creating a wild flower meadow

Should you wish to create a wild flower area or meadow on your land (be it a field or a part of your garden), much will depend on the soil and present condition of the land.  If it is rich grassland, then it may be quite difficult for wild flowers to establish themselves - in competition with grass and other vigorous species.   One approach is to remove patches of grass, and then either plant pot-grown wild flowers, or sow lots of wild flower seeds on these bare patches.  It is a good idea to use locally grown plants or locally collected seeds. Lots of information can be found at the excellent Flora locale website on the local provenance of plants and seeds.  Flora locale also has a most useful on-line library, with many downloadable pdf files.

Grass can easily begin to dominate again, especially if the soil is fertile. Indeed, a fertile soil is less likely to support a diverse and rich meadow species population.  An ‘infertile’ or poor soil can generate and sustain a wildflower rich 'meadow'.  If the area is cleared of grass and then seeded with low growing grass species and meadow species such as Meadow Cranesbill, Field Scabious, Meadow Buttercup, Bugle, and Yarrow, then there is the possibility that a self- sustaining system may develop.  These and other meadow plants vary considerably in their ability to survive in different soils, so the type of meadow and range of species that persist will change from one field to another. Another approach to create an area rich in such species is to use a specially prepared wildflower turf.

Any area will need attention and 'aftercare' in order to prevent the re-establishment of grass, docks and thistles; this can be done through grazing, cutting, mowing or strimming. The re-introduction of the large blue butterfly was dependent on the ‘re-creation’ of special meadows in the South West, through careful management and grazing.

More information and advice on creating wild flower meadows / areas can be found at both the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and the wildmeadows website

Comments on this article

Marilyn Friesen 1 April, 2014

Would this be similar to the Alpine valleys in Italy?

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