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After watching Sarah Raven last night I want to do a wild flower garden on some bare earth. Where is the best place to Buy !!

Kate Bradbury

Hi Graceland, if you do a web search for 'meadow anywhere', you will find details of bee and butterflyy-friendly wildflower seeds ideal for sowing on to bare earth. Hope this helps!


Kate team

You can also get a good wild flower seed mix from Sarah Raven's own web site, as well as many other plant seed that are great for pollenators.

hmm not sure what happened to my post but here it is again.  If you click here you can find out about wild flowers that suit your area and hopefully benefit the wildlife in your area.  Although my postcode came up with bindweed...


Super wild flower seed is available from Pictorial Meadows of Sheffield. Their website is a bit tricky, but you can buy small packets for the garden. (I phoned up). I have used strawberry and cream mixture and the marmalade mix over the last two years AND THEY HAVE BEEN AMAZING. The soil needs to be fertile for this seed, so if you haven't got a bit of waste land, sprinkle these packets in the borders and prepare to be amazed.

Any other 'hands on' tips for ground preparation.  I have an area that has been used and abused by builders ie. well compacted and lots of unwanted rubbish.  Do I need to clear it in the same way one would for an herbasceous border.  Really I am trying to do as little as possible as I have so much other garden to create!!! 

As far as I am aware, the earth needs to be fertile and fine for these wildflower seeds to grow. Pictorial Meadows has a website which talks about ground prep. However you can buy plug plants from some sources. But it sounds as though you have a lot of work to do before you can plant stuff. Sorry!


Jo, there are quite a few wildflowers that absolutely thrive on the kind of ground you've got.  Rosebay Willow Herb and Buddleia to name two! You only have to look at any derelict industrial site or at the edges of railway tracks to get your inspiration


Rob Stevens

<span style="color: #222222; font-family: arial, sans-serif;"><span style="line-height: normal;">I bought a box of bee and butterfly mix from Poundland. The bed that I've put it in was roughly dug over then raked, and then lightly raked again after the seeds were down. Loads of seedlings coming up - I'm looking forward to seeing the results!

A few comments to make on previous postings. Soil does not want to be too fertile, sometimes if converting an existing garden it pays to scrape a couple of inches off. It really depends on what you want to create as to what needs doing. Usually a particular habitat is created i.e. a flower meadow, boggy area, woodland area etc.  Builders rbble will need moving if it going to be mown a couple of times a year, or if you are going to lay a sheet to retain water.

Ensure your seeds or plugs are sourced from native stock, each to their own but I would question Poundland.

Buddleia is great for butterflies but is not native even though, as Botticelliwoman says it thrives anywhere.

I also loved that programme and have since bought several packets of seeds, just waiting for the right time to plant, with all this adverse weather WHEN shall I plant, ??? Ground is prepared, now with conserving water etc, supposed frosts, when do I plant them? Live in Richmond Surrey. any suggestions??

Gary Hobson

I'm having a try at this. I'm in Warwickshire.

My efforts are extemely amateur. So don't follow what I'm doing. This is just for your entertainment, and showing you how not to do it.

Anyway, in an area of rough grass, I tried removing some strips of turf, which I sowed with 4 varieties of wildflower seeds (some from T&M, some from Johnsons):

I sowed about 10 days ago. Because it's been very dry during the past few days, I've been using a watering can. Some seeds have already germinated:

The ground looks rough. I didn't do much preparation. If these plants are to hold their own against grass, then they'll need to grow up tough.

I've also tried planting some plugs, like this:

I had a disaster with some red clover plugs. The day after I'd planted, some animal ate most of the top growth on the little plants. So these are now covered with cloches for protection:

Well done on your planting. Its all good fun and hopefully all will grow nicely. Then there will be something to look forward to next year as well. My seeds will be going straight into the prepared soil in the next couple of days, and fingers crossed they will do what they know how to do. So its patience for us for a few days to see their results.

Gary Hobson

Showery weather is forecast for the next week and the soil is warm, so this is an ideal sowing time.

Just for interest, these are 3 of the 4 packets that I sowed:

Johnson's - Mixed Bumblebee Friendly Flowers (an impulse buy from my local supermaket while doing weekly shop)
T&M's Wild Flowers - Meadowland Mixture
T&M's Wild Flowers - Cornfield Mixture

It will be interesting to see how well each batch does. And also to see which batch the bumblies actually do prefer.


I think Miriam Rothschils tok about 10 years to create a replica ancient meadow

Gary Hobson
burhinus wrote (see)

Miriam Rothschils took about 10 years to create a replica ancient meadow

You're absolutely correct.

Sustainability is the key to meadows. This important issue was entirely glossed over in Sarah Raven's programs. In fact, most of those programs had little to do with meadows. In many of her examples Sarah Raven was simply sowing or planting herbaceaous beds, somewhat like the mini-beds I've sown.

A natural meadow acheives a balance between flowers and grass because the soil contains no nutrients. The way that happens is through continual cutting of the grass (haymaking) and removing all the cut hay, so that the nutrients held in the hay do not return to the soil. In a naturally evolving meadow it takes decades to deplete the soil of nutrients.

Miriam Rothschild created her meadow artifically, by removing several inches of top soil and reseeding. She removed thousand of tons of earth. An operation like that is very expensive, and destructive. She admitted that destroying all the wildlife causes 'ecological disruption'.

Personally I don't accept that the destruction of all wildlife is necessary nor desirable. Nor could I afford an operation like the Rothschilds'. Unlike the Rothschilds, I don't own an Investment Bank.

In a mini-meadow, which is what I'm creating, it should be feasible to remove any aggressive grass from around the plugs, and mini-beds, by hand, if and when necessary. We'll see what happens.

Incidentally, I was in Tesco yesterday, and a packet of seeds caught my eye. I couldn't resist. So I've just made and sowed another mini-bed:

The presence of packets of seeds like that one, in Supermarkets, shows that a lot of people are interested in trying things like this.

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