and your photos are beautiful. I think bluebells would be worth a try, especially if you put them a bit out from under the deciduous part of your hedge, but you might be right. South facing might be a bit blistering for them. The campion (we got a similar gift from our feathered fiends last year) and those others that you mention will establish well, I expect, and 'naturally' planted wildflowers are a real joy. The only parts that might be hard to colonise are the bits beside evergreens, but something will turn up! I saw pictures of a wildflower garden that included some docks, cow-parsley and nettles, and it was interesting if not beautiful in the normal sense of the word as applied to gardens. I am not suggesting cow-parsley, but nettles are good for butterflies and some docks are really quite ppretty as young plants and in seed. Everyone has their own preferences, and it would be nice to see photos of the hedge bottoms when you are ready to share them. Did I mention poppies and cornflowers. Pilosella (it used to be Hieraceum) aurantiacum is also pretty, and a bit unusual even now. I think it is a native ......
Thanks.
Barry

  • Posted: Wed. 10th August 2011 07:29

Re: Re: Re: Re: Wildflowers

Reply from Candy Blackham

Thanks Barry! I have made a list and will investigate/take action. I have found a very useful site, www.wildflowerfinder.org.uk, and have identified hawkweeds as Pilosella. And British Wildflower Plants is in Norfolk and I will no doubt find my way there at some point.
Best wishes
Candy

  • Posted: Wed. 10th August 2011 07:57

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wildflowers

Reply from Barry Tabor

Might see you there, then!
Barry

  • Posted: Wed. 10th August 2011 08:14

Re: Re: Wildflowers

Reply from Candy Blackham

Dear Barry
Wildflowers are now waiting for the spring, but I have posted a picture of the garden in its final flourish before the winter
Candy

  • Posted: Mon. 17th October 2011 17:33

Re: Re: Re: Wildflowers

Reply from Barry Tabor

Good Morning, Candy - not a very warm one, unfortunately!
We have bluebells right against a west-facing wall under an overhanging projection, which means that they get no direct rain, and very little blown their way by the wind, but they are in gravel, which helps, and they flower well, and the clump gets a little bigger each year. You mention hawkweed (was Hieraceum, now Pilosella, as you rightly point out) and it is an interesting plant in its own right, and is a worthy addition wherever it will fit in, so long as you don't mind it spreading its seeds around downwind for a mile or two. The most beautiful must be P aurantiacum - not always easy to get, but quick to make itself at home when you have it. Not an English native, unfortunately, but near enough that I use it (prolifically, in places). It has that rare virtue of being a clear and deep orange colour. Anemone nemorosa might work for you, and it is certainly found growing wild at some English woodland edges, but strictly praking, it isn't a native, according to the purists. I use it and enjoy it, but I'm not a purist ..........
Barry

  • Posted: Tue. 18th October 2011 07:33