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in Wildlife gardening
Hi (first post on this Forum!)
We are making a cottage garden at the rear end of our Victorian garden, with gravel paths in a simple labyrinth style, leading to a small circular path which will eventually have a sundial or birdpath at its centre. Surrounding the circular path is a small patch of ground we would like to lawn (approx 6m x 3m). I saw Monty's idea of creating a meadow at the new design for the Mound and thought this would look good and attract wildlife but don't know what to choose for such a small area, where to buy the seed or how to go about it!
Pictorial meadows did the meadows at the olympic stadium. They are based in sheffield and have a variety of mixes if you want to sow seed.
Thanks the website looks great though we do have a very small patch to sow!
You can always buy separate packets of seed and then scatter them on plug trays to make your own plugs, and make a matrix of flowers that you like. Some things like red poppies prefer to be sown direct, but I made my own plugs of hesperis and ox eye daisy and harebells.
Hi Louise, I'm in the same position (almost) as you! I have a really small lawn within my garden which was turfed last year....only then did I discover the lawnmower in my late father's garage was broken and haven't been able to replace it yet. Lawn has been mowed a few times for me, but last week I even reorted to cutting it with scissors! Not ideal and now I wonder whether to turn it into a wildflower meadow instead. Decisions, decisions!
My concerns are that seeds will blow all over the rest of the garden and turn everything into one big "weedy" mess, although the uncared for field near my house already does that to some extent. I also want to be sure it will look like an intentional meadow and not just an uncared for area.
Any opinions would be welcome! Meanwhile, I came across this site that seems to have a good selection of seeds and plants for meadow planting... www.wildflowerlawnsandmeadows.com
Hope it's useful
I've seen seed mixes for wild flower meadows in garden centres. My brother-in-law did one from a packet of seeds he bought somewhere in the Cotswolds.
Mmmm Never been too keen on packets of seed mixes for meadows. Not all grow very well because not mixed for your soil. Having said that love the link you've posted Lindsay. I would go for the Annual wild flower seed mix. Don't think you could go wrong with that. Easy to pull out if you don't like/want will self seed year after year and native plants so good for our wildlife.
I really wouldn't recommend mixes from a garden centre, because of price and well, where did the seeds come from? You may need a lot of seed and you'll only get a gram or so from the garden centre. I can only recommend one source Emorsgate Seeds. There are a few others that abide by Flora Locale code of conduct but Emorsgate sell by the gram and only sell natives. If you really want to benefit wildlife you need to consider all insects not just bees. Much of the focus on TV has been aimed at bees but you can benefit both bees and all our native wildlife by buying actual wild flowers rather than garden varieties and none-natives which will only benefit the bees and hoverflies. By choosing natives from someone abiding by Flora Locale you will benefit butterflies, beetles, bats, birds, frogs… and the list goes on. Not to mention supporting our native wildflowers which a dwindling fast! Some suppliers will even sell foreign versions of our native plants which will over some benefit to our native wildlife but foreign species will not help our local gene pool and those foreign flowers may not flower at a time that our native insects are ready to take advantage. Please by native not garden varieties or foreign versions which ultimately only benefit man.
Agree with comments above, can recommend Pictorial Meadows mix - have grown them for the last 3 years with success. Also try Wiggly Wigglers for wildflower plug plants - great selection and quality.
Plug plants are great if you can't get the plants to grow from seed for whatever rason but I'd only buy a handful unless you've got plenty of money because it works out very expensive when you can get thousands of seeds for a pound or two. I've bought plugs quite a few times when I've tried year after to year to get whatever it is to grow from seed. Pignuts for example I just can't grow them from bought seed and sweet violet. I got a couple come up but lost them later.