You hear more and more about them and you come across them more often at plant markets with specialized growers; wild and heme plants. How is that so? What are the differences? And are they better or worse than the normal plants you see at garden centers?
- Wild plants and (in) heme plants are actually the same.
- The perennials you buy nowadays are adaptations of wild and (in) heme plants.
- Wild and (in) heme plants could be called the basic plants of today’s species.
- Wild and (in) heme plants often attract other, better (much more useful) insects than the processed species.
- With the disappearance of Wild plants, the beneficial insects also disappeared.
- Because many beneficial insects have disappeared, diseases and pests such as oak processionary caterpillar develop
- By planting wild and (in) heme plants again, beneficial insects come back.
- You can also provide enough beneficial insects through the right combination of cultivated plant species.
LET’S START AT THE BEGINNING
You have to remember that back in the day when there were no growers, all plants arose spontaneously or were introduced by Mother Nature centuries before. The climate, the soil, and the fact that people let them go about their business undisturbed meant that nature itself arranged which plants did best in a certain place and which did not. This involved much more than just plants; insects, birds, butterflies, bees, and underground ‘life’ also played a role.
The system kept itself in shape and in shape, as it were. Pests and diseases were repelled because there were always natural enemies around to attack them. The natural enemies were there because there were the right plants to live on. And the residues of all animal life ensured the growth of existing and new plants. It could have remained that way if ‘man’ had not intervened. Then the plants would have grown everywhere that were naturally best at their place there. We call these plants native or heme plants. If you grow the native or heme plants in places where they did not naturally occur but do thrive, we call them wild plants. All plants that originate or grow naturally in one place are therefore called wild plants.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WILD AND NORMAL PLANTS
Wild plants are often thought of as plants that run wild, plants that are difficult to control, plants that proliferate. That is a misconception! Wild plants are not by definition naturalizing plants, on the contrary. We have to go back. All plants are originally the same. They once originated somewhere in nature or have been there for centuries.
Through human intervention; Think of agriculture, cattle breeding, grazing, development, and deforestation, many of the wild plant species originally present have disappeared. Only the toughest species survived and are still there, take the nettle, thistle, ground elder, etc. etc.
Well, and these species proliferate in such a way that they were and are soon called ‘wild plants’. In fact, it is also true, but there are also so many wild, naturally intact species that do not proliferate but provide added value in terms of color and smell and are very important for the interaction with the insects, the birds, and soil life. We don’t actually have an extra name for the non-wild plants. But in practice, these are the plants that were created by the cultivation of the growers and breeders. They crossed the original strain with other strains. They have been looking for an even more beautiful color for the Tulip, a darker leaf for the Hosta, and more flowers and fragrance for the Rose. Then we all started to put these new species in places where the wild species used to be. And that wouldn’t be so bad if the cultivated species, also called cultivated species, had the same qualities for our environment, the interaction with the bees, birds, butterflies… the ecosystem. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLANTS ARE NOT ALWAYS THE BEST!
Many of the cultivated varieties we cultivate have ‘different qualities’ from the original wild native varieties. They have nicer colors, they are less susceptible to aphids or spider mites, and they give off a different scent. Sometimes they are so different in shape that bees cannot even reach their nectar and stamens. You already feel it; the qualities so valued by humans are sometimes simply less appreciated by insects and even smaller animals.
It goes even further; much of that important animal, flutter, and buzzing life disappears when it is too little for them to heal in the cultivated planting. And as always, the bad guys are left. Pests such as the Oak processionary caterpillar may have arisen because their natural (useful) enemies had disappeared. The useful critters and certain bee species have left or died out because there were no longer the right plants for them.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
It is not that you can not make a good ecosystem in your garden with normal (the cultivated) plants. That is possible. You just have to make sure that you choose good varieties that create a good cycle. Plants that have the right appeal to birds, bees, butterflies, and all kinds of other beneficial insects. In practice, these types of plants are often referred to as ‘host plants’. Sometimes you also read it on the herbivore. In addition to the right plant choice, you also have to keep an eye on soil life. Good permeability and lightness always provide more life.
It is good to know that wild and hemp plants are often simply better than cultivated species requiring a lot of care. After all, wild plants are not literally wild but have their own qualities
MORE AND MORE DEMAND FOR WILD AND (IN) HEME (SE) PLANTS!
As more and more gardeners, designers, and gardeners discover the added value of the original perennial varieties, growers are growing more and more of those varieties and offering them for sale. This concerns the smell, the color, the vigor, but also their effect on beneficial insects. With more wild and heme plants, a better ecosystem is created where diseases and pests have less chance. There are hundreds of varieties, here is a suggestion from the Lageschaar range’s that can come into their own in your garden. Building a cycle (ecosystem) can therefore be done with wild as well as native and ‘normal’ plants, it can also be a combination. If everyone would already think about it, our world would be a lot more beautiful and healthier.
Fortunately, there are also parties that can help with your search. Julian Tynan Garden experts can advise you on the soil and the right plant choices. A border plan tailored to your garden is also part of this.