Gus writes:

We should be thinking about the challenges to the natural environment and whether we could respond to these in our own small way. There is concern about the decline of insects and especially pollinating bees.

This is what we (Gus and family, together with Jude) hope to address with the proposed wildflower patch next to the car park by the shop. The plan is to grow a small hedge of trees at one end and tall perennials elsewhere in that small space.

We chose the hedge trees and perennials with a blossoming sequence from March to October, thus providing food for early and late pollinators, especially solitary bees which are early arrivers and key pollinators. The trees we chose for the hedge include goat willow, cherry plum, hawthorn, field maple, wild cherry, alder buckthorn, crab apple, dogwood and guelder rose. We chose tall perennials because shorter plants couldn’t compete with the existing plants (grass, horsetail, etc.). It will take about 3-5 years to become really established.

I know flooding is a risk but most of our trees and perennials actually survive the floods (comfrey, teasel, goldenrod, oregano, ragwort, hogweed, iris and lavender). The new apple trees that we planted in the orchard in 2020 have also survived. But long dry periods like last summer combined with flooding are a real issue when deciding what to plant.

Gus is on plots 64A and 65A TPM

Plans for a wildflower patch