Your space

Another section by popular demand. If you want to talk about anything else that grows that is not livestock, herbs, fruit or vegetables here it goes.
oldjerry
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Your space

Post: #258251 oldjerry
Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:01 am

Don't worry,it's not more hippy psychobabble,I'm on about the bit outside the back door!

I was at Burford Hall with the kids on Sunday looking round the gardens(which have been let go a bit,but I digress).Ornamental cherry blossom everywhere as Kanzans etc do their 2 week thing.Two solitary bees were busy,but the 5 or 6 acres around the house,when compared to the equivalent area around this place(rundown smallholding 99% native species,soon hopefully to belong to someone else) are effectively a beautiful wasteland.
I know I've banged on about this before,but MMM's excellent piece( re growing plants to encourage pollinators) on the website reignited things.I like ornamental gardens(god knows I've worked in a few,and some non-native is essential as coastal windbreaks)but garden programs etc only mention the benefits of native species as an aside.Even on general RHS courses there is a huge emphasis on non-native species,which is a shame as agricultural land,despite the token efforts of DEFRA, continues to push wildlife aside,and your gardens\backyards etc could go a long way to redress the balance.Iwas told by a senior horticultural lecturer that if you studied two trees of equivalent size,one a jap Acer the other a Common Oak,and count the number of species within it's 'eco-umberella' the Acer has a figure of 4,the Oak,4000.Even if that's 90% wrong,it's still quite startling.

Maybe,and I'm HALF serious here,there could be a 'voulantary ' donation levied on all non-native garden centre plants(given to the RSPB or similar),that would get the sunday gardeners thinking at least.

Anyhow,as we drove away,thanks to this early spring the blackthorn and damson blossom in the hedgerows above Tenbury were putting anything on offer from the other side of the world to shame!..(if you've got this far,thanks for listening..)

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boboff
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Re: Your space

Post: #258253 boboff
Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:09 am

Yes I agree to an extent. Some of this thinking though gets us into letting the landscape run wild a bit. Tree officers insisting spindly sycamours are a public amenity and wanting to put a TPO on it etc.

I heard the other day DEFRA have banned further sales of Rhoddies. Saw some on sale so not sure.

Also with non natives, there is the other side of the coin, Himalayan Balsam for instance apparently is in full flower in the autumn when there are very little "native" flowers around, whether this is as a result of the removal of the native alternative from the landscape is an interesting point.

Metropolitan planting should follow a more permacultaure approach I think.
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Millymollymandy
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Re: Your space

Post: #258339 Millymollymandy
Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:32 am

Very good point, OJ (and thanks for mention of my article on the main site).

There's a list published by the RHS on plants for pollinators, but nothing on native flowering species for pollinators. Obviously France will differ a bit from the UK, but not much. I've harped on on my blog about weeds for wildlife - weeds meaning just the native wildflowers that grow, for example, in my lawn in the summer which all have a good reason to be there for the benefit of various insects and birds.

My garden is totally buzzing and has been for a couple of months now, and I've got a mix of native and foreign species. I think a happy medium is best (sorry but I LOVE flowering (and other) plants :iconbiggrin: ).

Please, though, can I include all those mediterranean herbs as native; after all, they do grow wild in some parts of France (even if not native to this part)? :mrgreen:
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Re: Your space

Post: #258346 oldfella
Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:28 am

Thanks MMM and OJ, I can now call my wildness a Native Garden, after chatting with my daughter, a few weeks ago about this subject, she has found and bought,a book called " Native Gardens on Lime Soil, so it has been decided by "Them Indoors" that this is Autumns Projects for us, and as you know,them indoors have to be obeyed. :roll: :roll:
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Re: Your space

Post: #258356 oldjerry
Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:00 am

Thanks everyone.Although it was a trip round a big ornamental garden that got me started,on reflection I'm not sure they themselves are the problem.I've always looked at these really big placesas plant collections(like a horticultural V&A as it were) and as MMM has shown,they are usually SO big that some native species will inevitably become established.

I think the smaller garden\yard is more of a problem,you see thousands of them,100 sq.yds of lawn, and a dozen or so Chinese or Japanese ornamentals.In the same way,as motorway verges have done so much to benefit small mammals etc(despite often being planted with non-native stuff,though this is changing),gardeners, given the right encouragement, could do the same for native flora and fauna.

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Re: Your space

Post: #258374 Thomzo
Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:13 pm

I'm not too worried about species being native, bees love a chinese takeaway as much as the rest of us. But I am far more aware of the type of flower I'm going for after watching Sarah Raven's series a few weeks ago. I agree with MMM, the most successful part of my garden for bees is the herb garden. They absolutely love the lavender, rosemary and oregano, so, you see, native isn't always important.

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oldjerry
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Re: Your space

Post: #258381 oldjerry
Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:08 pm

With respect,It's massively important,bees may well pollinate our garden,and thus everything grows ,but there's a great deal more to it in terms of ecology than just encouraging bees.

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Millymollymandy
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Re: Your space

Post: #258537 Millymollymandy
Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:52 am

Tell us more OJ, I'm interested. :iconbiggrin: Just don't have the time to look it all up.

Also there's that problem with the word native and what it means exactly - some species were introduced hundreds of years ago!
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oldjerry
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Re: Your space

Post: #258596 oldjerry
Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:39 pm

Well, as ever,a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

This I do know,a fully grown English oak,Quercus robur, DOES have something like 4000 different species living beneath it's umbrella.These will range between unseeable micro-organisms to common garden birds.Each of these feed \depend upon each other.As a rule 'native species' are taken to be those that have been present since the last ice age(so that excludes everyday stuff like Sycamore, Horse Chestnut etc.)

This is how long it takes to build eco-systems.Makes you think really.(and I'm really not having a pop at ornamental gardens in general,but I do think that maybe native species can be pretty,and useful.)

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Millymollymandy
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Re: Your space

Post: #258633 Millymollymandy
Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:05 am

Since the ice age! I wonder where we'd find such a list. Oh probably the internet. :iconbiggrin: Yet another thing to keep me from my garden but I haven't the time to be looking up that kind of thing right now. It's very hard to know though, as there's all the weeds and plants growing wild, but hard to know what has been introduced and what was here.... since the ice age!

So we have ornamentals which were introduced, and presumably also wild plants which have been introduced. The reason I brought this up is because I remember being amazed to find a Black Walnut just up the road - had read all about trying to crack the nuts on Durgan's posts thinking only of our easy to crack native walnut - only to find the black one has been growing in Europe for hundreds of years (introduced from North America). Quite a complex subject really, because we also have fauna which has been introduced too. :?

Oh stop making me think so early in the morning OJ! :iconbiggrin:
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Re: Your space

Post: #258690 donegalwildman
Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:34 am

The importance of using native species is that the issue is about much more than pollen. Yes, bees can get pollen from foreign plants, but we have native moths, butterflies, hoverflies, sawflies, micromoths, gall wasps, flies, leafminers, bugs, solitary bees, fungi, beetles and many other families that are completely reliant on particular species (or families) of plants. Planting foreign (non-native) species is like creating a wildlife desert: we just don't have the species that need those plants. Have a look at a stretch of leylandii and see what's living on it. You won't find much. But if you had used Beech or Hawthorn, then they are literally crawling with beasts. Ditto if you walk into a Spruce plantation. Now THAT's a desert.

Leading on from that, why do we need all the creepy crawlies mentioned above? Well, they all form part of a very complex ecosystem, where species rely on each other for survival. You will find species of wasp that need particular moths to be present, whilst the moths need a particular plant (which will need a microscopic fungus.......and so on down the chain). Many birds eat insects, too.

Bottom line: I use native species in my garden unless I have an imperative not to, and my garden is home to hundreds of species of native insects: more than would normally be expected.

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boboff
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Re: Your space

Post: #258691 boboff
Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:40 am

So we either plant native species or ornmentals and put nuts out for the birds then?

Seems ok...

(oh just so you know I am being sarcastic, not a tit....coal is my prefered)
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Re: Your space

Post: #258694 Susie
Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:31 am

boboff wrote:So we either plant native species or ornmentals and put nuts out for the birds then?

Seems ok...

(oh just so you know I am being sarcastic, not a tit....coal is my prefered)


I put nuts out for the birds and now they and the Rare Black Squirrel (tm) mob me every time I step out of the house. I'm not encouraging any more creatures!

In fact I can hear them out there now, squawking at me, ''where are our nuuuuuts!!!'. I feel like Tippi Hedren.
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Millymollymandy
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Re: Your space

Post: #258739 Millymollymandy
Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:55 pm

I'll try to look into native vs. non native but I came across this the other day about Jack by the Hedge. It's important for us (in Europe) as it's a primary foodstuff for the Orange Tip and Green Veined White, yet it's had a dreadful effect on the native fauna and flora of North America, where it was introduced.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alliaria_petiolata
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oldjerry
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Re: Your space

Post: #258744 oldjerry
Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:21 pm

Look MMM,I'm not that sure about my ground here,eg where does sambucus nigra (for instance) compare to one of the decorative Sambucus varities? I just feel that this is such an important thing that it needs consideration.


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