• Bridgette Macilwaine

Wildflowers & pollinators

Colourful flowers in the garden are not simply for adding beauty and putting a smile on our faces everyday, they play a very important role in the life cycle of plants and supporting local biodiversity which attract pollinators to your garden or allotment and help produce vegetables and fruit.

Pollination usually occurs naturally when insects, birds, small animals and wind transfer pollen from the male part of the flower (anthers) to the female part of the flower (stigma)


It's very rewarding to know that we can create a garden space which not only thrives in your area, but also supports your local biodiversity and is a pollinator friendly garden. A space which will invite a wide array of insects, bees, butterflies and birds, watching these jump from plant to plant on a beautiful sunny day helps to remind us how important it is to take care of what is left.





The 2 images above are great additions to any wildflower area, these can be found growing all over the community allotment, and are quite often left in their space if that area allows, depending on what will be planted there next.


The image on the left is a Mallow plant, known as Malva sylvestris, it has long been used for its medicinal properties, such as treating inflammation, respiratory and digestive problems, and its ability to soothe and heal skin. Rather than being looked upon as a weed, this attractive plant with soft purple flowers is loved by bumble bees, honey bees, and a good range of solitary bee species.


The image on the right is a comfrey plant with the tiny bell-shaped flowers bloom in the late spring in clusters off of drooping stems. They can grow up to 90cm tall and often attract bees and other pollinators. Comfrey is easy to grow and requires very little maintenance, although the mature plants grow an extensive root system, which includes a deep taproot to allow them to efficiently obtain nutrients from deep below - this is also what labels the plant as an amazing choice for green manure and natural compost.


Keep in mind, that because of this extensive root system, it also makes these plants difficult to eradicate if you ever want to remove them. At the community allotment we happily let them grow as the wildlife love them and the leaves are regularly used for their high nutrient value.


The row of images above shows poppy plants, these are definitely a great addition to the garden and will grow in most soil conditions, letting them flower and seed as part of your wildflower garden area. Poppies have an abundance of pollen for bees, hoverflies and other pollen dependant insects, so we can happily grow these for their beauty as well as knowing they are encouraging wildlife to the garden too.


🌱 HANDY HINT:

Create a garden space which not only thrives in your area, but also supports your local biodiversity and is a pollinator friendly garden


The few pictures above are showing a range of others flowers from across the allotment site, a group of vegetable plants which have been left to flower, an attractive collection of flowers for the communal seating area, adding wonderful colour and aromas to the social areas and the beautiful cherry tree in bloom.

 


Thanks for reading 🙂🌱 if you have any community gardening stories or experiences, we would love to hear from you!