WHAT TO GROW
LIZ POTTER Editor, Garden Answers Matt’s patch of Periwinkle (Vinca minor) is an attractive evergreen addition to any wildlife lawn, with pretty, delicate-looking purple flowers from spring to late summer that pollinators will love. Plants are perennial, and happy in shade. They can be invasive and will spread to carpet the garden if conditions are right (part shade, moist, but well drained fertile soil) but can easily be hoiked up at any time. As for the Buddleia davidii bushes – this plant has earned a reputation as being a bit of a thug and is a rampant self-seeder, especially on wasteland. Even so, organisations such as Butterfly Conservation see it as an important nectar source for our native butterflies, so it’s worth Matt keeping his two specimens. Best bet is to hard prune them in March – down to 30cm – as plump new flowers are formed on new growth made during the current year. You can also snip off any seedheads with the secateurs straight after flowering. This will promote more flowers right into autumn and prevent them from self seeding.
The new House Sparrow terrace This Robin is proof that birds are loving the new garden!