Meadows and wild flowers have been given prominence in the media recently following displays at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and because the Olympic Park in Stratford features swathes of beautiful wild flowers which will flower during London 2012. The recent BBC TV series with Sarah Raven highlighted the benefits of planting wild flowers – which attract and feed bees and pollinators, provide seed heads for birds and also look fantastic.
Even if you have a small garden you can have a small strip of wild flowers. I’ve just sown a strip of the ‘tree foot short mixture’ from Nova-Flore under some trees in my front garden. This mix includes 24 annual and perennial species including brachycome, chrysanthemum paludossum, lobularia maritima and silene compacta. It was an area which was a pain to mow anyway, and if successful I may plant further areas next year against the fence. You don’t have to know anything about plants as there are pre-mixed selections which are chosen for their suitability to different parts of the garden, or for their attractiveness to birds, bees & pollinators and mammals.
The sowing period is September and October or March to June, so there is still time to sow seeds this summer and you’ll get flowers blooming 6-8 weeks after sowing.
How to plant your wild flower seeds
- To prepare the soil you need to turn it over to a depth of at least 10cm.
- Then spread the soil evenly. Rake and level the surface for sowing.
- Look at the packet of seed to see what area the packet covers, so you are spreading them at the right rate.
- Shake up the seeds and husks and sow by casting over the surface as you would sow a lawn.
- Pack down the soil, using a lawn roller if you have one, to ensure that the seed contacts the soil.
- Water with a fine spray, keeping the soil moist until the seeds begin to sprout.