A Winning Garden for Wildlife

Every year for the last four years we have had a garden at the RHS in Cardiff, Lyndsey, our Communications Officer, is a keen but AMATEUR gardener and has designed the garden each time and Gina her partner in crime reckons she often kills her plants. As this year saw our second commendation award it just demonstrates that you don't have to be an expert to make your garden a winner for wildlife.

Lyndsey and her son enjoying the very popular turf sofa

Lyndsey and her son enjoying the very popular turf sofa

The idea of the garden every year is to inspire people to garden for wildlife, we were delighted when a number of people came on the stand to tell us what they had used from our garden last year.  It really heartened us when people came to the stand with photos of their version of a bug hotel for example.

This year we had a flowering lawn, a wetland area, a pond, a bug hotel, a giant willow flower with bee and butterfly, a rockery area for the reptiles, woodland area, a turfed sofa and flowering beds to attract a wide variety of insects.

So many people asked us how we had achieved the different elements and took photos that we reckon we inspired quite a few people to do something over the next year.

It was also great to hear people say things like "wow I've always seen the damp part of my garden as a problem but now I am going to plant it up with wetland plants!"

Sarah Kessell in the willow flower

Sarah Kessell in the willow flower

Thanks to Salix for the donation of the wetland plants, Out To Learn Willow for their fantastic willow sculpture and Dianne Bartholemew for lending us her trees again!

For those of you who would like to have a flowering lawn then this superb list of plants gives you a start - thanks to Lionel Smith for sharing his list with us

Acaena buchanii, Acaena inermis 'Purpurea', Acaena magellanica, Acaena @.  M mf 'Copper Carpet', Achilleaok millefolium 'Aureum', (ajuga is bugle) Ajuga reptans 'Burgundy Glow', Ajuga reptans 'Chocolate Chip', Ajuga reptans 'Multicolour', Ajuga reptans 'Variegata', Anthyllis vulneraria -kidney vetch, Argentina anserina - silverweed, Bellis perennis - daisy (wild form), Bellis perennis (mixed cultivars), Campanula cochlearifolia, Campanula rotundifolia, Cardamine trifoliata, Chamaemelum nobile 'flore pleno', Chrysanthemum weyrichii, Dianthus deltoides

RHS forest garden

The forest garden

‘Flashing Lights’, Erodium x variabile, Erodium castellanum, Fragaria vesca 'Golden Alexandria', Geranium pyrenaicum, Geum urbanum, Glechoma hederacea, Glechoma hederacea 'Variegata', Houstonia caerulea, Houstonia caerulea 'Millard’s Variety', Leontodon saxatilis, Leptinella dioica, Leptinella dioica minima, Leptinella squallida, Leptinella squallida 'Platt’s Black', Lobelia angulata, Lobelia oligophylla, Lobelia pedunculata, 'Alba Super Star Creeper', Lobelia pedunculata, 'Blue Star Creeper', Lobelia pedunculata 'County Park', Lotus corniculatus 'Plenus', Lotus formosissimus, Lysimachia nummularia 'Aurea', Mazus reptans, Mentha requenii, Nierembergia repens, Oxalis adenophylla, Oxalis corniculatus, Oxalis magellanica 'Nelson', Parachetus communis, Phylla nodiflora, Pilosella aurantiacum, Pilosella maculatum 'Leopard', Pilosella officinalis, Pilosella tardans, Polygala vulgaris, Potentilla neumanniania nana (P.verna), Potentilla reptans, Primula - Wanda hybrids, Prunella grandiflora, Prunella vulgaris, Ranunculus repens, Ranunculus repens 'Buttered Popcorn', Ranunculus repens 'Gloria Spale', Sagina subulata var. glabrata aurea, Selliera

Flowering lawn

The flowering lawn

radicans, Taraxacum pseudoroseum, Taraxacum rubrifolium, Thymus serpyllum, Trifolium pratense 'Susan Smith', Trifolium repens 'Garnet', Trifolium repens 'Son of William', Trifolium repens 'Chocolate Splash', Trifolium repens 'Purpurescens Quadrifolium', Trifolium repens ‘Dragons Blood’, Veronica armena, Veronica austriaca 'Ionian Skies', Veronica officinalis, Veronica prostrata 'Goldwell', Veronica prostrata 'Mrs Holt', Veronica prostrata 'Lilac Time', Veronica prostrata ‘Nestor’, Veronica repens, Veronica repens 'Sunshine', Veronica spicata 'Dwarf Blue', Veronica spicata 'Dwarf Pink', Viola hederacea, Viola labradorica, Viola odorata, Viola sororaria.

Not all of the plants are native, some are cultivars, all provide a rich range of nectar for pollinators in the garden over a long period.