Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Plant a Wildflower Garden



Its a new year and Spring is just about to arrive. What projects will be done  in our school garden this year. 
Through out the year Griffins will give tips on various topics that maybe of interest in your school. 
Our first one for 2018 is Wild Flower meadows in schools and communities.

Is there an area in your school garden that is perfect for a wildflower meadow or can it be grown along the verge of the pitch or path. Can we create a pollinator corridor  in an area of the garden. 
These maybe a few questions that you may like to consider.  



The vibrant colour and low maintenance required for a wild flower seed meadow are the main reasons why wild flower meadows have grown in popularity of the years. Many communities, tidy town and schools are now creating wild flower meadows through out the communities. With signs up saying Messages like "Don't mow let it Grow" . 
These areas create a haven for our pollinators and wildlife.  Many gardeners are including a wild flower area in their gardens, especially in areas hard to mow with your lawnmower or along ditches.  
Such a pretty way to attract the bees and butterflies.
Follow these easy guidelines below and prepare the soil properly to create your own wildflower meadow. 




Site
When choosing the area you would like to plant it is worth considering if the prevailing winds will blow the seeds from the wild flowers onto the lawn. This is one thing that you do not want to happen as some of the flowers may seed in your lawn creating a problem later on. If it is a shady area under trees, choose a shade loving seed mix.   


Preparation: Unfortunately, just throwing out a few seeds won’t produce the desired results. You will need to prepare the soil. The main Objection is to remove any plantation that will compete with the wildflower. Remove all the wild grass and weeds like nettles etc. For small areas, remove weeds by hand or cover with black plastic or a weed-suppressing membrane for a few months prior to sowing.lightly dig over the ground to loosen the soil and rake.
When choosing the seed, I would recommend mixing both an annual seed and perennial seed mix. The results are much better. In most areas, it is much easier to spread the seeds by hand as you will have a better control. read the instructions on the box of seeds for best advice on rates of seeds per sq m . Its unlikely here in cork, but if required you may need to water the ground during dry periods until the plans become established. Afterwards keep an look out for weeds too and remove them as quickly as possible. 

Upcycle probably the easiest way to do it in a school.
Creative Wild flower Containers.
Wild flowers will grow very well in containers and Pots. It is a great way to upcycle  an old wheelbarrow , bath or Container. Always ensure there is good drainage holes in the container and a layer of horticultural Grit at the bottom to ensure excess water will drain away. Then fill with a mixture of compost and grit and sow your wildflower seeds. Always mix both annuals and perennial flower seeds to ensure a vibrant display each year.


Make your own Wildflower Guerilla Seed Bombs with Children:


This is a fun way to get children interested in gardening. There is something satisfying about the idea of tossing seeds of wild flowers  into wasteland with the hope that it will magically turn into a flowery meadow and it is so easy to do.


To make the seed bombs, the ingredients are simple: Clay/soil, Compost, water and a pinch of seeds. Mix equal parts compost  with clay / soil with a little bit of water until you have a dough that sticks together but is not soggy. Next press your finger into the ball to create a bowl shape. This is where you will place a pinch of wildflower seeds. Gently roll the seed into the inside of the ball and set aside.  The seed bombs can be left out for a couple of hours or days to firm up. Afterwards They should then be stored in a plastic bag in a cool place until you and the children are ready to engage in your guerilla seed bombing action. Fling the seed Bombs into wasteland at the bottom of the garden or along the road. Don't forget if its not your land ask the owner if its ok to colour their world with Flowers. I would recommend a pollinator friendly mix of wild seeds . The bees will be buzzing with Joy.



 Pasáiste na bPailneoirí:  Pollinator Corridor
a carpet of wild flowers:  brat bláthanna fiáine
Colour your world:  cuir dath id shaol



Climate Change and Gardening
Gardening is a great way to reduce Your Carbon footprint . Part of Climate Change Soloution

Did you know when you plant tree and Plants they eat up Carbon dioxide. There are many ways how gardening helps reduce our Carbon footprint. Can you think of Any.
Here is 1 idea to get you started :
 Use planters and containers made from upcycled materials.  Planted up tyres instead of dumping them.


If there is any topic you would like covered in  this blog, Please feel free to email us on info@griffinsgardencentre.ie



Are you looking for seed Pots to Plant up your seeds. Griffins have used compostable Takeaway coffee cups : free to A good Gardening. Pop into griffins and Pick up some Compostable Cups.


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