Working in the community space, we are lucky enough to hear incredible stories of how people all across the country are coming together to improve the lives of others where they live. These stories are so engaging that I often end up talking about them to my friends and family when we catch up. One of the questions that always comes up is, “How did they make that happen?” – a lot of people tend to think they couldn’t go out and do something like that themselves, perhaps thinking they don’t have enough time or the right skills or genuinely know where to start. It strikes me that we humans have a tendency to limit ourselves rather than getting out there and just giving it a go. Now, I am no gardener but I do have a passion for nature, so I thought I’d share with you all how I sowed a wildflower planter this weekend. I hope it helps provide some useful information and proves that even a beginner like me can do it.
It was absolutely stunning weather this Sunday, bright sunshine, not too windy with a slight crispness to the air. Perfect for sowing seeds. My neighbour, who I met on Nextdoor, applied for the Grow Wild seed kit through Nextdoor and we committed to planting them this weekend for this summer. We often meet at the local nature reserve which is a disused green space we are turning into a community space for all to enjoy. I’ve been volunteering there for the last year and a lot of the work has been cleaning the site from rubbish. The majority of the time, the rubbish is useless but we had come across a large plastic tank which had been dumped with old building materials. This, we decided, would be our wildflower host.
The first step was emptying out the tank and wiping it down before assessing the best place to install it. We went for a space near the top entrance of the nature reserve, in plenty of light and that would be a cheery, bright welcome for neighbours as they visit. We dug into the ground so that the tank would be deep enough in to be sturdy and then we drilled holes into the bottom for good drainage. I was told by another volunteer that plants need good drainage to survive.
We placed the tank into the ground and filled the bottom with few old bricks to help with drainage as well as provide extra weight to keep the tank in place. Next, we shovelled some good soil from under a pile of leaves into the tank leaving some space at the top (you don’t want it filled up to the brim). Then, we made a few grooves on the surface of the soil and sprinkled the wildflower seeds on top. You don’t need to pat down the soil or push the seeds down or even worry about space between them. And, Ta-da! The old tank became a wildflower planter!
Finally, we placed some bricks around the outside of the planter’s base to hold it in place and turned this into a bug hotel by pushing some twigs and dried grass between the bricks. Bugs love hollow stems where they nest and make their home. Our planter became a whole eco-system!
We were there for a couple of hours but you could do it in minutes if you already had a planter ready. We chatted, laughed and I left knowing a few more neighbours as well as how to create my own wildflower space.
Tools we used:
- Grow Wild Seed kit
- Mattock (handy but not necessary for breaking up the ground)
- Electric drill (only necessary if you don’t have holes at the bottom of your planter)
Have you planted your wildflower seeds yet? You still have time if you haven’t, it’s a great way to give back to nature and get neighbours to come together on a fun project.
Do you have a story about how you’ve used Nextdoor in your neighbourhood? Let us know.