WHAT TO GROW
LIZ POTTER Editor, Garden Answers Matt has found an ‘accidental’ Hawthorn in one of his flower beds, which should be a blessing. Hawthorn provides food for more than 150 different insect species, so is a very valuable addition to any wildlife garden. After the clusters of flowers in May, it develops red berries, beloved by birds such as Blackbirds, Redwings, Starlings and Greenfinches, by the autumn. It tolerates a wide variety of conditions. It also supports many insect species, such as Hawthorn Shield Bug, earwigs, bumblebees, Cockchafers, etc, which themselves are eaten by other insects, Wrens, Great Tits and more. If you buy a Hawthorn, make sure it comes from nursery-grown British stock. Continental varieties flower at different times and are more prone to mildew than native strains.