There seems to be a split between gardeners in the UK, with some delighting more and more in the wildlife that their garden can attract and others who want to rip everything out and cover it all in astro-turf. It's very sad to see the trend for artificial gardens, hopefully wildlife gardening will ultimately take over entirely. Even a plain lawn is better than astro-turf, but leaving the grass and other plants to grow wild is much more valuable for nature and interesting too, as you find out what grows in your lawn and watch the insects coming in to pollinate the flowers when they bloom!
One of the campaigns happening throughout May is Plantlife's 'No Mow May' which is really easy to take part in, if you have a lawn. You just need to leave your grass as it is and let it grow naturally! Easy! Though in some places this may cause issues with neighbours who are obsessed with tidiness.
Towards the end of May you can then take part in Plantlife's Every Flower Counts survey, which asks you to count the wildflowers in your lawn. The results from lawns across the UK will give an idea of how many bees and other pollinators are supported by our lawns.
You can find out more about these two campaigns by watching this Plantlife webinar (1 hour long) and sign up for Every Flower Counts here.
We don't have a lawn of our own, as our shared garden at the back of our
building is mostly full of trees, brambles and a vegetable patch - the
lawns around the edge are the private properties of people who live in
ground floor flats. If you have a lawn, what's growing there and what insects visitors do you have?
I've promoted this at work on our intranet
Hi Simon, that's great! Hope your colleagues take it up!
We keep our patch mowed but no other special treatment .. it is basically pasture grass and dandelions. Neighbors like to see reasonable kept premises. But lots of native plants and shrubs grow and bloom for a long season at different times and so many insects around. Big fat bumblebees seem to like the dandelions!!
As I think you may know, CGP, our grass is left unmown apart from my 'lockdown shielding path' which had a single small trim early in the year to enable me to use it safely). Admittedly some of the creatures on my garden list were added before we 'said no to the mow', but last year showed a massive increase in wildlife, several months after our current no-mow regime began. Ours is a slightly larger than average plot on a modernish suburban estate. So far, in terms of different species, I have seen and identified (often with the help of iSpot) 32 birds, 6 mammals (excluding visiting cats!), 1 amphibian, 1 reptile, 113 insects (plus some still unidentified), 2 molluscs and 7 spiders! It has been so exciting to see new species colonising, like the Brown Argus butterfly and the Common Lizard last year. So if any of your readers are tempted to give it a go, I would say it has worked wonders for us!
Hi Rabbits Guy - dandelions are always good for pollinators.
Caroline - that sounds amazing, and definitely proves the point!
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