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Free Form Garden

(29 Posts)
Nonu Thu 20-Jun-13 21:18:35

I was reading in the paper , that the gardening experts are urging us to let our gardens be more "natural".

I am in favour of that big time ,. if something self seeds in my garden I just leave it be . My garden is not untidy by any means , but it is not perfectly laid out either . I do try to let nature take it"s course.

merlotgran Thu 20-Jun-13 21:22:26

My large garden is nothing if not wild natural. The older I get the more I'm having to leave some areas to fend for themselves with just a bit of maintenance. The delphiniums were covered in bees yesterday so that's good.

Aka Thu 20-Jun-13 21:26:55

Glad to hear Merlot that you have lots of bees. I've been worried about the lack of bees in my garden this year. Usually the foxgloves are a hive of activity, but this year nothing. The only thing on my delphiniums tonight were snails. I picked 10 off one plant.

Nonu Thu 20-Jun-13 21:28:02

Nonsense , Merlot you can"t be old ,

Leave the garden to get on with it , otherwise get a young sexy gardener to attend to things !!

merlotgran Thu 20-Jun-13 21:44:20

Ha Ha, Nonu, DH has help with the heavy work every Thursday afternoon. Mostly hedge trimming at this time of the year so maybe it's about time I got myself a sexy young gardener. wink

Sook Thu 20-Jun-13 21:51:00

Shades of Desperate Housewives merlot grin.

merlotgran Thu 20-Jun-13 21:57:11

grin Sook. I would expect a lot the garden of course.

merlotgran Thu 20-Jun-13 21:57:59

No aphids this year. Haven't seen a single ladybird sad

Nonu Thu 20-Jun-13 22:33:32

Merlot .

Sexy gardening help , [give MR. M a rest] and ladybirds if you lucky , what more could a girl want ? smile

nanaej Thu 20-Jun-13 23:19:50

My brand new garden is filling out nicely. This is helped by the grandchildren who sprinkled handfuls of poppy, calendula, cornflower, aster and nigella in between the designers carefully planted perennials and shrubs. This means I have a good basic design that can naturalise nicely! wink

Bags Fri 21-Jun-13 06:06:36

merlot, I hope some of them were honey bees. My cotoneasters are covered in bees too, but none of them are honey bees. This year I'm seeing wasps on them too –presumably looking for tiny insects in the flowers rather than nectar.

There is something I don't recognise growing out of one of my compost heaps. I'm waiting for it to reveal itself...

Orchid count so far this year: 4. Two are in the same place as last year; two are newies.

JessM Fri 21-Jun-13 06:51:15

Mine is planted with bumble bees etc in mind, but they are very few this year. Fruit farmers are predicting good apple crops etc this year due to cool spring but we shall see.
Bees like short tubular flowers like lavender.

Aka Fri 21-Jun-13 07:30:02

Yes, the lavender, when it flowers will be the ultimate test Jess that is normally swarming with bees. I agree about the tubular flowers which is why I mentioned foxgloves. Very worrying. I'd love to have a hive at the bottom of the garden. Has anyone on GN any experience of bee keeping?

mollie Fri 21-Jun-13 07:34:11

I've got lots of bees (don't know which type) on the blue geraniums and I've seen a few ladybirds so they are about...

This year I've noticed lots of self-seeded plants, particularly achimilla mollis that has filled in lots of gaps in the flower beds and on the paving. Cornflowers are everywhere just now. It feels like a gift from the garden and I'm very grateful - this is a new garden (this is the fourth summer) and it's taken a lot of money and effort to plant up but this year, despite the harsh winter and spring, it's looking wonderful! All those gaps I worried about last year have magically disappeared!

Sook Fri 21-Jun-13 07:51:32

I think every town and village should have wild flower designated areas to encourage insects and wildlife, they look so pretty too. I have noticed several roadside plots just across the border in Staffordshire.

Just a couple of weeks ago there were lovely natural areas of wild flowers in the local churchyard..........Then some do gooder decided to hack them down in order to tidy up for the village wakes angry I did complain but it fell on deaf ears.

I can't say I have noticed many bees, butterflys or ladybirds in the garden so far.

Butty Fri 21-Jun-13 07:57:46

I like this idea
A scented lawn to encourage bees. Looks pretty, too.

shysal Fri 21-Jun-13 08:33:09

I love it Butty! I notice he had sprinklers going in the background, I avoid watering where possible. In the car park which serves my row of houses there is a patch of rubble-filled waste ground on a slope. My neighbour and I are gradually adding seeds and plants, but the dandelions and buttercups predominate. I put an edging of lavender in last week which should bring in bees. We are growing-on some ground cover plants from division and cuttings, so when the blister on my trowel hand heals (almost impossible to dig even small plant holes), and after much needed rain, I shall continue.

Butty Fri 21-Jun-13 08:38:02

What a good idea, shysal. smile

Bags Fri 21-Jun-13 08:47:37

Maybe you could become a pothole gardener too, shysal smile

JessM Fri 21-Jun-13 08:49:33

I did see that Butty. Wondered if it would be hard wearing enough? I have heard that camomile lawns not nearly as tough as grass? You have to have the right kind of low nutrient soil don't you to get hay meadow flowers to bloom. Otherwise the nutrient-hungry grasses will take over.

shysal Fri 21-Jun-13 09:30:34

Bags, I did collect together the stuff for a pothole garden with GCs, but couldn't find a suitable position away from traffic, so they ended up making a garden in a tray instead. I have put photos on my profile. GCs were adamant that I was not to tweek it!

Butty Fri 21-Jun-13 09:36:17

The tray garden photos are super, shysal. The sunny yellow lounger is a nice touch!

Bags Fri 21-Jun-13 09:42:30

Lovely! smile

annodomini Fri 21-Jun-13 09:43:41

I like the pothole garden, shysal. One of my grandsons likes gardens and I think he would enjoy making one of those. My late-flowering rowan has been heavy with blossom - my car, sitting under it, is covered every morning with tiny white petals and a lot of them have found their way inside - I need to vacuum today. The honey bees have been busy on the flowers and I predict a huge crop of berries this autumn - the yellow ones that the birds ignore until all other sources of nutrient have been exhausted.

Hunt Fri 21-Jun-13 09:43:48

It is possible to have a beehive as a sort of garden lodger. We were asked once by a London beekeeper if we would consider housing one of his hives in our garden. All we had to do was let him put it in the garden and he would do the looking-after. We didn't take up the offer as we were away quite a lot at the time and he would have needed to come and attend to it.