Have you ever wanted a wild flower garden? A wild flower garden is not just a garden that has turned wild, in fact it is quite the opposite. A garden that has gone wild usually looks a bit of a mess, whereas a wild flower has to have a closely controlled environment.
Garden flowers have been hardened, so to speak. They have been cultivated and cross-bred so that they can put up with not being taken care of all that well by the typical gardener who does not know a great deal about gardening, although there are some very fragile garden plants too. However, wild flowers have never had this treatment, they grow only where the circumstances are perfect or they do not grow at all. It is virtually impossible to grow wild flowers where they would not naturally occur.
This is why many people’s attempts at making a wild flower garden fail so miserably – they have expected the wild flowers to ‘just grow wild’ without having made the correct environment. Therefore, if you decide to create a wild flower garden, you will first have to determine what sort of flowers you want to grow.
Do you fancy meadow flowers, woodland flowers, hedgerow flowers, marsh or riverside flowers? You can combine some of these styles, of course. You could merge meadow and hedgerow varieties, if you plant a hedge border around your garden.
After you have decided on which varieties of flowers you want to or can grow, you need to set about manufacturing the correct environment. One of the prettiest wild flower gardens, if your climate is right, is an orchid garden. In Thailand, a lot of the orchids grow on the bark of live or fallen trees, so we have a few uprooted tree stumps in shaded areas of the garden with dozens of wild orchids growing on them.
The simplest wild flower garden for most people to create would be waterside, meadow and hedgerow combined. Therefore, first you will have to make a suitable pond and begin growing wild hedges around your perimeters. Then plant a coarse grass on the rest of the soil. The pond can have a brick border, but at least one edge should be muddy – just wet mud leading into a shallow edge of the water.
When these micro environments are ready, but not before, you can go out and forage for plants from like environments to transplant into your wild flower garden. One note of caution here: please ensure that the flowers that you want to collect are not protected before you uproot them and never strip an area of a species. If there are only one or two plants of a variety, do not take them.
Remember that your wild flowers are not that hardy, so you ought to have prepared their new home before you went foraging and you must replant them as soon as you get back. Try not to leave it until the next day.
It is preferable to collect flowers just after they have flowered and are commencing to die back. When you have discovered a flower that you want, carefully dig it up with a trowel and incorporate a good sized slab of soil with its roots. You can put this into a plastic bag and place this in a basket. It is a good suggestion to take few photos of the flower in its original surroundings, so that you can do a bit of tweaking when you get home. It will also help you remember what that flower likes to live with when you go out foraging for your wild flower garden next time