Cornflowers and other wildflowers appear between narrow blades of native grasses in meadows and cornfields. It’s easy to recreate this effect in your garden by combining native wildflowers with delicate, swaying stems of silky eragrostis grass. The plants can be raised from seed, directly where they are to grow, in March and April.
This planting combination looks great in a container on a sunny patio, but it would work equally well sown in generous, naturalistic swathes, in beds or borders. The grass needs the sun to ripen, so make sure you place the container in a warm, bright spot.
You Will Need
- Wildflower seed
- Eragrotis grass seed
- Multi-purpose, peat-free compost
- Slow-release fertiliser
- Water-retaining granules
Prepare your container by adding crocks to the bottom and filling with a mix of compost, slow-release fertiliser and water-retaining gel, leaving a gap of 6cm from the rim. Spread the container with a 2cm layer of seed compost and water gently. Then, make a thin sowing of native field cornflowers over the whole surface.
Cover the seeds with a 5-10mm layer of seed compost and make another thin sowing of wildflower seeds. Cover these with a further 5mm layer of seed compost.
Make another thin sowing of Eragrostis ‘Ruby Silk’ seeds over this, then cover lightly with vermiculite. It’s worth also sowing some small pots of eragrostis in pots indoors as a back-up.
Once the seedlings are growing well, thin out leaving at least 10cm between plants. Remove patches of wildflower seedlings to make room for any extra potted clumps of Eragrostis. These can be planted in the garden. Deadhead the wildflowers regularly to extend their flowering.
Place your wildflower container in a sunny position and deadhead the wildflowers regularly throughout the season.