Cornfield patch

informal but brilliant for all sorts of wildlife

we advise and construct | you and wildlife enjoy

A project Welcome Wildlife can do for you

1 - plant a cornfield patch for the ultimate 'Doubling up'

  • suitable for any garden where there is a sunny spot for some informality
  • a patch, even if it is only a few metres long, will attract wildlife   (obviously the bigger the patch the better)
  • native plants are involved, so once are growing, watering is infrequent, except in a very dry summer
  • annuals are involved in the pure cornfield patch (but pollinators are just as happy with a cheaper and easier long term solution)

What benefits (what doesn't?)

green-veined white butterfly
Honey bees, solitary bees, hoverflies and everything else enjoy the feast.

The 'rotation' of the flowers through the season means there is food for up to 4 months.
green-veined white butterfly
The patch of brightly coloured flowers also proves irresistable to several butterflies.

Especially the 'meadow brown and various 'whites'.   The green-veined white butterfly - is shown.
common emerald moth
Moths are less obvious, but the varied plants attract them.

Many hide or rest during the day.   Here, a common emerald moth - Hemithea aestivaria - resting under an overhang on a shady wall

What Welcome Wildlife offers

  • a small choice of cornfield mixes from which to choose the colours you like
  • we like to mix the normal 'standard mix' of annual seeds with additional perennial seeds in as well so...
  • this gives you colour in the very first season plus
  • in a couple of seasons your patch is fairly self-sustaining, rather than needing to be replanted totally every spring
  • often a low, evergreen border reduces the total informality if that appeals to you

Cornfields and pollinators - some background

Plants tend to be pollinated by insects or the wind.   The ones we like are usually ones pollinated by insects as they attract insects with colourful blooms, which are usually numerous or large.

A cornfield patch is dominated by a variety of native, accessible plants.   The plants in flower 'rotate' so the flowers change month by month (and obviously the colours change which we like rather than the pollinators).

The main thing is a constant availability of flowers for the pollinators throughout the late spring/ summer season.

Unless you tell us otherwise, we will only select pollinator-friendly plants for your garden.

Mention 'pollinators' and honey bees are our first thought - but there are many, many more bees and other insects which are just as helpful.
Solitary bees - find their food in abundance in a cornfield patch.

There are about 200 species in the UK.   They don't live in a hive.   They aren't social.

Often we glance at them and think they are a honey bee (although some are clearly very different such as the mason bee with it's orange back).

Hover flies - easily recognised because they - well - hover.   There are about 250 UK species.   They also eat aphids so, bonus!   Cornfield patches certainly work for them.

Butterflies and moths - the cornfield patch works well for them (amongst other plants)

Other flies, wasps and most insects that pass from flower to flower are catered for