Farm Ireland

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Foreign species and the ditty that still makes my teeth grind

Meadows by the late Christopher Lloyd, first published in 2004 and now available in paperback, contains sound advice on how to establish a wildflower meadow and what species to select.

The text is hugely informative while the colour plates on almost every page show all the lovely species we can grow in our meadows.

It is not necessary to slavishly stick to native species only.

Bees are not fussy about where the flower they are feeding on originated from and including some non-natives helps to achieve a longer flowering season.

Do of course try to get your wild flower seed from native sources as this eliminates the danger of introducing some invasive plant that was previously not common in Ireland.

But it is perfectly safe to sow or plant species that are already well known and common here, even if they originated abroad.

Tulips, crocuses and daffodils are all non-natives and what a dull spring we would have without them.

Just think, if they hadn't been introduced, Dana would never, all those years ago, have sung "Snowdrops and daffodils, early morning dew".

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On second thoughts, maybe that wouldn't have been such a bad thing.

My teeth still grind whenever I hear that saccharine ditty but then it did win the Eurovision Song Contest.

Someone must have liked it.

Indo Farming