Watling Gardens – Our new flowers/plants and their benefits!
Did you know that over 95% of UK wildlife meadows have been destroyed as a result of intensive modern farming (DEFRA). That the UK has lost 44 millions birds since 1966 including 60% of house sparrows - of particular concern as they’re one of the few species that thrive in the city (RSPB). Not forgetting to mention the ongoing deterioration of suitable butterfly habitat: butterflies not only being totally beautiful, but of value for their importance as an indicator of the general health of the environment around us.
So the question is, can we do anything to help with this here in Watling Gardens? And the answer is, we already have!
This Summer, we created four new beds which we filled with a mass of plants which are not only very colourful, but each be of benefit to butterflies and bees and friendly local wildlife in general, and good for the environment. Below is a list of some of the benefits of the new plants. Please see the planting plan for where to find them!
Out Planting List
English lavender: A bird, butterfly and bee, nectar plant. Used since the 16th as a medicinal helper. Breathe in it’s lovely aroma.
Michaelmas daisy: Provides late Summer beautiful purple flowers and a good Winter feed for birds
Angelica: Gorgeous not only architectural but help attract benefit insects such as lacewings
Teasels: Fiches love their seed heads in early Winter. They look beautiful frosted and their seedheads are valuable for insects to take shelter in during the winter
Escallonia: A bee, butterfly nectar and moth nectar plant. Attractive to adult butterflies such as Common blue
Sea holly: Watch out late next Spring for its superb foliage and grey green leaves. Butterflies bees and birds love this plant with its violet stems
Sedum: Often covered in butterflies such as the Comma, Orange tip, Painted lady, Peacock and Red admiral when in flower. Provides a great source of early Autumn nectar and interest.
Thyme and mint: Provide a good feeding station for moths who need to refuel with the nectar they need. We also love thyme for its aroma, taste and for the fact that it is a preferred nectar source for the small Toirtoseshell butterfly
Cosmos: as seen at last year’s Olympic park. Don’t you just love the frilly leaves. They are an annual plant which means they will need to be replanted next year.
Yarrow: Attracts insects with nectar and pollen and also provides shelter and homes for beneficial insects. A great source of food for caterpillars. A magnet for hoverflies ladybirds and lacewings. We have planted many different coloured yarrows can u see in the beds.
Pretty pervoskia: Russian sage. A beautiful floaty, purple plant which also attracts honeybees
Nasturtiums: Not only are the peppery tasting petals edible, but they are a host plant for feeding Green veined white butterfly breeding.
Buddleia: How many different coloured buddlejas can you spot in garden. Loved by 18 species of butterflies from common blue to red admirals!
Foxgloves: A bee and moth caterpillar feeding plant. Used by the Lesser yellow underwing. Verbena bonariensis: A valuable plant providing late Autumn nectar with it’s pretty purple flowers.
Dogwood: We just love ‘em for their red branches in winter when no other colour is around, and for the fact that they are a larval food plant and a habitat for the Green hairstreak butterfly
Agastache: Bee friendly. Mint and liquorise scented flowers
Liatris spicata: Loved by red admiral butterflies and is a preferred nectar source for Small skipper, Common blue and Painted lady butterflies.
Scabiosa: Produces butterfly blue pin cushion flowers June-sept.
Pennisetum: Butterflies ranging from Silver spotted skipper to Meadow brown love to rest and snooze in long grasses like these
Marigold: A great pest control plant. Edible petals.
Echinacea: A late pollen provider. When protein rich seed ripens they are gathered by finches and other seed loving birds
Bronze Fennel: Loved by hoverflies…