This bramble is actually growing in my neighbour’s garden. It creeps through the gap in our fence. I’m sure they would cut it back if we asked, but I love it and so do pollinating insects like bumblebees and hoverflies.
Bramble is a familiar sight across the UK: it can be found in woods, scrub, hedges, heaths, cliffs, valleys, at waste sites, road sides, and in gardens. Did you know there are over 400 microspecies of bramble? And it’s incredibly variable, from prostrate to climbing, with flowers ranging from white to deep pink.
It’s also a great provider for pollinating insects like bees, hoverflies and butterflies – like the gatekeeper butterfly in my photo collage. With its wings closed you might mistake it for a meadow brown at a quick glance, but the lower wing gives it away (more patterned than the meadow brown) and when it spreads its wing, you’ll see the bright flashes of orange.
A wild corner of the garden is great for wildlife, providing shelter and food. Having a gap or hole in your fence is also a great asset. It helps to form wildlife corridors between gardens, or “hedgehog highways” as some people call them.
I don’t think there will be enough berries on the branch in our garden to make jam when those eventually emerge, but the birds will be able to enjoy them!