Sam from CLEAR gives us information on why you should plant wildflowers.
What is a wildflower? A flower that grows in the wild without any human help.
Hold on I hear you say…’is that not just a weed?’ Well, a weed is just a plant that someone has decided shouldn’t be in the place it is growing. Wildflowers have been growing in Scotland for hundreds of thousands of years adapting to their conditions and becoming an important part of Scotland’s natural habitat. There are over 3500 varieties of wildflowers in Scotland ranging from the simple daisy to the unique orchids growing in our Highlands and Islands. They are very much part of our cultural identity and history used for traditional medicines and immortalised, like wild thyme, in the well-known song ‘Will you go lassie go’.
Why plant Wildflowers? Surely wildflowers can look after themselves. They are often the first to colonise derelict land and are among the pioneer species which allows nature to reclaim disturbed ground, they grow freely along the verges of country roads and create rich wildflower meadows. Yes, they are a pretty hardy bunch but we can increase there impact if we give them a helping hand. Wildflowers provide pollinators and insects with food from their leaves, pollen and nectar. They also create a great habitat for insects to shelter and breed. In the winter their seeds provide much needed food for birds and small mammals. They also look stunning when in bloom!
As part of the rewilding drive across the country CLEAR has been piloting a fruit and native tree planting project in our local Savoy Park. To compliment the tree planting and increase the bio-diversity we have grown native wildflower plug plants from seed and are planting them in ‘islands’ around the trees. We are working with local nurseries, schools, youth groups and volunteers to plant the trees and wildflowers.
We hope this project will enhance the park to make it more colourful, attractive and encourage birds, bees and butterflies to enjoy the park too!