No matter how big your planting area is, there are always ways to make your home even greener.
While a lot of people might be tempted to go after exotic plants, it’s important to remember that in some cases it’s eco-friendlier to use flora that is native to your local habitat.
Ecologists from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology suggest that these (native) types of plants are the ones that resident insects, birds and mammals benefit most from.
They came up with a list of different native plant species our residents can grow to produce gorgeous flowers perfect for this time of year.
Here are a few suggestions of plants that can be planted now for spring-summer flowering to provide some more colour to your neighbourhoods.
Plants such as Thyme (Thymus polytrichus) and Marjoram (Origanum vulgare) can be used in cooking by harvesting some of the leaves. Their flowers also attract lots of insects.
If you fancy growing salad plants such as lettuce (Lactuca spp) or rocket (Eruca vesicaria), let some of them produce flowers as these attract insects and are also the favoured food source of moth caterpillars.
Knapweeds add a lovely splash of purple in the summer and are highly attractive to many insects. To add even more variety of colour in the summer you can also try growing Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare), Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis), and Oxeye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare).
Diane Woodhouse, Southern 360 Care and Support Gardener also shared her tips on how to easily start a vegetable garden during lockdown.
She said:” Use old plastic salad/ fruit containers as they work well as seed trays. Have an open mind to using unusual items that may be lying around home as a planter. For example, old washing up bowl is ideal for salad leaves.
“You may already have some seeds, but here on the Isle of Wight, many people have set up seed stations, where you can swap or pick up seeds and plants for free. Check local community info in your area as the word may of spread!
“For more ideas and tips, and especially if you live on the Isle of Wight and you have Facebook, check out the project the Group have set up below.”