The city’s communities are enjoying a blaze of color this summer thanks to the council’s popular wildflower planting scheme.
In recent years the council has attracted pollinating insects to its roadsides, roundabouts, parks and rough terrain by allowing grass to grow long in selected locations, allowing wildflowers to bloom, and sowing formal flower beds with a colorful mix of flowers. .
And now he’s taking it a step further by introducing native wildflowers to a dozen locations around town that will continue to bloom year after year.
Specially selected seeds from the beautiful wildflower meadows of the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire have been planted this autumn and winter, ready for this summer and for years to come.
The initiative comes on top of the annual flower planting season which has kicked off in around 190 locations around Swansea which is expected to soar over the next few weeks.
The move is part of the council’s commitment to combat climate change and biodiversity loss by promoting plant and insect life, which includes new ways of cutting grass that help pollinators and parks and environmentally friendly shoulders.
Andrew Stevens, Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructuresaid the council is at the forefront of testing new ways to promote wildflowers and biodiversity in communities across the city.
He said: “We’re working alongside our nature conservation team and other organizations to create new havens for native insects and wildflowers because that’s what people have asked us to do.”
“People really like the bright and cheerful wildflower initiative, but some want to see more native varieties introduced. Although not as colorful as other types of wildflowers, native species largely take care of themselves.
“They are low maintenance, regrow year after year and also support native insect life. That’s why we’re experimenting in places like Carmarthen Road, Oystermouth Road, Swansea Enterprise Zone, the Vetch as well as more rural places like Pennard.
“We get our seeds from the National Botanic Gardens because then we know they are Welsh seeds grown in Wales.”
The wildflower projects build on the success of the council’s grass cutting and collecting program in parks, roadsides and elsewhere which also promotes biodiversity in our communities.
Customer Stevens said: “Our new approach to mowing grass adds to what we already do and is the best of both worlds as it encourages the maintenance of species-rich vegetation in parks and verges. It also slows down rainwater, helping with flood defense and capturing pollutants from the air.
“But the best thing about it is that we cut the grass twice in the season at specific times so that the flowers can complete their life cycle and naturally distribute seeds ready for the next time.
“This less-cut, later approach to grassy areas replenishes the seed bank, restores floral diversity and provides habitat for pollinators throughout the county.”
The Welsh Government has supported the scheme with grants for specialist cutting equipment and new machinery. It cuts and collects grass while carefully removing other dead vegetation to allow air and rain to reach the ground so the seeds have room to germinate.
(Main image: Swansea Council)