Wild Flower Meadows

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 shop@meadowmania.co.uk.  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 Lawnview.co.uk 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 shop@meadowmania.co.uk 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

shop@meadowmania.co.uk or ring Freephone 0800 0854399  


Wildflowers and Butterflies

Posted on March 18, 2019

Native Wildflowers and Butterflies from the UK.

Cornflower and butterfly Cornflower and butterfly

There are over 70 different Butterfly species that have been recorded in the UK. Most of them have specific primary sources of food from plants they prefer. Much of the following information about wildflowers and butterflies has been taken from an excellent resource online at;

UKButterflies.co.uk

They have a very comprehensive site with information about most butterfly species and in particular wildflowers & butterflies. Showing which wildflowers and grasses are Butterflies primary plant food. We have taken part of their list and looked at just wildflowers that are commercially available.

 

 

On the table below; on the right is the species of Butterfly with a link to more details of the species on the UK butterflies website. On the left we have linked to the individual plant species which you can buy as seed or plugs. If there is not a link we can still get the species commercially and you would need to contact us.

Butterfly on Marigold Butterfly on Marigold

As with Bees their have been a big fall in numbers of Butterflies in last few years and it is important that we plant flowers that will benefit them . A  great resource for all things Butterfly can be found at the following link.

Butterfly Conservation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to support native wildflowers and Butterflies thne  grow or plant some wildflowers that will suit a range of butterflies then consider either our;

Butterfly Border Mix

Butterfly Plug Plant mix

Wildflowers and Butterflies

English Name Latin Name
Agrimony Agrimonia eupatoria Grizzled Skipper
Bents (various) Agrostis spp. Gatekeeper
Meadow Brown
Small Heath
Wall
Bird's-foot Trefoil Lotus corniculatus Common Blue
Cryptic Wood White
Dingy Skipper
Green Hairstreak
Short-tailed Blue
Silver-studded Blue
Wood White
Blackthorn Prunus spinosa Black Hairstreak
Black-veined White
Brown Hairstreak
Scarce Swallowtail
Buckthorn Rhamnus cathartica Brimstone
Clovers (various) Trifolium spp. Clouded Yellow
Pale Clouded Yellow
Cock's-foot Dactylis glomerata Essex Skipper
Large Skipper
Meadow Brown
Ringlet
Speckled Wood
Wall
Common Nettle Urtica dioica Comma
Map
Peacock
Red Admiral
Small Tortoiseshell
Common Sorrel Rumex acetosa Small Copper
Cowslip Primula veris Duke of Burgundy
Devil's-bit Scabious Succisa pratensis Marsh Fritillary
Fescues (various) Festuca spp. Gatekeeper
Meadow Brown
Small Heath
Field Pansy Viola arvensis Queen of Spain Fritillary
Garlic Mustard Alliaria petiolata Green-veined White
Orange-tip
Grasses (various) Gramineae spp. Arran Brown
Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil Lotus pedunculatus Cryptic Wood White
Wood White
   
Kidney Vetch Anthyllis vulneraria Small Blue
Lucerne Medicago sativa Clouded Yellow
Pale Clouded Yellow
Short-tailed Blue
 
Meadow Vetchling Lathyrus pratensis Cryptic Wood White
Wood White
Meadow-grasses (various) Poa spp. Gatekeeper
Meadow Brown
Ringlet
Small Heath
Primrose Primula vulgaris Duke of Burgundy
Red Clover Trifolium pratense Mazarine Blue
Short-tailed Blue
Red Fescue Festuca rubra Grayling
Marbled White
Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata Glanville Fritillary
Heath Fritillary
Sheep's Sorrel Rumex acetosella Small Copper
Sheep's-fescue Festuca ovina Grayling
Marbled White
Silver-spotted Skipper
Small Scabious Scabiosa columbaria
Tufted Hair-grass Deschampsia cespitosa Ringlet
Yorkshire-fog Holcus lanatus Marbled White
Small Skipper
Speckled Wood
Wall

This post was posted in Uncategorized and was tagged with wildflower seed packets, cornflower, ragged robin, Wild Flower Meadows

What are Meadow Flowers

Posted on March 15, 2018

Meadow Flowers are commonly thought of as Wild flowers. There are though, a number of groups that wild flowers can fall into. It is important if you are trying to create a natural meadow that you understand what flowers are appropriate.

Cornfield Annuals.

Cornfield Annuals in 2017 Cornfield Annuals in 2017

These include species such as Poppy, Cornflower, Corn Marigold etc. They are short lived and generally very colourful. Historically they appeared in arable fields, when the farmer ploughed the field each year it brought new seeds up to the top. With the advent of agrochemicals, they have all but disappeared in arable fields.

They are often included with meadow flower mixes to add some colour in the first year.

 

 

 

 

 

Woodlands and Water Edges

Yellow Flag Iris Yellow Flag Iris

There are specific wild flowers that you would expect generally to see just in certain habitats. So, in woodlands you would find species such as Hedge Bedstraw, Wild Foxglove and Bluebells. By the edge of water, you may find species such as Yellow Flag Iris, Purple Loosestrife and Teasel.

Some of species of wild flowers may sometimes appear in meadows but they are most likely found by water or in shaded areas.

 

 

 

 

Meadow Flowers.

Most of us when we walk down by seaside, down country lanes of across old meadow areas

Meadow Flowers Meadow Flowers

will, if we look, notice different wildflower in amongst the grass. The grass is an important part of this equation It provides the normal back drop for the wild flowers.

There are hundreds of different wild flowers that can be found growing wild in the UK. But some of the more common ones are Birdsfoot Trefoil, Cowslip, Campions, Plantain, Ox eye daisy , Wild carrot etc.

 

 

 

 

 

Many people now would like to introduce Meadow Flowers into their garden. They work best on poorer soils. This is not that they will not grow on better soil, more that on good soils the species you do not want use the fertility better. On poorer soil it is more of a level playing field. Once they are established if properly managed they can be left to grow out over the summer and then cut down in early autumn. This reduces considerably the management time. The flowers are attractive and beneficial to butterflies and Bees etc, and bring more of them to your garden over the summer.

 

If you wanted to introduce an area of Meadow Flowers into your garden, then follow these simple rules.

  • Sow a mixture that is largely perennial flowers. You cut these down then they grow back each year.
  • Sow them with some grass or into grass if it is poor and has been ideally thinned out.
  • Sow in an area you are happy to grow wild (they are called wildflowers for a reason!)
  • The meadow may take a couple of years to get going so be prepared to be patient.
  • Once established leave to grow out over the summer and enjoy.

 

If you would like any more information on Meadow Flowers, then please contact Tim Evans on Freephone 0800 0854399 or by email shop@meadowmania.co.uk


Items 1 to 10 of 50 total

Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5