I THINK we’re moving in the right direction when it comes to wildlife because more and more of us are leaving wild corners and having areas of long grass in our gardens. This allows wildflowers to colonize the grass. Sometimes they come back of their own accord, and at other times gardeners like me plant them. The Best Beloved and I have two unmown (and locally unpopular) verges, plus a summer meadow and a spring meadow in the garden. As I said last week, the spotted orchids I planted went AWOL for two years, but this year several resurfaced in our summer meadow.
However, it’s our spring meadow that’s come up trumps this year. The Best Beloved noticed a bee orchid (Ophrys apifera) in the long grass. It’s the first one we’ve seen in the garden, and the word ‘delight’ doesn’t cover our euphoria, although it may well disappear in the future and we may not get another. Despite that, we will leave the cut until autumn in future years, just in case.
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How To Add Colour In Autumn
If you want a hardworking perennial for autumn colour that thrives on neglect and provides food for insects, try planting hylotelephiums, says Louise Curley
Let's Know About Autumn Pests And Diseases
Get to grips with seasonal problems, says Ruth
Autumn Plant Recipes
It may be past summer, but you can still plant gorgeous containers to bring colour and beauty. Tamsin Hope Thomson offers three great ‘recipes’ and lots of tips
The clematis supremo
Delight to have plants blooming for Chelsea, says Peter
Plants left in the ground
A generous layer of mulch will insulate roots and tubers
Tender perennial care
It’s time to help tender varieties through winter, says Ruth
Winter moth prevention
Ruth shows you how to avoid maggoty tree fruits
Wishing on a Star…
What would you do for the right dahlia? Toby reveals how far he’ll go for one of his all-time floral favourites
Oranges and lemons
Try one of the following for citrus fragrance in your garden, says Christopher Lloyd
The cottage garden
A traditional cottage garden is just the ticket for Janet and Steve Howell’s 19th century home in Staffordshire, says Sue Bradley, as she explains the challenges they faced
With birdsong in full force and summer knocking on the door, there’s plenty to discover this month.
The return of the juniper
Once prolific across the British Isles, the prickly juniper bush may have been in decline for decades, but it’s making a comeback on Surrey’s North Downs, finds Vicky Liddell
Harvest The Health Benefits
Gardens can offer so much more than just horticultural produce. Experience therapy in your own backyard
Growing a peat-free future
The Peat Free April campaign is calling on gardeners to stop using peat in composts and switch to alternatives. Naomi Slade investigates...