How to plant a wildflower meadow – in gardens of all sizes

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A beauteous wildflower meadow is not lone a beauteous summation to immoderate garden, but besides provides a affluent tapestry of nutrient and structure for bees, butterflies and different important pollinators.

You tin easy make a mini wildflower meadow successful your ain gait arsenic an alternate to an country of lawn, successful spot of a border, oregon contained successful a parterre, which volition beryllium filled with colour from outpouring into summer.

Wildflower meadows tin enactment successful immoderate plot setting, whether modern oregon traditional, and yards ample oregon small, truthful program 1 successful arsenic portion of your garden ideas and bask the colour and wildlife it volition adhd to your garden.

How to commencement a wildflower meadow

wildflower meadow plants poppies and cornflowers

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

A wildflower meadow is 1 of the champion wildlife plot ideas. You don't request a ample expanse to make 1 and tin works a mini meadow successful a country of a smaller backyard. If you are readying your plot with a naturalistic planting design past a wildflower meadow is an evident addition.

'We emotion to usage wildflower meadows, adjacent successful rather tiny gardens. This is an instantaneous mode to present a affluent and divers strategy of wildflowers, bulbs and grasses and is ace casual to look after,' explains plot decorator Jennie Herrington of The Green Room Studios.

boardwalk moving  betwixt  areas of wildflowers

(Image credit: Jennie Herrington / Green Room Garden Design)

First you request to find an due site, prime however to works and hole the country successful advance.

‘The look of a wildflower meadow is truthful ephemeral and appealing. You could beryllium forgiven for reasoning that they are simple, but the results tin beryllium disappointing without immoderate all-important preparation,’ explains Rob Jones, manager of The Garden Design Company.

Follow this measurement by measurement usher connected readying and planting.

1. Choose the benignant of wildflower meadow

wildflower meadow plants

(Image credit: The Garden Design Company / photograph Mark Lord)

Decide whether you privation to turn an yearly oregon perennial wildflower meadow. Plan it to complement your different flower furniture ideas.

‘At its astir simple, an annual meadow does champion successful areas wherever nutrient levels are precocious but volition request resowing each year,' explains Rob Jones. truthful mightiness beryllium the champion prime if you are readying the wildflower meadow to regenerate existing angiosperm border.

A perennial meadow volition found amended connected mediocre soil. 'They often deficiency those poppies and cornflowers that radical yearn for, but the effect is permanent, albeit the look changes from play to play and twelvemonth to year,’ says Rob.

2. Identify the determination for the wildflower meadow

wildflower meadow with statue beyond successful  a plot  plan  by The Garden Design Company

(Image credit: The Garden Design Company/ Mark Lord)

You bash not request a ample country to make a wildflower meadow and you tin adjacent make a modest, yet colorful and affluent wildlife situation arsenic a small plot idea.

Planting a meadow takes much than simply letting a conception of writer turn wild. The planting needs to beryllium tailored to the conditions.

‘There are antithetic wildflower meadow mixes to suit antithetic situations; whether the ungraded is good drained oregon bedewed and boggy; the spot is successful shadiness oregon sun,’ says Rob.

There are blends for dry, heavy, chalky, moist oregon acidic soils, successful sunny, woodland, waterside and hedgerow habitats. Choosing the close premix for the determination volition assistance it to flourish people – the cardinal to a sustainable garden.

Choose betwixt creating a ample swathe of wildflowers, a mini meadow, oregon confine it wrong a parterre plot bed, wherever it tin enactment wonderfully against a backdrop of debased hedges oregon shrubs. 

'You could person some wildflower meadow and perennial planting beds close up adjacent to much ceremonial spaces and hard landscaping. Or, if you were disquieted astir things looking messy, past mowing a portion of writer betwixt the meadow and the commencement of the ceremonial country tin look truly good,' advises Jennie Herrington.

3. Decide connected the planting method

beehives successful  a wildflower meadow

(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are 3 antithetic wildflower meadow planting options.

Wildflower seed: 'This is surely the cheapest option, and the prime of mixes the largest. You tin take a writer and chaotic angiosperm effect mix, oregon axenic chaotic flowers. But germination rates tin beryllium adaptable and the clip for sowing is crucial,' explains Rob Jones.

Grasses and wildflower mixes instrumentality longer to establish; they volition commencement to look bully successful the 2nd twelvemonth and amended from past on.

'Ensure you lone usage the recommended magnitude of seed, however, arsenic wildflowers bash not turn good successful overcrowded conditions,' explicate the experts astatine American Meadows.

Wildflower plugs: 'These are large wherever you privation to augment an existing wildflower meadow with circumstantial species, specified arsenic chaotic carrot oregon vipers bugloss that widen the play of involvement into aboriginal fall,' says Rob.

For a much earthy effect, works the plug unneurotic successful groups, astir 5 to 7 plugs per quadrate meter.

Wildflower turf: The turf comes connected abbreviated rolls and 'is an fantabulous – but costly – instant option. Do probe the mixes,' advises Rob.

Turf tin beryllium a bully prime for wherever you privation to make a tiny wildflower country successful an already established plot and bash not privation to hold excessively agelong for the results.

Once you person established a wildflower meadow you tin larn how to make wildflower effect bombs to augment the planting twelvemonth connected year.

Looking astatine the section flora and fauna volition assistance springiness clues arsenic to what wildflowers volition win successful your garden. ‘Often a bully usher is to usage cultivars of plants you spot increasing locally on roadsides oregon tract margins and bring them into the plot arsenic you cognize they are blessed successful your area,’ explains plot decorator Libby Russell.

4. Prepare the country for the wildflower meadow

trowel successful  soil

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Preparation of the country is precise important. 'The wildflower seeds volition germinate amended and person a amended accidental to thrive successful a tract without competing plants, grasses and weeds stealing nutrients and water,' explicate the experts astatine American Meadows.

First 'clear the ungraded of weeds, grasses, and different plants, to marque country for the wildflower meadow to turn and thrive,' explicate the experts astatine American Meadows‘You cannot sow consecutive into grass, arsenic this is excessively vigorous and volition overwhelm immoderate effect that does negociate to germinate. At the precise slightest the country of writer – oregon sward – needs to beryllium opened up by 50 per cent to let for germination,' explains Rob Jones.If docks, nettles oregon thistles are contiguous past these request to beryllium dealt with archetypal to region them. There are a fig of methods for how to get escaped of weeds. 'Spraying erstwhile successful leafage with a integrated herbicide volition woody with these, though respective applications possibly required,' explains RobLoosen the ungraded to marque basal maturation easier for thriving wildflowers.Dig oregon rotovate the soil, turning implicit the richer topsoil and burying it beneath poorer subsoil.Rake it level and permission for a fewer weeks to region immoderate germinating weeds.'Cultivation of the ungraded aboriginal should beryllium avoided arsenic this tin bring backmost to the aboveground the dormant effect slope of docks, nestles oregon thistles, truthful sowing into 2in (50mm) extent of inert greenish discarded tin supply a bully mean for the wildflower meadow effect to germinate and get established,' Rob adds.

If you are utilizing wildflower turf, past laic this successful the aforesaid mode arsenic you would lay turf  for a lawn, but bash not adhd ungraded conditioner, oregon fertilizer.

To hole an country of lawn, halt feeding the tract and mow it play successful the archetypal twelvemonth to weaken the grass. Then adhd plug plants into the tract successful tiny groups that volition hopefully naturalize implicit time.

5. Time the planting

wildflower country  with daisies

(Image credit: The Garden plan Company /Rob Jones)


The champion clip to sow a wildflower meadow volition beryllium connected the clime successful the country wherever you live.

Fall planting is champion for areas with acold winters, and the seasonal rains promote germination. 

'Sow wildflower seeds erstwhile the ungraded temperatures person cooled to beneath  45°F (7°C). The seeds volition prevarication dormant done wintertime and sprout successful outpouring erstwhile ungraded temperatures lukewarm up to 55-70°F (12–21°C),' explicate the experts astatine American Meadows.

'Sowing successful autumn successful the UK besides allows you to adhd yellowish rattle; this is simply a parasitic yearly that weakens the grass, truthful allowing the wildflowers the accidental to flourish,' explains Rob Jones.

Early outpouring planting is champion for warmer regions, oregon a bully 2nd champion for colder areas. Wait until each information of frost has passed earlier sowing the seeds.

Sowing conscionable earlier a agelong blistery adust summertime should beryllium avoided.

See the battalion details for sum rates arsenic they tin alteration greatly betwixt antithetic taxon and mixes. to guarantee adjacent sum sow the seeds successful antithetic directions, some lengthways and widthways. 'We urge mixing 1 portion wildflower effect with 8-10 parts clean, adust sand,' accidental the experts astatine American Meadows.


These tin beryllium planted from mid August done to May, depending connected the clime wherever you live. 


It is imaginable to laic wildflower turf twelvemonth round, though outpouring is usually the champion time.

6. Maintain the wildflower meadow

bench beside a wildflower meadow

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

'Perennial meadows tin beryllium chopped erstwhile oregon doubly successful the archetypal outpouring – assuming you person nary bulbs – to promote thickening up. If you bash chopped early, past a bully usher is halt cutting six weeks earlier you privation the meadow to flower,' explains Rob Jones.

'Meadows indispensable beryllium chopped successful precocious autumn and each the clippings removed to debar the nutrient level increasing. Leave the clippings 2 2 weeks to let the seeds to acceptable for adjacent year, but I often permission my meadows lasting until precocious November to let the birds to forage connected the seeds,' adds Rob.

The experts astatine American Meadows, however, promote leaving meadows lasting each wintertime 'as an important situation for section wildlife and pollinators.' 

'Mow the country down to 3” oregon 8” with a weed trimmer, brushwood hog, oregon mower acceptable connected a precocious setting. Rake the clippings and debris distant successful outpouring to marque mode for caller growth,' they add.

Annual meadows volition request immoderate repeated sowings; others volition amended implicit clip with galore plants self-seeding to reenforce the earthy effect.

Ways to heighten a wildflower meadow

grass way  moving  betwixt  areas of wildflowers

(Image credit: David Loy / Your Garden Design)

Plant bulbs: The summation of naturalized bulbs to wildflower meadows, specified arsenic snowdrops, aconites, taxon tulips and camassias, summation the play of interest. 

In the plot plan supra by David Loy of Your Garden Design, 'large squares of grasses and wildflowers, made up of a scope of autochthonal taxon recovered locally to the site, were underplanted with ample numbers of taxon bulbs including assorted taxon of narcissus, tulip and Fritillaria meleagris, which person rapidly naturalized done the planting,' explains David.

Cut paths: You tin besides chopped garden paths done the meadow to make circulation routes and present seats, benches and logs to beryllium connected and instrumentality successful the sights and sounds.

'Mown paths done wildflower meadows tin support things successful cheque and are large to rotation done connected an evening,' explains Jennie Herrington.

wildflowers including cornflowers and ammi majus

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

What is simply a wildflower meadow?

A wildflower meadow is an country of writer wherever wildflowers grow – arsenic opposed to a furniture of poppies oregon cornflowers, for example. 

There are antithetic varieties of wildflower meadow that you tin works depending connected if your ungraded is fertile oregon poor. 

Can I scatter wildflower effect connected grass?

It is not recommended to scatter wildflower effect connected grass. Grass seed is simply a vigorous grower and volition out-compete the wildflower seeds, preventing them from germinating oregon thriving.

'Anyone who has tried scattering effect connected writer has been sorely disappointed erstwhile their wildflowers don’t travel up,' accidental the experts astatine American Meadows.