Garden Robin

Garden Robin

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

"Say No to the Mow" Zone in the Lawn - 2nd Year

Last year I took part in Plantlife's "Say No to the Mow" campaign where you leave about a metre squared (or more) in a sunny area of the lawn unmown to see what wildflowers appear. I decided to carry on with the idea again this year as there are far more wildflowers appearing in this area than elsewhere in the lawn.

The area this year is slightly smaller than last as my husband got carried away with the lawn mower :(

Dandelions have appeared together with the following species:

I've struggled over id of the plant showed in the next 2 photos. Amanda (from The Quiet Walker) I seem to remember suggested it might be Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) and the exceedingly useful website i-spot have now confirmed this id - so thanks Amanda. It would be rather nice if it attracted some Cinnabar moth caterpillars!

Herb Robert (Geranium robertanium)

Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris) - I've just learnt that this is also a food plant for Cinnabar moth caterpillars.

Common Cat's Ear (Hypochaeris radiocata)

Lesser Trefoil (Trifolium dubium)

Upright Yellow Sorrel (Oxalis stricta) - where the No Mow Zone meets the border.

Cut-leaved Dead Nettle (Lamium hybridum)

Sadly, there doesn't appear to be any of the more exciting species such as orchids, bugle or cowslips but its still interesting to see what appears especially if its beneficial to insects.

Compared to the rest of the lawn which just contains daisies, clover and ribwort plantain there are definitely more wildflowers in the area where the grass is left to grow until late summer.

A few interesting grasses are also appearing - I put photos of these on i-spot as I am hopeless at identifying grasses and I wanted to try and get a few more species for the Garden Bioblitz last weekend. It appears the grasses include a Meadow Grass sp, possibly a Fescue sp. and Perennial Rye Grass (Lolium perenne).

Blue Tit Update

All eggs have now hatched and there are six young birds :)


  1. Good idea and rather fun to see what comes up! The one I did recognise was the 2nd photo of the Ragwort, which grows here and I've seen it coming up in the lawn like that. It will be a good haven for insects too. I've left a patch unmown before but later on in the summer, and it was mostly full of Knapweed, Queen Anne's Lace, and Yarrow, so was great for insects, particularly butterflies.

    Great news about the blue tits! I'm watching Springwatch so I can imagine the excitement of getting to see what is happening in the nest, all in your own garden. :-)

    1. Thanks so much Mandy. It is interesting - if I had my way I would leave a much larger area! You got some good species in your unmown patch. We've got Knapweed in the wildflower area and its a real magnet for insects later in the summer (if it can find its way through the couch grass this year that is!!).

      Watching the Blue Tits is fun although in the past it is occasionally a bit harrowing as if there is not much food about you tend to get 2 or 3 of the chicks larger than the rest and getting all the food whilst the smaller ones hardly get any at all. Even putting out meal worms to try and help doesn't make much difference. Survival of the fittest I suppose but it can be upsetting. We only have a cheapish nestbox with camera - bought it from Aldi I think (in fact, we have had two now as the first eventually stopped working). From memory it was around £30/£35. You can get much better ones but its good enough to view the chicks and has colour, sound and infrared.

  2. Nice post, some interesting things growing there. Good to read the Blue Tit eggs have all hatched.

    1. Thanks very much Ian - its an interesting experiment :) Blue tits seem to have hatched at a good time looking at the weather forecast :)

  3. Glad you have managed to keep a patch of grass, it amazes me some times were they come from (the flowers) if you leave things to grow, at the patch of lad at the park were they cut some trees down which I have blogged about before, there are still new plants flowering which you can not find any were else in the park, think I am up to well over 50 types of plants, this doesn't even include grasses. Going to collect some Cow Parsley seed this year and have a go at growing some of that down the garden.
    Amanda xx

    1. Thanks Amanda :) I remember reading about all the flowers that appeared at that patch of your park - its especially interesting about the new plants flowering that don't appear elsewhere. Good luck with the Cow Parsley - will be really interesting to see how it grows. Such a lovely plant and a superb addition to the garden. I need to try and plant some more Garlic Mustard seed - I bought a pack and planted them in wildflower area but only one came up and its now disappeared without trace :(