It’s the time of year when we reflect on what’s gone by and what’s to come in the garden
While the forecasts remain gloomy about global warming, there are some signs of hope for your garden. The message is that if we use more native plants, we could reap some big benefits.
We know that bees are having a hard time at the moment, with entire colonies collapsing. Insects are the foundation of our ecosystem and the UN has warned that 40% of all pollinators – particularly bees and butterflies – risk global extinction. By selecting insect friendly plants for the garden, we can do something to help redress the balance.
If we are trying to encourage more wildlife into the garden, then we must be a little more relaxed about being too tidy. Let a small part go wild to support insect life. You could also allow part of the lawn to forego its regular haircut and, inserting native self-seeding plants such as poppies and daisies will enhance the effect.
Follow the moon
Another new discussion that has appeared in The Garden Media 2019 Garden Trends Report – a weighty tome that I have been reading – is that in the States more gardeners are following the age-old belief that phases of the moon can affect plant growth. According to an Old Farmer’s Almanac tradition, here’s how it works:
Plant annuals and vegetables that bear crops above ground during the waxing moon – that’s from the day the moon is new to the day that it is full. Plant flowering bulbs, perennials, biennials and vegetables that bear crops below the ground during the waning moon – from the day after it is full to the day before it is new again.
And sticking with moonlight, if you spend a lot of night time in your garden, flowers and plants that glow at night will bring your garden to life. Light coloured plants such as lamb’s ear, white echinacea, white muscari or any other white flower will reflect moonlight and give the night garden a lovely glow. You can also protect your revelers from biting insects with white marigolds, lavender and rosemary.
And while we’re talking trends, it appears that in the US mint is now being hailed as the great multi-tasking plant – as a feed for chickens, warding off biting insects, aiding digestion, freshening the breath, raising mental awareness and increasing heart vitality. All I can advise is please put this easy to grow plant into a pot and then plant both in the ground. Otherwise your mint will take over.