A wild garden paradise

Garden Life
Whether you're seeking a quiet oasis of calm to while away the day, or a place of discovery to satisfy your curiosity, you can find whatever you're looking for in a wild garden. A diverse garden offers an ideal place to play, particularly for children — between the colourful flowers, bushes and trees, there is plenty to explore. There's no chance of getting bored, because a wild garden provides space to get creative. All it needs is a gardener's guiding hand.

Organised chaos

Some may describe it as messy, but many others love this semi-natural garden concept for that exact reason. But what is it that makes a wild garden? In general, everything has a place in a wild garden, which is intended to develop naturally — whether it's wildflowers, herbs or diverse wildlife. The colour and variety of the blossoms to be found there are typical for a wild garden. Dandelions, ground elder, daises or St John's wort — any plant can be grown in this garden. Depending on the soil and light conditions in your garden, certain specifically designed combinations of meadow flowers are available to buy that will transform your garden into a colourful field of flowers. When selecting a combination of flowers, you can decide for yourself how much grass should grow between them. Seeds that already contain wild herbs ensure a particularly diverse garden. Wildflowers often prefer nutrient-poor, dry soil in a sunny location.

Planting a wild flower meadow

The months from March to May are the best time to seed a flower meadow like this. You can do away with neatly arranged flowerbeds entirely, because that's exactly the charm of a natural wild flower garden — plants can grow as they please. If you want to plant a wild flower meadow, you must first loosen the soil thoroughly and break up larger clods of earth with the GARDENA combisystem Garden Hoe. Before the seeds can be sown, level the soil with the GARDENA combisystem Rake. To sow the seeds, broadcast approximately five to ten grams of meadow flower mix per square metre of the prepared area, taking note of the instructions from the seed producer. It is important to sow the seeds evenly. If you have difficulty distributing such small quantities evenly, first mix the seeds evenly with one or half a scoop of sand, then scatter the prepared sand.

Once the flower seeds have been distributed, use a rake to cover them with a few millimetres of earth and use a roller to level the surface. The earth must then be adequately watered to encourage germination and to allow the seedlings to take firm root. To ensure excellent flower growth, avoid treading on the seeded area: The wild plants most often used in mixtures such as these will not survive being stepped on. Once a sea of flowers finally blooms in your garden, there are no limits to your creativity. With small paths through the meadow or corners to relax in, you can create your own individual garden environment in which to enjoy the summer months. How about adding a rose arbour to your colourful arrangement? Planted with sweet briar (Rosa rubiginosa), it exudes a lovely, fruity, wine-like smell on warm summer days!

A place for little creatures to live

A colourful sea of flowers is a joy to behold for anyone with a garden, but it is also a great benefit to nature, as this garden design provides a never-ending feast for insects and a safe haven in which to nest for birds. To give insects like hornets, butterflies and ladybirds enough room to thrive, you should definitely add walls made of dry or dead wood. They will give these little creatures a place to live. To make these places even more colourful and wildlife-friendly, you can cover these walls with climbing roses or ground-covering roses with long shoots if they are in sunny areas. You can use honeysuckle or clematis in semi-shaded areas, or ivy and climbing hydrangeas in shaded areas.

You should provide plenty of space for birds to raise their young, so that you can enjoy birdsong throughout your garden. If you feed the birds in your garden all year round, you will attract birds that will help deter insect pests and you will also be helping young birds in the process. By planting a variety of hedges, bushes and trees, you can offer a welcoming spot for birds to build a nest and breed. It's not just the birds that will delight in bushes of wild strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in the autumn — they will be a delicious treat for everyone else too.

Wild and tasty

Many gardeners call them weeds, but wild herbs can also be delicious and nutritious. From daisies & ground elder, to nettles & sorrel, there are many other wild herbs that can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen, whether in salads, soups and pesto or simply as seasoning. These low-maintenance plants are often very capable of surviving in areas where other garden plants would struggle, and they thrive best without special care. Wild herbs can be particularly beneficial to your health thanks to their exceptionally high mineral content. For example, daises contain almost three times as much potassium as lettuce. There's a good reason why spring diets and therapies use wild herbs in so many different ways.
If these wild herbs are missing from your garden, then perennial herbs such as wild garlic and mint as well as the biennial fennel and caraway are best sown now, at the beginning of September. So that your plants thrive, make sure they always remain sufficiently moist. But be careful not to over-water, as waterlogging can have the opposite effect.

Don't be fooled — a wild garden is no less labour-intensive than a garden laid out in a strictly organised way. A semi-natural garden simply follows a different kind of organisation. To make sure your garden doesn't become too overgrown, it must be tended to from time to time. This garden rewards its owner with a very special kind of charm — a natural character designed by a gardener's caring hand.