Field poppy

Beautiful Wildflower Meadows

Posted on January 23, 2020

Beautiful Wildflower Meadows

The serious decline in the nation’s Beautiful wildflower meadows has become increasingly recognised in the last few decades. Thankfully each year more and more of us are keen to play a part in reversing this trend by planting wild flower meadows on our land and in our gardens.


A bee and a butterfly share a flower.


As well as providing a riot of colour during the summer months. They give us a sense of nature being restored and wildflower meadows offer a host of other benefits.   They grow well in low-nutrient soil. Meaning that a rough and perhaps previously unproductive area of ground can be transformed into a vibrant, colourful swathe of grasses and flowers. Which, once established, can give us pleasure year after year.


The other huge advantage is that Beautiful wildflower meadows are perfect habitats for supporting a wide range of wildlife.  They provide vital food and shelter for key pollinators such as bees, butterflies and other insects. They support birds, hedgehogs, bats and other small mammals.





Native Meadow Mixes

Native UK wildflower seeds available for creating meadows are sourced from original wild stocks in the UK and then multiplied up commercially.  They fall into two categories. Firstly Cornfield Annuals, such as the brightly coloured Poppy and Cornflower. Secondly Perennial Meadows with species like Oxeye Daisy and Lesser Knapweed.  Annuals will give a one-off array of colour flowering the first summer after planting. Perennials take longer to establish but will then persist from year to year with very low maintenance, simply needing to be cut down in the autumn.


Cosmos flower in the garden. A meadow of Cosmos flowers.

Our family business has been supplying meadow mixtures for over 30 years. During which time we have developed a wide range of native meadow mixes as well as native wildflower plug plant mixtures.   In the last few years, we’ve have seen the successful introduction of non-native wildflower species. These work in partnership with our native varieties to give even more dramatic and colourful displays, as well as encouraging biodiversity.





The global plight of the bee is becoming more widely understood. So, three years ago we introduced our Urban Pollinator range to help in the battle to increase the habitat and food sources of bees and other important pollinators.   These mixes comprise both native and non-native annuals. Including our Hardy Annual mix and the very aptly named Rainbow and Colour Explosion mixes.

We had such an enthusiastic response to our Urban Pollinator mixes that we were  inspired to develop a new complementary range. These we have called ‘Beautiful Wildflower Meadows’. These are now available and include native and non-native annuals and perennials.

Instant Sunshine Instant Sunshine


There are four Beautiful Wildflower Meadow mixes to choose from. Each one carefully designed to give a strong impact in the first year courtesy of the annuals. Then allowing the perennials to do their work and help the mixes develop and evolve into a beautiful meadow over the years.






Beautiful Wildflower Meadow mixes

You can choose from:

‘Simple Summer Meadow mix’ – this is a carefully selected mix of six annual and nine perennial varieties to give a beautiful summer meadow.

‘Instant Sunshine Mini Meadow mix’ - over 20 annuals and 20 perennials make up this bright and colourful mix.

‘Bee and Butterfly Meadow mix’ - includes 18 species including the pollinator-attracting Bee Balm and the dramatic Blazing Star flower.

Russell Lupins Meadow mix’ – an extremely colourful mixture of Lupins which are sown alongside grass and wildflowers to create an attractive, interesting and unusual meadow.

If you’d like more information on our Beautiful Meadows Range, or advice on any of our products. Then please do get in touch either by phone on 0800 0854399 or by email at  There’s also lots of information available throughout our website.  We’re always happy to help.

This post was posted in News and was tagged with cornflower, Field poppy, red campion, meadowsweet, Wild Flower Meadows, Yellow rattle

BBC Gardeners World promotion of wildflower meadows

Posted on August 4, 2019

The recent BBC Gardeners world promotion of wildflower meadows. Monty Don recommended the idea and benefits of growing wildflower Meadows. Clearly we think this is an excellent idea as we've been supplying Native Wildflower meadows in the UK for over 25 years.


Poppies in Meadow Poppies in Meadow

The BBC Gardeners World promotion of wildflower meadows pushed the basic idea that you plant perennial wildflower meadows matching the soil type that you've got. This simple idea is contrary to a lot of gardening, whereby you change the garden so you can grow the flowers that you like. With wild flowers you plant what will grow in your garden. We have a wide range wildflower meadow mixes that will match different soil types and conditions. You can either buy and plant them as a mixture of grass and wildflower seed which you sow at 4 g to the square metre

Or our 100% wildflower seed mixtures which you sow at 1.5 g.

If you have smaller areas you could consider straightforward simple wildflower border mix.



The BBC Gardeners world promotion of wildflower meadows will benefit wildlife such as Bees and Butterflies.

One of the challenges with meadows is that they take a while to get going. We often recommend to customers that they sow some annuals along with the perennial wildflowers so they get some colour in the first year.

Once established a perennial meadow can be relatively subtle, in that you get a range of flowers over the summer in amongst grass. The big advantage of wildflower meadows is that once established they grow back each year.


Bee on Cornflower Bee on Cornflower

But if you sow some annuals with it the annual part can in some cases have a huge success in the first year.




  The range of pictures on this page are some that one of our customers David Anslow of planted for one of his customers near Stroud. They planted our MEAD3 grass and wildflower seed mixture at 4 g to the square metre and our standard Cornfield annual mixture CWF1 at 1 g.






  Following a lot hard work by David, it was planted in 2018, you can see from the photos if looks like every annual seems to have flowered. The meadow will not look like this in following years but by planting some annuals with a perennial mix may mean that you start the meadow with a very colourful show.



  If you'd like more information there is a wide range of advice and customers Meadows on our website. Or contact Tim Evans at or Freephone 0800 0854399.

Cornfield Annuals in Flower Cornfield Annuals in Flower

What are Wildflower Seed Mixes 

Posted on April 10, 2019

Wildflower seed mixes fall into two categories.  These are Annuals and Perennials.

Annual Wildflowers

Annuals are species that you sow in the Spring or the Autumn and will flower the next summer.  To come back the following year the seeds would  need to shed and the ground be cultivated or a new seed bed prepared.   Annuals are quick to grow, they cope with more fertile soils and are generally very colourful.

Perennial Wildflowers

Perennials are sown in the autumn or the spring.  They take up to 18 months from sowing to flowering.  You leave them to grow out during the summer. Enjoy them during the summer and cut them down in the autumn. The plants will grow back again the following year.  Perennials are generally sown with grass seed. Grass is a backdrop. Perennials do best on poorer soil.  Poorer soil means that nothing grows quickly which means that the wildflowers which are slow to grow can compete.

If in terms of Annual wildflower seed mixes there are now generally two types on the market.

Native annuals species

Such as Corn Poppy, Cornflower, Corn Marigold etc.

Corn Chamomile Corn Chamomile

You can buy these individually or in a mixture.  They can be sown in the autumn or the spring and should be sown at 2 g to the square metre.  The ground should be cleared of competition, the seed broadcast on top  and then rolled in.  When sowing in the spring ideally aim to sow before the second or third week in April.  Native annuals take between 10 to 12  weeks from sowing to flowering at the quickest.  Planting later than this in the spring will reduce the flowering season over the summer.





Non-native annuals species

Such as Cosmos, California Poppy etc.


Instant Sunshine Instant Sunshine

You can buy these as individual species or in complex colourful mixes.  These are increasingly popular as they are very quick to grow. They provide a mixture that is very colourful and has a long flowering season over the summer.  The preparation  should be similar to the native annuals. We would suggest a slightly higher seed rate of 3 g to the square metre. Sowing to flowering can be as quick as 8 to 10 weeks.


To try and get either of these annuals to return the following year. You would need to cut the area down at the end of the flowering season. Leave what you've cut on the ground for a few days. The seed may then shed, then remove the dead material, scarify the ground and finally roll. This way you will have created a new seed bed.


Perennial wildflower seed mixes. 

Ox eye daisy Ox eye daisy

These are supplied as complex mixes of native perennial species.  You would should choose a mix that matches the soil conditions or the site.  They include species such as Buttercup, Campion, Self Heal etc.

They are slow to establish, but once they are established they will create an attractive and diverse meadow and that flower throughout the summer.  Perennial Wildflower seed mixes will be beneficial to wildlife such as butterflies and bees.  These mixes are generally sown as a mixture of grass and wildflowers creating a meadow affect with the grass as the backdrop.

Perennial Cultivation's

The seed can be planted in the autumn or the spring.  The ground should be cleared and the grass and wildflower seed mixture broadcast at 4 g to the square metre. The ground should be rolled afterwards.  The aim is to push the seed into the ground rather than bury it too deep.

Patience is needed with these mixtures as they take some time to fully develop.  Once they have though the pleasure is in seeing them come back year after year, benefiting wildlife and giving you an interesting and beautiful area in your garden.

Annuals & Perennials

In some cases people will sow a grass & perennial wildflower seed mix at 4 g to the square metre and mix with it a native Cornfield annual mix at 1 g.  This way the annuals will flower in the first year and then the perennial meadow should come to the fore from the second year onward.

There is no right or wrong way in determining which type of wildflower seed mix you choose.  What is important is that you understand the difference between the types of species and that you manage them in a way that gets the maximum benefit from them.

If you need any more information on wildflower seed mixes then contact Tim Evans at or ring Freephone 0800 0854399  

Annuals, Biennials & Perennials Wild Flowers

Posted on February 28, 2018

Wild Flowers fall into three main categories Annuals, Biennials and Perennials; it is important to understand them if you want to make sure you get the best out of them.


Cornfield annuals Cornfield annuals

These are species such as Field Poppy, Cornflower, Corn Marigold. They tend to be very colourful and quick to grow.

Annuals will only last one year they multiply by growing fast shedding seed and the seed then grows the following year. For them to grow again there must be some bare soil that the seed can germinate and grow in. Historically the main annual wild flowers appeared in Arable Fields each year after the farmer ploughed the field. This is why they are sometimes called cornfield annuals.

They are often sown with a perennial meadow mix to give some impact in the first year. It is important to understand that with this approach Annuals are unlikely to appear from the second year as the meadow will smother them out.


Teasel Teasel Biennials

These are Wild Flower species such as Wild Carrot. Wild Foxglove, Teasel, and Dark Mullein.

A biennial plant takes two years to complete it's life cycle. It will germinate and grow, survive through one winter, and in the second year it will grow more, bloom, and then may die.

You may not see them in the first year then it can look like there is a mass of them in the second year then they may die out. If you want to see the species, such as Teasel, every year then sow seed for two consecutive years. The species may self seed and you will then see them every year.






Meadow Buttercup Meadow Buttercup Perennials

This is the widest range of wild flower species. They include such things as Buttercups, Daisies, Campion, Scabious and many more.

Perennial wild flowers take longer to establish, you may not see them in flower until the second year. But once they are established they come back year after year. Generally they are not as colourful or as striking as the annuals. Their natural habitat is amongst grass and perennial wild flowers work best when you have a range of them with grass as the back drop.

The aim is to have different ones in flower in different months. Normally you would cut the meadow down towards the end of the summer. End of August/early September. Then the grass and perennial wild flowers grow back.


If you are unsure about this then please feel free to contact Tim Evans for more advice by email at or by Freephone 0800 0854399


Flanders Poppy

Posted on February 26, 2018

Red Flanders Poppy Red Flanders Poppy

Every year the Flanders Poppy comes back into the news as we remember those who have lost their lives.  Many people want to plant them to create some sort of memorial over the summer.

Flanders Poppy Latin name is Papaver Rhoeas. This is commonly called the Field Poppy sometimes the Corn or Red Poppy.

This sort of poppy is an annual. This is important in that in the right conditions they grow quickly, will flower in the summer but generally will only last one year. The ground has to be cultivated and tragically they appeared on ground that had been churned up by War. Then the following summer Red Flanders Poppies appeared as if a memorial of the battles. This was the case in the 1st world ward which is where the name Flanders Poppy came from

Historically they also appeared in arable fields when a farmer ploughed a field. With the dominance of Agrochemical control they have nearly disappeared.

Poppies ideally need a cold spell  to trigger germination. They do best if sown in the autumn. They can be sown in the spring but do better if sown in early spring,

Poppy seed is exceptionally small and fine. There are about 8,000 seeds per gram.

Before planting, the ground needs clearing and preparing. It helps to bulk the seed up with a medium such as sand. Spread at about 1 to 2 grams per sq metre.

Walk all over it or roll afterwards. The seed wants to be very slightly pushed into the ground rather than buried too deep.

If it successfully established then Poppies should flower between June and August.

If you want to try and get them to reseed the second year. Wait until the seeds have shed. Cut the area down and leave on the ground for a few days, then rake the ground hard and roll afterwards.

Flanders Poppy Seeds


This post was posted in News, Uncategorized and was tagged with cornfield annuals, Field poppy

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