Planting a wildflower meadow

Wildflowers in Becky Mayes's Garden

Fundraising & Supporter Assistant Fiona has been planting a patch of wildflower meadow in her garden. Even a small patch of flowering plants can make a big difference...

Although we only have a relatively small front and rear garden, we have always tried to encourage pollinating insect life by planting flowers and shrubs which are more attractive to bees and flying insects.  We have a weeping cherry tree in the front garden with various perennials, honeysuckle, lavender and, of course, a buddleia to attract butterflies.  However, we did not have a specific area in the garden that was left to run slightly wild.

Following a holiday to Cornwall last July which included a visit to the Eden Project, I was inspired by the areas of wildflower meadow growing on the vast site and planted in the gardens surrounding the Biomes.  There was also a fantastic sculpture of a bee resting on a bed of lavender and the entire border was alive with the sound of buzzing (please see photographs attached).  I am also an avid watcher of Gardeners’ World on TV and after seeing Monty Don showing viewers how to go about re-creating a patch of wildflower meadow at home in our own gardens, I thought we should give it a go.

Before departing the Eden Project after an amazing 6 hour visit (and we still only saw a fraction of it!), we inevitably ended up in the gift shop.  They had for sale various wildflower meadow seeds and seed mats and we bought a selection to get us started. 

The weekend before the Covid-19 Government Lockdown, we earmarked a patch of ground along the front side of our bungalow and my husband Darryl removed the turf.  We then raked over the soil and removed any large stones and then laid a few stepping-stones to make it more accessible.  I planted a couple of lavenders, then we laid the seed mat and sowed quite a large quantity of seed.

I am pleased to report that, after much watering during the entire month of April (it's been very dry indeed), there are signs of life!  Little green shoots are appearing and tiny seedlings are emerging. The seed mat seems to have taken longer to germinate, but that area is growing now too.  It is early days yet and the area is very sparse, but hopefully once the garden centres are allowed to re-open, I will be able to plant some of my favourite Foxgloves in amongst the wildflowers. 

Meadow seedlings in Fiona's garden

Fiona Mansfield

Over the coming weeks, I hope these tiny seedlings might grow large enough to provide a pretty display, as well as pollen and nectar for an array of different insect life. I look forward to seeing how it progresses, fingers crossed!