The Good Gardener 2024

The Good Gardener banner - seeding for biodiversity


Thanks to the enthusiastic participation of our community, we are happy to announce that we completed another exciting year of seeding for biodiversity.  

The Good Gardener campaign took place earlier this spring with a total of 50 registrations, paired with 18 existing teams from 2023 across 32 sites on University and college spaces.  

Together, you planted 850 square meters of mini-flower meadow. This is equivalent to about 3.5 tennis courts.  

The map below shows the sites in which you can expect to see wildflowers this season, most of which are expected to flower from June onwards.  

2024 sites map temp2

What now?

If you have a Good Gardener site in your building or college, don’t forget to update us by sharing photos as it blooms. Environmental Sustainability team @OxEnvSust and use the hashtag #OxGoodGardener. 

Caring for your wildflower meadow 

Whilst most wildflowers need little care, here are some things you can do to help them grow:   

  • Avoid using fertiliser   
  • Remove weeds  
  • In dry weather, water the wildflowers once a week. Most of the time wildflowers do not need additional watering unless the weather is very dry.    
  • Cover the area lightly with leaves, twigs or branches to protect the seeds from being eaten by birds and cats before having enough time to grow.    

In due time, the area may be mowed by your gardening team. Do not worry if the meadows are mown after the flowering season. Mowing once a year is good for the soil and the seeds can rejuvenate in future seasons.  

* If any part of your gardening pack remains that you do not need, please feel free to send this back to the Environmental Sustainability team for reuse. You can address the pack to the Malthouse, Tidmarsh Lane, OX1 1NQ using the University’s internal post. 

Biodiversity is the variety among living organisms both in a particular habitat and globally (i.e., plant and animal life, fungi, bacteria, etc.). This variability among species is essential to the processes that support life.  

The University’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy commits to achieving net zero gain by 2035. 

Read below “What else can you do for biodiversity?”  to learn how you can help support biodiversity in your day-to-day.  

Go out to nature, enjoy and observe species. You can take pictures of wildlife and use the iNaturalist app on your phone to help you identify your observations. You will find your observations on the University of Oxford iNaturalist page. Your records will used to help improve and understand the biodiversity in your area.   

If you wish to join the Good Gardener Campaign next year, or hear about other engagement opportunities, please register to our mailing list to receive a monthly newsletter.

What else can you do for biodiversity? 

  • Consider your consumption habits and opt for more environmentally friendly options. For example, eating less carbon-intensive foods (e.g. meat and dairy). Eating vegetarian/vegan meals once or twice a week can make a large difference over time!
  • Buy second-hand and pre-loved items wherever possible, or items that are certified Fairtrade.   
  • Find low or zero waste alternatives to common items like disposable cups and grocery bags. You can even visit a refill store in Oxford to completely remove the need for plastic packaging.

Additional resources for growing a wildflower garden