By Matthew Webb
The #NoMowMay campaign is in full bloom, giving gardens and public spaces across Wales a chance to showcase vibrantly coloured wildflowers. It may be pretty, but there is a really important reason for keeping the lawnmower locked in the shed.
The Honeycomb Cooperative, an organisation in support of native Welsh honey bees is encouraging local communities and councils to take part in #NoMowMay. CEO and founder Phillip Henry, Wales’ first Rastafarian beekeeper, spoke about the vital habitats created by leaving lawns to grow. Phillip said: “It creates foraging spaces for all wildlife but bees are a keystone species. My girls need these green sanctuary’s to collect enough nectar and you can do more than simply resisting the mower. Planting wildflowers improves nectar flow, and the more people that do it, the more green corridors are created.”
Does it matter if you have a small garden? Absolutely not. Llandough Community Councillor, Dean Mears is encouraging members of his community to ‘leave the lawn’ and has a sacrificial area of his own garden devoted to wildflowers. Dean said: “I have stopped mowing and sown wild seeds on a three metre squared area of my front lawn to help pollinating insects”.
And a spokesperson from Cardiff Council has confirmed that there will be a continuation of their efforts to leave sections of public parks and verges to wildflowers. Last year an area spanning more than 161 football pitches was left from May to September in support of the #NoMowMay campaign, and the same is being done this year.”
What wildflowers should you plant in your garden? Paul Hetherington, director of fundraising and communications for Buglife Cymru, said: “People don’t realise how good dandelions are for pollinating insects, as well as lawn daisies. Especially as they occur naturally in most gardens. And if you are going to sow seeds, chose perennials. Annuals need sowing each year whereas perennials pop up year on year. Knapweed is excellent and very pretty, Bird’s-foot trefoil is also excellent, as well as Yarrow and Coneflower”.
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