My most enjoyable lockdown project was planting a wildflower meadow in a flower bed. This was a baby step towards biodiversity and I hope to scale it up in years to come. Growing something so attractive from seeds is a joy unparalleled by any other.
I urge all gardeners to promote natural habitats for the following reasons:
- Plant diversity encourages birds, bees, butterflies, spiders, millipedes and insects and they all have a big role to play in our ecosystem (say ‘No’ to pesticides)
- Wild flowers add a splash of color to your garden for months with minimal care (Now, who doesn’t love low maintenance flowers???…)
- Having a slice of the countryside is so charming and it warms the heart more than a cup of hot chocolate does (You know what I mean 😊..)
- Its great fun to collect seeds for next year with your children (Children who love plants and animals make compassionate adults and this we owe to the future generations)
- You don’t need to own a farmland to experience the beauty of wild flowers; they will thrive even in a small pot (intent is everything)
- Wild meadows are a welcome change from straight borders, flowers planted like soldiers and assembly line mass produced blooms (Keeping it natural is far more rewarding and less back breaking than maintaining perfectly manicured gardens)
I read the book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson as a young girl. The book documented the adverse environmental effects caused by the use of pesticides. I noticed that my father actually never used any insecticides or pesticides despite having mango orchards, massive potato fields, large pumpkin patches and several other vegetables growing in the fields; something that most neighbouring farmers were quickly getting used to. He was conservative and I guess it paid off. I am proud to say that all our produce is healthy and abundant without any chemical treatment. Coming back to my wild patch; the calendulas were being eaten by slugs and snails and I won’t say I didn’t contemplate using organic slug pellets but then I remembered the book that I read so many years ago. It stayed with me and had a profound impact. I watched the slugs night after night; some I lifted and set free in a nearby field (something tells me they found their way back home 😉..) However, despite all the chomping, buds formed and life happened.
Moral of the story: Life will find a way!