WHAT TO GROW

Bird Watching (UK) - - Conservation Bird Population -

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!

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