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Bonfire Pit To Wildlife Haven The Easy Way

Updated on August 1, 2017
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Hi my name is Carolyn, I have always loved gardening and wildlife. I even spent 15 years working in a garden centre, I loved it!

Thunderflies On A Shirley Poppy

Bees work on Sunday

California Poppies

Bright And Cheerful

That's how this garden patch looks just now. Full of bees, butterflies and hoverflies.

Below is a how it looked at this time last year!

Through the dancing poppies stole a breeze, most softly lulling to my soul

— John Keats

One Of Our Very Hot Very Large Fires!

Transformed in Weeks

,I despaired that this patch would have anything grow on it for at least two years, but by choosing the right plants, and they were cheap plants, most of it is covered in blooms.

It has made us smile many times and the wildlife it encourages is a delight to us and a lifeline for them

A Quick Tip

Don't be shy! Ask around your friends for left over seeds, maybe they have freebies off magazines they never intend to grow.

Don't worry about age of seed, some might well come up, and they have cost you nothing.

Even some that say must be started indoors can throw up a few blooms without.

The End Result

Improve The Soil

The bonfires we had consisted of all the shrubs and trees we had to cut down Not plastics and other contaminates.

This left lots of wood ash, a great source of potash for plant root systems, but not good for plants on it's own.

We scraped it around as much as possible, transporting some to other parts of the garden.

Then set to with a garden fork and dug the patch over, mixing the ash and soil as much as possible.

Then kept hoeing and raking it over until it was time to plant.

What To Plant?

Deciding not to go for expensive planting in case of loss due to soil problems we opted for annual plants.

These we grew from seed. Simply looking at the growth heights on the packets and scattering the tallest seed in the middle and the shorter on the outside.

Then just lightly raking the seed into the soil.

No worrying about straight lines and planting depths


We watered the seed lightly after planting and during dry spells when they started to grow.

Weeds were removed so as not to let them swamp the plants. But if you look there are still plenty in there.

Once established these flowers can give weeds a run for their money!

Shirley Poppy

A cultivar bred from the wild poppies of England. The Shirley was first created by Rev' William Wilks. He started out on h this quest in 1880 and by careful work he eventually came up with poppies that ranged in shades from white to pink and red. Since then further colours and double flowers have become available.

They are an annual plant that grows to about 2 feet, 60 cm.

Sow in March April and May, to get flowers from June until October.

Seeds typically cost less than £2 a pack.

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An annual Cornflowers in the wild are a blue flowered plant. But now come in many shades of Blue and white, even red!

They also come in heights similar to poppies but also some are much shorter.

They are grown the same and make good companions with poppies.

Tutankhamun was placed in his sarcophagus with a garland around his neck that included cornflowers. So grow these and you are in with the rich and famous.

Pot marigold

calendula commonly called marigold, is so easy to grow, in fact once introduced to your garden you will find it hard to get rid of!

Saying that it comes in a bright cheerful range of yellows and oranges, perfect for brightening up our usual dull summers.

The seeds for these are usually under £2 a packet and you will never need to by more as they self seed freely.

Art Shades mixed is a popular variety.

© 2017 Carolyn


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