Perhaps we are in a time in life that we don’t wish to garden anymore or for some reason we don’t have the time for all the garden maintenance, that is fine and there is a solution to this crisis. It’s called rewilding our back gardens and its a relatively new phenonomen. That should not be confused with letting our backyards grow wild, as it’s very different to this exercise. There are serious garden lovers who might baulk at the thought of this, because for years and years managed and tended to their vegetable gardens with love and care. They possibly could not visualise or picture their small holding being overrun with grass, weeds, brush, wildflowers and God knows what ever else that may grow in their sacred ground.
That is fine as I say, but this new type of gardening does not have to entail all of the garden or backyard by any means. We could always do a small section of our property in this fashion and bit by bit, slowly introduce ourselves to getting used to what this new landscape looks after it matures somewhat. This exercise takes time, but the transformation will amaze and confound the critics and will have our friends and neighbours wowed with interest and wonder ( and maybe a little envy ). It sounds like the lazy man’s way out of our responsibilities, but that is far from our intention.
What is rewilding;
Rewilding our back gardens, is, as some commentators explain, we are becomming closer to the natural aspect of our landscape and taking away the human touch essentially. It is the returning of our garden or backyards to what it once looked like hundreds of years ago, before humans got their hands on it. There are no great secrets as to how we do this task, in fact its a very open and transparent project. Rewilding is another term or word for restoration and that is essentially what this is all about and also, it’s an area that’s free of pesticides, insecticides, chemical sprays and fertilizers that have eliminated some of our native wildflower species. Safe to say, we are not introducing wild boar, brown bears or wolves to our community, its only the landscape that we are discussing and talking about.
In all probability, we know a lot of people who have been rewilding well before the introduction of this practice, planting their lawns and back gardens with wild grasses , incorporating native shrubs and wild meadow flowers into their landscape features. This exercise duly saves on watering and irrigation, with overall better moisture retention by both plant and soil. Rewilding also means making landscapes more wildlife friendly. Native plants and shrubs are usually better at attracting pollinators, than some of our border flowers or pot plants. We can help to re-create that wild habitat that may help some of those creatures, insects, bees, butterflies or whatever they are to live sustainably and hopefully ensure their survival going forward.
Who would do rewilding;
The simple answer to this question is simply…. everyone and anyone who may have a garden or plot of ground. Local authorities are embracing this idea with gusto and schools are also very interested in this exeecise. The students are doing projects and surveys on the effect of this type of landscape, as against the cultured and manicured lawns and gardens that we always had. As we go forward we will see more parks and greenspaces blanketed in this colourful canopy and it will over time become accepted as possibly how it should have always been. Regardless of where we are living, ie, urban or suburban, town or city, if we are in the enviable position of having some green space, we can easily do this.
How to re-create wild meadows;
This is a simple task and all it requires is to spread some wild flower seeds around our selected area. We can do this two ways and both will yield stunning results. We can scatter the seeds on untilled ground, ie our lawn or green area and leave to germinate in their own time. The other method is to dig or rotovate the special area that we wish to rewild and then scatter the seeds on this tilled ground. The latter method will yield a faster and timely result for obvious reasons and will become slightly a better wildmeadow in the long run. The issue with the initial method is when we scatter the wild flower seeds, they have to compete with the existing grass or weed growth and may result in a slower developing wild flower area.
The benefits of rewilding;
There is another job that we could do along side this project and that would be to plant or set a hedge in or around the vicinity of our wild meadow patch ar area.This hedge may offer the area a degree of protection from the prevailing winds and also it offers a nesting place for all types of small wild animals, wild birds and other insects that frequent our backyards or back gardens. The primary idea of rewilding is to attract all types of insects, honeybees, hummingbirds, bumblebees, hover flies, butterflies and other such critters. The other benefit of this exercise is, we will have this fantastic display of colour and diversity at our doorsteps to enjoy for months and months. It will be like an artist’s canvas to some extent in that it will be an endless display of colour, fragrances and forms a natural creation.
Best seeds for wild flowers;
There are some seeds that will give us this display, but it may only last for a year or so. However the ideal selection for this process is to purchase ‘perennial wildflowers’ from our local garden centre or nursery. These rewilding seeds are also available online. Some of the flowers that will be grown from these seeds are vetch, crowsfeet, poppies, stardust, borage, forget me nots, wild marigolds, honeysuckle and many many more. These are the best pollinators and suppliers of pollen and nectar, which attracts all the wildlife that we are supporting. The perennial wildflower seeds are self seeding and therefore guarantee a great natural canopy of wildflowers, colour and bio-diversity, year after year.