To celebrate National Meadows Day, I ordered a bunch of wildflowers which I will plant out today. I have too small a garden to have a lawn, let alone a meadow, but every garden, even a window-box has space for wildflowers as they are the natural food plants of nectar drinkers, pollen eaters and the larval stages of most insects and many other invertebrates. Without them life is not just bleaker but impossible!
Among them is clover, an all-round super bee plant. It was a surprise to find, thanks to Gardener’s World on last night’s TV, that a plant that has been a mystery to me is a form of clover.
Ruddy Clover Trifolium rubens
To quote the Gardener’s World website: “Part of the clover family, Trifolium rubens is a clump-forming perennial, bearing large, ruby-red flowers throughout summer, which contrast beautifully with trifoliate, clover-like foliage. Like all clovers, its blooms are a magnet for bees and it would make a fine addition to a wildlife garden. Grow Trifolium rubens in moist but well-drained, fertile soil, in full sun or partial shade. Cut back spent blooms after flowering to encourage a second flush.” I’m glad about the last bit of advice as mine have just about ‘gone over’.
It would, of course, be lovely to get out there in some wildflower meadow… I gather the displays over the white cliffs of Dover are spectacular now, two years after the national Trust took over and stooped intensive farming. Like very many who are ‘shielding’ from Covid-19 that is not going to be any time soon!