Gardening: Cuttings: Growing wild

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The Independent Online
GRAHAM DIXIE of High Value Horticulture writes with more information about introducing wild flowers in new habitats (Independent, 2 July). 'Plug plants are mainly used in habitat restoration projects,' he says, 'but increasingly they are finding a role in more formal landscapes to create features such as cowslip lawns, hedgerows fronted by red campions, primrose banks and so on.

'The plug-plant technology and planting tools are in themselves clever. We use air-root pruning, slow-release fertiliser, coir compost and specialist planting tools to clear small planting areas and create planting holes. These echo the shape of the module but with a cheat at the base which, combined with the pruned roots, encourages rapid rooting.

'We have also learnt the key features of success: to choose suitable wild flowers for the planting site; to spot- irrigate if planting in spring or early summer; and, most critical, to cut in the first spring before the grass reaches 20cm (8in), and take it back to about 7.5cm (3in).'

High Value Horticulture is at Colne House, Highbridge Estate, Oxford Road, Uxbridge UB8 1UL (0895 272911).

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