The first question maybe we should ask in what are wildflowers?
Well wikipedia define them as
A wildflower (or wild flower) is a flower that grows in the wild, meaning it was not intentionally seeded or planted. Yet "wildflower" meadows of a few mixed species are sold in seed packets. The term implies that the plant probably is neither a hybrid nor a selected cultivar that is in any way different from the way it appears in the wild as a native plant, even if it is growing where it would not naturally. The term can refer to the flowering plant as a whole, even when not in bloom, and not just the flower.
Well this is a bit cold. In the UK it has come to mean those species that have historically grown naturally in the wild in meadows or in woodlands, hedgerows etc.. There are 100’’s of species that have been identified and efforts through organisations such as Plantlife are being made to protect them.
The wildlfowers have evolved naturally finding ways to cope with their local conditions and environment. Unlike most garden species which have been commercially bred to improve the performance and diversity of the species.
If you buy wildflower seed or plants from a reputable supplier. Then you will be buying from stock that was harvested originally in the wild and multiplied up commercially. It will remain true to its original wild state.
Why then have wildflowers become relevant?
About 30 years ago it was realised the impact that the intensity of farming was having. Since 1945 40% of Broadleaved woodland, 80% of heaths, 95% of unimproved meadows and 125,000 miles of hedgerows have disappeared. This has had a dramatic negative impact on the habitats for British Native Wildflowers in the UK.
About this time a movement started to encourage more gardeners to introduce British Native Wildflowers back into their gardens. At first the movement attracted a deal of ridicule, the idea of planting what many regarded as weeds seemed silly. But over the past 30 years British Native Wildflowers have moved into the mainstream.
What are the benefits of British Native Wildflowers?
- The first obvious one is that they are attractive.( see pictures)
- They are beneficial and necessary to wildlife especially bees and butterflies.
- They maintain diversity in the garden and the countryside.
- They do well on poorer soil, so rather than spend time and money changing the soil you can plant wildflowers which will like the conditions.
- They can be grown on a small scale in your garden. Or can create an interesting wildflower meadow in an unused field.
Why are British Native Wildflowers Important?
Well if you plant them you will create an attractive addition to your garden. If you plant perennials then you will have an area that will come back year after year. Once established there is less cutting, less work.
The Bees and Butterflies will benefit from and be attracted to them. You will be maintaining the diversity of species that have developed over 100 years to suit our climate and our conditions.
To find a trusted source of British Native Wildflowers click on the link