Friday, 28 May 2021

No Mow May

Hello Friends!

The Merrie Merrie Month of May is nearly spent, and I took part in No Mow May, a conservation project that began in the UK, but which is now gathering global momentum.  You can read about it HERE if you wish to do so.

So, in a nutshell, it's all about not mowing your lawn for the entire month to allow beneficial conditions for small wildlife and insects to have a chance to breed and feed as the world moves into late spring.  

It wasn't a hardship to not mow for a month, but it's going to be a push to get the mower through the first time!  

Here's some of what I've recorded:

Some grasses and plantain


Daisies and Buttercup 


Hawkbit


Naturally, there are Dandelions

and the one that makes me happiest of all ~

Milkmaid's Smock


I found one growing in my lawn a few years ago, and cautiously mowed around it for weeks, the following year there were two or three, then last year none, but this year it's back in profusion, and maybe eighteen plants.  I am finding it everywhere I turn! I am thrilled.

It is a valuable food source for one of my favourite butterflies, the Orange Tip.

What are you doing to help and encourage wildlife, especially bees, in your garden?   You can be Bee and Wildlife Friendly even if you only have a window box, or a few pots on a balcony.

Until next time
Stay Safe, Stay Well

27 comments:

  1. Great idea not to mow! I have lots of bee friendly plants on my balcony, and I hope the bees will visit when it gets warmer. Have a great day, hugs, Valerie

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    1. Thank you, Valerie. I thought you'd have bee friendly planting. Hugs, Deb

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  2. Because of the rain, I haven't been able to mow my lawn much anyway. I managed the bit at the side of the house last week, but before that had to leave quite large areas as there were Wild Violets growing, and baby Primroses (we have 100s of Primroses here) and then your Milkmaid's Smock (which I know as Lady's Smock). I will have to get my daughter to mow it now (before it's impossibly long) but the Primrose Bank is going to be left and I'll just take a few dandelions out. Bugle is growing there nicely and the bees love that.

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    1. Thank you, Bovey Belle. I also know it as Lady's Smock, and believe it has many other local names too. I might have to get someone to do my first cut now but if I can manage I will, for I want to leave the Milkmaid's Smock as long as I can. I have lots of wildflowers elsewhere too.

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  3. OH won't leave whole lawn but we do leave a corner unmown throughout the summer. Sadly have never had Cuckoo flower - usual plants are Cat's Ear, Ribwort Plantain and Bird's Foot Trefoil plus dandelions. It is a fun thing to do. Lovely photos :)

    We do have a small wildflower meadow and try and plant as many native species, wild flowers, and cottage garden plants as possible to help pollinators plus caterpillar food plants.

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    1. Thank you, Ragged Robin. You have a good selection there too on your lawn. My job now is to do the mowing while leaving the Milkmaid's Smock in peace. I do my best to ensure non native species are as wildlife friendly as I can manage. I had a situation last year when ragwort popped up but as I don't have any livestock I left it, deadheading not allowing to seed.

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  4. I love the idea of not mowing for a whole month, Deb! The Milkmaid Smock is such a sweet little wildflower. I've seen it here, but not in our yard. I understand they are sacred to fairies! The bees love our garden areas as they flit from flower to flower. We never use pesticides around here and I'm sure it's why we see them along with birds and butterflies. If we all do our little part in protecting our planet, just imagine! xoxo

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    1. Thank you, my friend. Yes! They are sacred to fairies. Also known as Cuckooflower and Lady's Smock. It's so pretty, and so delicate. I've now counted at least eighteen plants, they seem to be well spread out now. Oh, yes, indeed, if only we all pulled a little harder, imagine! xoxo

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  5. Sadly (or maybe not) we no longer have a lawn to mow (or not) as we are now apt dwellers. But, when we lived in homes in NJ and VA we happily let the grass get a bit longer because of the abundance of wildflowers, similar to some you have shown in this post.

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    1. Thank you Beatrice. I'm not sure what an apt dweller is, but it's possible to be wildlife friendly even if you only have a window box.

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  6. I have never heard of no mow, but now may give it a try. Thanks for the info about it and the benefits.

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    1. Thank you, maybe you can do no mow June instead?

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  7. Bees love our garden. We have fruit trees, flowering hedges, etc, and use no pesticides; so they and the birds are happy to visit us. Your photos are so beautiful, they even make me almost sympathetic to the dandelions I battle—almost!

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    1. Thank you. Dandelions are the Marmite of the flower world, but quite possibly the most beneficial plant going. I much prefer having wildlife to a manicured lawn.

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  8. On the allotment we let the grass grow under the fruit trees and have a couple of messy areas with bramble, nettles etc. At home we have lots of bird feeders and Spondon and I try to grow a range of flower shapes.

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    1. Thank you. Those messy areas are vital for so many beneficial critters, aren't they?

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  9. Beautiful. The world seems a better place for the less we do to it! Well done!

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    1. Thank you, it is better left than manicured to within an inch of it's very existence.

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  10. I have loads of flowers and the bees seem to love them, especially when all the sweet peas pop! I wouldn't have wanted to be the one to push that mower through after, though!

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    1. Thank you, Jeanie. Yes, while it's lovely to do my bit for wildlife, I confess it was an all out struggle to mow. It took me lots of short bursts to complete. If I decide to do it next year, I will book a professional gardener for June 1st!

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  11. It's really wonderful to see what leaves and flowers will appear given a chance. It's good to know you're doing your bit for the butterflies and bees. I never realized till recently how good ivy is providing safety and food for so many creatures.

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    1. Thank you, Jenny. It is amazing, and later I discovered even more, including cow parsley, dock, and thistle. Ivy is wonderful, and if you've ever walked by an ivy covered wall on a warm Autumn afternoon and seen it smothered with butterflies you'll know how important ivy is.

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  12. Great idea, and glad you took part. I don't have a lawn (just a rocky sort of yard) and I'm very bad at growing things in pots. I've tried a few times, but the poor plants end up dead. I don't know why, but after a certain incident where some plants I'd been tending that were on my windowsill - which I'd kept alive for ages... A few years in one case - got vandalized when the landlord I had at the time took advantage of me being away to let someone stay in my place (yeah, he wasn't my landlord for long after that) I seem unable to keep any plants alive for long. If I had a garden where things could try and grow by themselves though, I'd be happy to let at least some of it grow wild for the bees, butterflies, and other wildlife. I don't own this place, and the garden that's all rocks and no flowers isn't my choice. We still get some birds visiting though. Maybe I'll set up a feeder for them come Autumn...

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  13. Thank you, Victoria. My, that is a cautionary tale of a suspicious landlord. Maybe you could try some tub grown plants and shrubs that you can take with you, if and when you move? Surprisingly, things you might not expect to work well in pots.

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    1. Yeah, it was part of a very big lesson I learned about being cautious when trusting people you know to be your landlord. I've long since stopped either renting his properties or wanting anything to do with his family, as I'm sure you can appreciate.

      I've tried things in pots. Even had another attempt in recent months. My Mam had to rescue them, and it was only a couple of fresh herbs this last time. The only thing I've really had any success with since the incident with the landlord was when I grew a bunch of sunflowers a few years back. But they got too big for their pots, got put in the garden where I was at the time, and so didn't come with me when I moved from that place.

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  14. I won't let DH spray the dandelions when they first bloom. I leave them for the bees. And my garden has many flowers they all love. I let the dill and other herbs go to flower also.

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