Bluebell wood

Bluebell wood

The crazy nettle lady, also known as moi, is moving along with my plan to plant wildflower and bluebells seeds where nettles once grew on the lane on my uncle’s farm.

As I said in an earlier post, I hate nettles.  Not only because of their nasty stings, but because they smother the indigenous wildflowers that are so important to a wide variety of insects, bees, and other wildlife.  Nothing can grow in patches of nettles.

Last summer I pulled up 6,500 nettles along the lane and yes, I counted every one. This summer I’ve pulled up at least the same number, for a total of at least 13,000 nettles.

That’s a lot of nettles, especially if you include scratching around in the dirt to pull up their sinuous, diabolical, malevolent roots. (Did I already say that I hate nettles, especially the fact that if you leave one bit of root in the dirt, the nettles will resurrect themselves?)

Horrible nettle roots.

Horrible nettle roots.

I don’t think I’m exaggerating, but I think I’ve pulled up 1/3 of the total number of nettles on the lane, and at least 50% of the goose grass, also known as cleaver. As my mother says, “When the  nettles see me approaching, they start to quake.”

The time has come to plant wildflowers.

I chose two patches:  one in full sun for an array of wildflowers;  the other in shade for the gorgeous English bluebells.

First, the sunny patch.

The wall had tumbled down, hence the need for the post and barbed wire, so my first job was to move the stones to the side, clear out the nettles and roots, and put the post back in.  I added several inches of the good rich dirt I got when digging the tops off molehills (more on this later).

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I then opened up a so-called “Bee Mat,” which is a fabric with wildflowers embedded in it.

The bee mat of wildflowers favoured by bees and other insects.

The so-called “bee mat” of wildflowers favoured by bees and other insects.

It has these wildflowers in it:

The wildflowers.

The wildflowers.

I placed the mat on the molehill dirt which is very black and rich . . .

IMG_1668and then covered it with 5-10 centimeters of more dirt from the molehills (however much that is–I need it said in inches, please!).

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Then I moved on to my bluebell wood.

Shady area for bluebells.

Shady area for bluebells.

There are a lot of bluebells in the wood one field away from the lane, so I collected several hundred seeds and scattered them about in the shady spot on the lane.IMG_1683 (1)

Stay tuned to this space next summer, and I’ll let you know how my plans for wildflowers turned out!

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