By Jim Northcott

Bluebell seeds

Bluebell seeds

Bluebell Seeds
Bluebell Seeds

English Bluebell Seeds can be sown in semi-shade or sun but will look best grown in shaded woodland settings where the rich blue colour will be more intense. In the wild bluebells have a preference for acid soils and grow in a variety of habitats including woodlands, hedgerows, grassy banks and even alongside open coastal cliffs. In gardens, bluebell seeds can be introduced under small trees, Read more

Wildflower combinations

Wildflower combinations

Wildflower combinations
Corn Poppy and Corncockle

Selecting the right wildflower combinations

When choosing wildflowers that will grow well together it is important to ensure

a) that the flowering time is likely to coincide

b) That they will be well suited to the same habitat.

A lot can be learned from observing nature and if possible trying to mimic  classic combinations that are commonly found in the wild. The photo gallery below is intended to offer a few ideas of wildflowers that look especially beautiful when grown together. Please bear in mind that flowering times can vary slightly from season to season so may not always coincide.

There are of course many, many more wildflower combinations that work equally well, and the best way is to experiment by growing species with similar flowering time and habitats.

The Wildflower Garden in May

The Wildflower Garden in May

wildflower garden in May
Spring wildflowers

As spring moves steadily towards summer, the breeding season is now in full flow for many of our resident birds. By mid month the dawn chorus will reach a peak and a very early morning walk in deciduous woodland provides an unforgettable experience. A visit to old woodland in May can also be a source of inspiration to the Wildflower gardener. In certain woods, vast swathes of Bluebell still exist and can be found flowering this month, along with many other woodland plants such as Violets and Campions.

In the Wildflower garden the theme has so far been yellow. By May however, white takes over, with species such as Cow Parsley, Hedge Garlic, Greater Stitchwort, Wild Garlic and various tree blossoms such as Cherry and Hawthorn decorating woodlands and hedgerows.

Wildflower garden in May
Bird Cherry blossom

Look out too for hedgehogs this month. They are particularly active during May, often seeking out food at night. Left to their own devices, hedgehogs will help keep a check on the local slug population and other garden pests. If you wish to encourage them, then it is best to do so by putting out some tinned pet food and a simple tray of water.

Wildflower Plant Plug update 10.05.2016

Wildflower plant plugs
Wildflower plant plugs

If you have ordered plant plugs from us this spring they should be dispatched over the course of the next few weeks. We have already started dispatching plugs wherever possible , however as a result of recent lower than average temperatures certain species are a couple of weeks behind normal. As a result our next main dispatch of plant plugs is anticipated to be wk beginning 9th  May. Orders for smaller quantities of 10 to 50 plugs will be dispatched initially, with larger orders sent out from around Mid May.

 All orders for plant plugs that were received before 1st May, should be dispatched before 1st June. If for any reason you haven’t received your plugs by then, please feel free to contact us.

Full planting instructions will be supplied with all plant plug orders.

The Wildflower Garden in April

The Wildflower Garden in April

The Wildflower garden in April
Snakeshead and Marsh Marigold

An unpredictable month weather wise, often with showers and sun but with the days lengthening and the ground starting to warm, April is the month that sees many of our native trees coming into leaf. Resident birds will already be egg laying and migrant birds such as swallows and warblers will be arriving into the country in huge numbers by the end of the month, the exact timing often affected by the various weather systems. Read more

Wildflowers for wet areas

Wildflowers for wet areas

Wildflowers for Wet areas
Plock Court Wetland area

Benefits of Wildflowers for wet areas

In February we wrote an article about growing wildflowers on clay. Clay soils often get very water logged in winter but what about areas prone to regular winter flooding that remain under water for long periods. Flood meadows have always played a part in flood alleviation and there are many benefits of growing specialist wildflowers for wet areas. As a scheme at Longford near Gloucester demonstrates, the  restoration and creation of new wildflower water meadows can naturally enhance  flood defense schemes as well as providing a valuable asset for the community and a haven for wildlife. Read more

Grass seed with Wildflowers

grass seed with wildflowers

 

Grass with wildflowers
Field Scabious in Limestone grassland

When sowing a mixture of grass seed with wildflowers it is vital to select the correct type of grass seeds. Grasses should always consist of fine growing varieties such as bents and fescues. These generally fall into the category of “meadow grasses” and will provide a sward in which native wildflowers can establish and thrive successfully. Read more

The Wildflower garden in March

Wildflower gardening
Wild Daffodils

With spring just round the corner, March is a month of great activity in the garden. An increase in the volume of birdsong is a sure sign that many of our resident birds are already busy defending territories and indeed nest building. Frogs, toads and newts will also be breeding now. Frogspawn will normally appear first, followed by toad spawn with newts normally laying their eggs last. In the Wildflower garden, yellow is the theme, with Wild daffodil, Primrose, Celandines and Bulbous Buttercup all flowering. Read more

Wildflower landscaping

Wildflower landscaping

Wildflower landscaping
Wildflowers in park setting

Wildflower landscaping ideas

Outside of gardens and wild areas there is an increasing use of wildflowers to landscape urban and suburban areas. Wildflowers provide a cost effective alternative to bedding plants and can be used to landscape parks, road verges, roundabouts, golf courses and green roofs. Mixtures often contain a blend of native and non-native species such as Californian Poppy. Read more

Wildflower Lawn Seed

Wildflower Lawn Seed

Wildflower Lawn Seed
Cowslips

By reducing the amount of cutting in spring and summer, garden lawns can easily be converted into a spectacular display of pretty low-growing wildflowers. By introducing  nectar and pollen rich native species, wildflower lawns provide a valuable habitat and food source for visiting Butterflies and Bees.  Over the years many customers have asked us for advice about how to turn a lawn into a wildflower meadow and broadly speaking there are 2 completely different approaches. Read more