Perhaps that should be blowing wild, as although today is the 1 June and the first day of 30 Days Wild weatherwise it is not quite what I had hoped. Blowing a gale and with squally showers it does not bode well for the first month of the summer, but this is Britain and nature carries on regardless. You can find out more about 30 Days Wild at http://www.mywildlife.org.uk/30dayswild/ but sadly you are a wee bit late to sign up for it. Never mind, you can read what I am doing and maybe be inspired to do the same.
The idea is to do something different every day for a month that puts you in touch with the wild world. As humans we are part of the wild world, but becoming less so. Now here is a great excuse to get back in touch with nature! So, what did I do today then?
Took the long way around home which meant going down the road until shops and houses run out and I am on the beach. Then turning around and instead of going back the way I had come I went along the beach path and up over the cliffs. Past the piles of lobster pots and beached fishing boats, past the rows of pastel beach huts, the cafe on the beach (deserted) and past...the vegetation. I want to try and find out more about this and see if anything would be suitable for my own garden if it attracts pollinators. Living in East Devon not far from Lyme Regis the cliffs are unstable and keep eroding. This means that there are not just garden esapes but plants growing on the cliff edges that used to be in gardens. You used to be able to see tiled floors when I first moved here. Resplendent up here is this plant, red valerian:
Pretty, isn't it? You can buy it here http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/centranthus-ruber/classid.750/ to grow in the garden and it is salt tolerant, a good plant to choose for seaside gardens that have neutral to alkaline soil that is well drained and rather on the poor side, just like the soil in my own garden. Looking at it on the Wildlife Trust's own site here http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/species/red-valerian you can discover that it is also good for bees, butterflies and moths like the hummingbird hawk moth, one of the few hawk moths that I have actually seen.
I also saw bumblebees on dog roses which I stopped to smell, but not of course on the more usual type of rose. They might smell much the same but the flat, single type is the one to grow not the tightly curled variety. Bees and other pollinators need to be able to get inside, and many fancy "garden center" types of plants are sterile. Rosa rugosa is a good choice, a nice red color to match the valerian!
Now it is raining again and they are giving out weather warnings. I might venture forth later, but in the meantime here are some of the things I plan to do this month:
1) Find out more about the wild plants I see everyday where I live.
2) Do a garden bioblitz when I get a nice fine day.
3) Before I pull up "weeds" try and find out what they do for nature.
4) Get my pond sorted out. Not a lot going on in there - why?
5) Take my walk further than I did today.
There are things to do every day for the first week at the Devon Wildlife Trust's website. Check out http://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/random-acts-of-wildness/