The Keevil Wildflower Project is an initiative of the Keevil WI that began in October 2021.
Bluebells, foxgloves and primroses have been planted, wildflower seeds have been sown, and the grass and existing wild flowers are allowed to grow and set seed, helping bees and other pollinators. It may look a bit untidy sometimes, but the wildlife loves it! And anyone can try it in their own garden.
See below for regular updates and pictures….
The Wildflower Project Area by the pond is going well. It’s not as colourful as it was a few weeks ago because many of the flowers have been pollinated and have now set seed. The wildflower mats are not looking so promising, but perhaps it is early days for them; we hope that they will bloom a bit later, and we’ll let you know!
It is good to see some of you have taken part in no-mow May, and some are letting it ‘bloom in June‘ so they can have a ‘knee-high July‘ in parts of the garden. This is what we are doing at the pond, and the pollinating insects seem to be thriving there. This in turn is great for all sorts of other wildlife.
No-mow May has allowed some lovely orchids to grow once again in our gardens during June. Isn’t it amazing what is trying to grow, if only we can allow it a bit of space to do so!
As well as our wild flower mats now ‘leafing up’, other flowers coming up in our wild patch near the pond include Queen Anne’s lace, pink campion, meadow buttercup, white dead-nettle, bugle and, of course, our precious native bluebells. The UK’s woodlands contain 50% of the world’s population of the bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta – this is the lovely deep blue/violet coloured bluebell that is native here. However, the paler and more vigorous Spanish bluebell Hyacinthoides hispanica was introduced by the Victorians and is in many of our gardens. This Spanish bluebell is overpowering our native bluebells in urban areas, hybridising with it and producing paler and inferior bluebells. So, if you want to plant bluebells in your garden be sure to choose the native variety, and help prevent the Spanish invasive bluebell from spreading. For more information go to www.wildlifetrusts.org.
Thanks to everyone who has helped with the Wildflower Project so far, including Robin Worrall for the design of our logo!
This pyramidal orchid was observed on the front lawn of the Raseys’ garden last May. They were observing a ‘No Mow May’ and plan to do it again this year. How about locking up your lawnmowers from 1st May to give the wild flowers in your lawn a chance to bloom? More details can be found at plantlife.org.uk.
In the meantime, the repositioned bench at the pond is providing a relaxing haven and an opportunity to observe the spring wild flowers plus wildlife.
Planning is underway for the next stage of the wildflower project. We are going to plant snowdrops in a month or so and wildflower mats are being purchased to be laid in front of the bench. We are also looking at how we can make our own gardens wildflower-friendly and in so doing benefit wildlife.
Perhaps you can join us by planning to nurture a section of your garden this year, for example by leaving it unmown and sowing wildflower seeds, or even reducing the numbers of grass cuts. Eliminating chemicals is also beneficial for wildlife.
The bench has now been moved further forward facing the pond and the area has been strimmed. A path on the bank has also been mown to improve accessibility. A big thank you to the Shed for their hard work!
Sixty native bluebell bulbs, primroses and some foxgloves have been planted in the shady area under the tree. Two of the younger Keevil residents were on hand to provide much appreciated assistance. There are plans for more wildflowers in the spring.
Link here to Wiltshire Council’s Community Environmental Toolkit