Wordless Wednesday – Plantlife’s #NoMowMay

Why not quit mowing your lawn (or a part of it) for the rest of May?

Links below:

#NoMowMay #WorldBeeDay #ScareMow

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We have an established No Mow area in the garden for wildlife (OK I admit to having visions of Great Dixter’s camassia swathes as well). In spring it is covered in wild daffodils, crocuses, primroses and cowslips. Then the grasses lengthen and vetches, geraniums, knapweeds and cow parsley take over. The dog loves it and always ends up in its depths. This year we have stopped mowing the strip to the fence as well.

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Even between weekly mowings daisies flower prolifically in the access paths. So imagine leaving it a bit longer …

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Buttercups are ever present in our boundary hedges (and elsewhere, but let’s gloss over that). They’ll creep in.

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Speedwell in the lawn is easily overlooked, but is such a pretty plant. To see the flowers with their heads above the parapets needs a little longer than a week

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Vetch was one of the first seeds I threw around the No Mow meadow area. In the summer you can hear gun-fire like pops as the pods burst open, dispersing the seed.

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This year we’ve got salad burnet mixed in amongst the plantain. I think it must have seeded across from the vegetable garden

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Cow parsley has blown in from the fields behind us

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Ground ivy is ever present in our lawn and a No Mow pause sees it spread and flower like wildfire

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I’ve seeded the area with patches of ox-eyed daisies. Rabbits dig holes in the hill which I filled with established clumps from our gravel drive, so these establish quickly. If you look closely at the flower you can see a swollen-thighed beetle chomping the pollen.

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Green Alkanet is prevalent around here, so it has a foot hold in the wild are now. This really is one of the best bee plants!

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Plantain is quite beautiful (and indeed there are ornamental garden forms). It is a useful foraging resource, plus a fun resource for the childhood catapult game.

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Yes, we leave a couple of patches of nettles too. If you want to see butterflies thrive, you will want to do the same. It is a host plant for several including red admirals, commas and small tortoiseshells. Plus you can make a delicious bright green nutritious salsa with the young leaves

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All manner of creatures will enjoy the lackadaisical approach … allowing activities such as bug safaris while we #StayAtHome

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And finally, the flowering grasses: This is what the dog loves best … to eat, to run through, to roll around in. They make a lovely sound, especially as they begin to dry out. The flower panicles look like the rolling sea when the wind blows gently across them.

About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
This entry was posted in Bees, Grasses, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Wordless Wednesday – Plantlife’s #NoMowMay

  1. Cathy says:

    A beautiful post! I love all these wild flowers and grasses. We always leave plenty of patches for the wildlife too, including loads of nettles on the outer perimeters of the garden. I put my foot down on the thistles this year though and the ones too near my flower beds have been mown. But I canβ€˜t do much about all those along the lane! πŸ˜‰

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Yes! πŸ™‚ This must be a UK event, as I’ve only heard of it recently from another UK post. I’m working on a post to promote it here as well. I think it is a great idea to pass on. I’ve been practicing this for decades as I LOVE seeing my lawn in bloom (mostly violets) and now with pollinator awareness, it is more important than ever. I have a couple patches that began to have wildflowers all season, so now they are only cut annually like the fields.
    I like your close up shots and will try to take some here. Interestingly, we have many of the same plants. The speedwells are so charming, aren’t they?

    • Thanks Eliza. Good luck with encouraging something similar in your part of the world. The divide between garden-worthy speedwell and ‘weed’ is very narrow, so we win with NoMow!

  3. Brian Skeys says:

    With our garden not being open for the NGS this year I have also left one area un-mowed.
    I have thought about doing it for some time but have never been brave enough. If it works ok I will do it each year, people have a much greater understanding and interest in this type of gardening now.

    • Oh good luck with your experiment Brian. I’ve never regretted leaving our patch unmown and I love the contrast with the mown access paths. If a permanent feature, it gives you a whole new set of plants/bulbs to play with!

  4. shoreacres says:

    I can’t remember if I shared this with you before, but as soon as I read your post it came to mind. There are a lot of people coming to realize the wisdom of what you’ve presented here.

    • Thanks Linda, you hadn’t. It’s great to see this. (I would love to find orchids thriving in our patch too, but as yet, no). Our local church graveyard is awash with primroses in spring, so that is a pretty oasis right in the centre of the village that everyone enjoys.

  5. susurrus says:

    What a good idea and a great post. I have been walking much more locally that I have ever done and find it amazing how many different wildflowers are growing in unmown areas. I am just scared as things start to reopen, someone is going to come along and mow them all.

  6. Pazlo says:

    I’m fortunate to manage nearly four acres of property, three quarters of it mowed, and beyond I maintain about a mile of walking trails through transitional (shrubby) areas and forest. I nearly worship the modest Indian Paintbrush, and watch for its dark green heads. When they can be seen, mowing is done around them. In places, stretches of trail will remain unmowed until after they all have gone to seed. On the south lawn (beginning last week, in fact) I’ll leave large islands of paintbrushes. Of course their neighbors and cousins will grow beside them.
    Daisies, buttercups, wild thyme, and a dozen varieties I cannot name will each call to me, and the trails become more crooked and narrow as the season wears on, the mower weaving its way around these fleeting beauties.
    Many of these flowers (and non-flowering plants) benefit from the short grass, and need the space to get started. Once on their way, we enjoy the season together.
    It adds a fullness to my year. In Spring, we’ll “clean” up the whole ranch. Wipe away the old and prepare for the new. Through summer, we revel in one another’s company, and I feel myself the great conservationist. In fall, I feel a sense of accomplishment and completion, as our globe begins to tilt toward winter. Now, the mower spreads their tiny seeds while it prepares the very space for them to thrive.
    The ring of “wildness” around the bluebird nest boxes is mowed only once per year, in the spring. Burdock and thistle and milkweed and grasses will remain standing through the northeast winter, to serve as feed and seed and perch. In summer, they provide these as well as the insects that come to visit. Equal bounty for hungry insects, as well as hungry birds who hunt them.
    How thrilling it is to snowshoe past a dried and brown thistle skeleton, to remember the beauty of its flowers from summer past, and to be able to look ahead a half year, to the time we shall greet them once again.

    Slainte,
    Paz

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