Biodiversity is coming to be more and more important to the nation's gardeners, and Monty Don, the beloved presenter of Gardener's World, has been leading the charge for some time. His own garden, Longmeadow in Herefordshire, is home to a host of wildlife friendly features, including a dedicated pond. His latest piece of advice, that we should stop cutting our lawns in an effort to encourage a more diverse ecosystem, is perhaps more controversial for a nation of lawn-lovers.
"One of the things and I and people like me have been banging on about for ages is that cutting grass burns lots of fossil fuel, makes a filthy noise, and is about the most injurious thing you can do to wildlife," he explained to Radio Times magazine. Letting the grass grow, on the other hand, encourages a range of wildlife, including insects, reptiles and small mammals. Don took aim at men in particular, noting that they tend to be obsessed with "controlling rather than embracing, with making a lawn that is pure grass without any filthy and foreign invading plants in there, making sure it's stripy and neat.."
Don's advice coincides with a growing trend for meadow-style lawns. Simply letting the grass grow will allow daisies and dandelions to push through, and if you want a greater range of flowers, you can dig holes in the turf and plant them, either flowers you have grown from seed yourself (wildflower seed collections are widely available, like this one from Crocus), or plug plants that you can buy direct from the nursery (such as this collection from Primrose). It's generally not recommended to sow seeds straight into an existing lawn.
If you want to create a true wildflower meadow, the quickest way is to lay down wildflower turf or meadow turf, which comes pre-sown with a variety of meadow species. Usually a small proportion of grasses and a larger one of flowers are included, with poppies, buttercups, cornflowers, clover and yarrow as popular varieties. And if you can't resist getting the mower out again, mowing a path through your abundant meadow is a delightful way to create a country garden look, even in a small garden.
Feature Image: Pexels
This originally appeared on House & Garden UK | Virginia Clark