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Miriam Mesa-Villalba's forum posts

Total number of forum posts: 185

Scabiosa columbaria

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

It is a chalk and limestone grassland plant.The late summer to autumn-flowering small scabious is attractive to bees and butterflies and looks good in a border or wildflower meadow.

  • Posted: Wed. 24th June 2009 19:32

Tilia cordata

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

Limes become infested with aphids in summer and these cause sticky 'honeydew' to drip on to the ground or anything else! below. Caution should therefore be exercised when deciding where to plant this tree. Limes are reputed to produce the best honey and the flowers do attract bees. However, this large tree which has the RHS's Award of Garden Merit is really suitable only for the larger garden.

  • Posted: Wed. 24th June 2009 19:28

Papaver rhoeas

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

Common poppy has no nectar but the flowers provide pollen for bees. Beetles feed in the seed capsules and some species may overwinter here when the capsules are empty: a good reason for leaving them when the flowers are over.

  • Posted: Sat. 20th June 2009 19:45

Prunella vulgaris

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

Selfheal is a woodland and grassland plant which would do well as groundcover in the front of a border or in a meadow or woodland edge situation. As the name suggests, it was once widely used in herbal medicine. It is generally pollinated by bees.

  • Posted: Sat. 20th June 2009 19:40

Crambe maritima

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

Sea-kale was once extensively cultivated as a vegetable, so much so that it was even exported. The young shoots are blanched under pots to reduce bitterness. They can then be picked and served like spinach. The caterpillars of the large and small white butterflies will feed on sea-kale.

  • Posted: Sat. 20th June 2009 19:38

Pinus sylvestris

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

These magnificent trees are of course unsuitable for small or medium-sized gardens but several small birds eat the seeds. This is one of only a handful of species of conifers native to Britain although many other pines, spruces and larches have been widely planted for forestry purposes.

  • Posted: Sat. 20th June 2009 19:32

Phacelia tanacetifolia

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

The Phacelia family comes from the Americas, with most species originating in California. Like most of the other 150 or so species, this one is an annual. The lavender-coloured flowers are extremely attractive to bees, as it is a good source of both nectar and pollen. It has a use as a green manure and has also been planted in field margins to attract hoverflies which then act as a biological control of pest species affecting crops.

  • Posted: Fri. 19th June 2009 18:17

Sanguisorba minor

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

When crushed, these leaves smell of cucumbers and can be used in salads. The plant will form large clumps over time and attracts many different insects. As it seeds freely, it can be quite invasive in an open border, but it is a good plant for a short meadow as it is quite tolerant of mowing.

  • Posted: Fri. 19th June 2009 18:12

Mentha suaveolens

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

Its flowers are very attractive to butterflies, including the small tortoiseshell shown in the photograph. It is a native of moist banks in the south-west, but occurs elsewhere as a naturalised garden plant. It is one of the less invasive mints, but still needs plenty of space to grow.

  • Posted: Fri. 19th June 2009 18:06

Poa trivialis

from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

The rough meadow grass can be separated from its close relatives by the large transparent sheath or ligule at the base of the stem leaves. This is the food plant of the caterpillars of several butterflies including small heath - which may visit gardens occasionally - and also of meadow brown and gatekeeper which do so commonly.

  • Posted: Fri. 19th June 2009 18:02