Q.Wild flower area in a shared garden
As a local authority tenant with a shared garden, all gardening services, like lawn cutting is carried out by council workmen roughly once a month. It is, by it’s very nature, it’s a pretty rough process carried out either with a motorised gang mower, or by workmen with petrol strimmers.
We already have bird feeders with fat balls, seeds and nuts, which is well visited by a variety of birds but I would like to set up some form of wildflower area, as I feel that this would be environmentally “friendly” than otherwise sterile rough lawn area. The area of garden that I could call my own is roughly 20ft by 20ft and the first job would seem to be finding some means of preventing the workmen from just strimming away all our efforts at the earliest opportunity.
The area in question is situated in a shady corner under a large tree and bordering a metal fence. Apart from that, I don’t know really where to make a start as being disabled, money is necessarily a bit tight.
Start by searching for "native plants in my region". There are many online native plant retailers who have excellent information on their websites. There are also library books addressing native plants in the home landscape. You want to buy from a source in your area, not a big box store, as those plants are truly native to your area and adapted to do well with your conditions. That said, growing under trees is very difficult. If that is a maple tree, I'd say it is almost impossible. Maples have very shallow roots and will suck the moisture and nutrients from the soil and block the sun. Planting means cutting through roots which isn't a great thing for the tree either. Laying down a few inches of soil over the roots is also not good for the tree. In the forest, ferns and other plants "grow up" together with the roots intermingled. Trying to grow a baby plant under a mature tree is a whole different matter. You may have more success with the plants and the landscape crew if you grow in pots. Use social media or go to a thrift shop or re-use center to find inexpensive containers. This time of year, people (and landscape companies) often have extras.