Predator strip!

Bright yellow flower on evergreen plant

Brachyglottis 'Senecio' in flower

Martin Crawford’s predator strip is a combination of perennial flowering plants to attract predatory and pollinating insects

On the longest night in the depths of winter, with temperatures plummeting to 10°C, the Brachyglottis (Dunedin Group) ‘Sunshine’ is flowering! Along with the Myrrhis odorata (Sweet Cicely) and Filipendula ulmaria (Meadowsweet), it forms part of a “predator strip” by the raised beds, to encourage predatory and pollinating insects, like hoverflies. I heard about them on Martin Crawford’s Forest Gardening Design Course in 2016 and I’m really pleased to have finally planted my own.

The good news is that Brachyglottis ‘Sunshine’ (previously known as Senecio) is as tough as nails, used in countless car parks and municipal spaces. I say almost, I managed to inadverntently dispatch one. Sweet Cicely is also supposedly easy to grow, though again, I couldn’t get the seeds to germinate and ended up buying them in a boot sale from the local garden centre. Meadowsweet thankfully grows like a weed. I like weeds.