No mow May is an incentive from the charity Plantlife, to let the flowers in your lawn flourish.
Tom Mason (rspb-images.com)
Even if you've already been mowing this spring, there's plenty of time to let certain grassy areas grow long through the summer months to discover what will naturally come into bloom. It will not only look beautiful but provide essential nectar for pollinators and cover for a wide range of tiny garden wildlife.
The Plantlife website states "At the end of the month, on the Bank Holiday Weekend, join in with our nationwide “Every Flower Counts” survey to discover how many bees the UK’s lawns can feed. Not only will you receive your very own “nectar score” (which will tell you have many bees your lawn can feed), you’ll help us learn more about the health of the nations’ wild flowers." They also point out that you could encourage ten times more bees to your garden by allowing the lawn flowers to grow.
Rather than the smart striped lush, tight green lawn, a wild lawn can look just as beautiful but more natural with gentle movement from the wind... and perhaps from the creatures within it! We have many areas at the Flatford Wildlife Garden where the grass is allowed to grow offering nectar and shelter for bees and butterflies, hoverflies, beetles, spiders, earwigs, crickets, and newts near the pond.
If you want to add some extra flowers to the grass yourself, you could sew some seeds and plant them once they've established into little plants of buy wildflower plants from garden centres. Flowers that will look natural and show grow well amongst grasses could be cornflowers, field scabious, corn poppy, white or red campion, common cranesbill, corn marigold, cuckoo flower, cowslip, corncockle, and meadow buttercup.
Both Thompson & Morgan and Sarah Raven offer a wide selection of wild-flower seeds to choose from to sow direct into prepared earth or to grow your own little plant plugs to plant into the grass. It's worth baring in mind that many "meadow mixes" or "wildflower mixes" can often contain a lot of grass seed, so if you're really after flowers and colour, choose packets of specific flowers seeds.
A long grassy meadow looking area can be a great solution for problem ground or a neglected sunny spot and just mowing a "path" through a long grassy area can look very eye catching and extremely inviting! So through May and the rest of the summer, consider using the mower just once a month or less and allowing areas of grass to grow feely to look beautiful for you and be better for wildlife.
The Flatford Wildlife Garden is now open every day until October from 10.30am – 4.30pm. Entrance to the garden is free and well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome. Car parking is £5 at the Flatford National Trust car park and this gives you access to the stunning countryside walks around Dedham Vale in Constable Country.
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The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654
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