I’m searching through my memory bank and can only think of a handful of occasions that I personally have (and I’m a country gal), yet they’ve been around since neolithic times, so Sandro Cafollo of Design by Nature (www.wildflowers.ie) was explaining to us today.
From their origin to ground preparation, weeds, growing conditions, identification and the lack of support to growers, Sandro passionately shared some of his vast knowledge on growing crops of herbs and wildflowers to an interested group of us near Urlingford in Tipperary.
Sadly many native Irish wildflowers are now extinct or on the endangered list mostly as a result of weedkillers, farm machinery or heavy cropping. From corncockle to corn chamomile, wild cornflower and scarlet pimpernell – many of us will never see these flowers growing wild again.
|Self Heal, Oxe Eye Daisy & Mallow|
So why did Sandro give up his time for free today, give away seeds (and even fork out for a port-a-loo in a field)? It was in the hope that we would help to spread the word…
They can be grown commerically in Ireland as an alternative to four legged ‘crops’ and are incredibly important for biodiversity, encouraging a vast range of insects and butterflies. They can be used around fields, on verges or banks, as alternatives to mown lawns or just as cash crops – and more of us could be growing them.
To grow wildflowers successfully however, involves more than just buying a packet of seeds and scattering them a few weeks later, but that’s not for here or now (if you’re looking for more information go check out Sandro’s website). His passion for growing native Irish wildflowers was infectious, carrying us inquisitively and happily throughout the day.
|Mallow & Oxeye Daisy|
The following quote from their website explains why they feel it’s so important to grow Irish seeds:-
|Stacia bought the wine …|