Everything you wanted to know about Horseshoe Vetch Seeds
Horseshoe Vetch –hippocrepis comosa
grows best in light well-drained grassland and is suited to chalk and limestone soils on sites where there is plenty of sunlight. Plants host a wide range of insect life such as Bees, Butterflies and Caterpillars. Horseshoe Vetch is a very important plant for breeding butterflies, attracting a variety of species in the wild, such as the Adonis Blue, Chalkhill Blue, Silver-Studded Blue and Dingy Skipper, all of which will lay their eggs on the plant. Read more
is a familiar garden plant and and sadly often considered a weed in many a garden lawn. However Dandelions are a valuable plant for wildlife and useful for a mini-meadow or flowering lawn where the bright yellow flowers provide an important nectar source for bees early in the season. Read more
sometimes known as the Moon daisy this is a familiar wildflower of meadows and roadsides. It is an excellent general-purpose meadow plant, being well suited to all wide variety of soils and look best growing in full sun, but can also be grown in dappled shade. Read more
Betony seeds – stachys officinalis– can be sown onto on a wide variety of soils and will grow well in a variety of habitats such as open woodland, hedgerows and grassland. Plants will tolerate sites where there is plenty of sunlight and also a degree of shade, so all in all this species makes for a very good Read more
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
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.
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
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
Snowdrops in the green are supplied in early spring immediately after they have flowered. At this time they can be lifted and replanted successfully. This is generally a very successful, quick and easy way of establishing snowdrops and flowering can be expected the following seasons. Read more
In this article we describe how to plant a wildflower meadow using 3 different methods.
When and how to plant a Wildflower meadow with a grass and wildflower mix
The most common method is to sow a mixture of wildflower seeds and meadow grass. This approach is generally used whenever it is possible to fully clear any existing vegetation and then prepare a bare weed -free seed bed. It is generally regarded as the most cost effective method for medium sized areas and above. Browse our range of Wildflower and meadow grass mixtures
When and how to plant a Wildflower meadow with a pure wildflower mix
When it is not possible to clear the existing vegetation it may be necessary to over-seed using pure wildflower seed. This method is generally less reliable and is only appropriate for low fertility sites that are already vegetated with fine growing meadow grasses and perhaps a few wildflowers. In any event the existing grass should always be cut very short before over-sowing with wildflower seed. To prevent the grasses from smothering emerging seedlings, regular cutting would then need to be maintained until the wildflowers have established. View our range of 100% Wildflower mixtures.
When and how to plant a Wildflower meadow with wildflower plug plants
A third alternative is the introduction of wildflower plant plugs. This approach is usually more costly and labour intensive but has the advantage of giving any wildflowers a head start and can offer quicker, more reliable results. This method is generally more suitable for smaller areas such as mini- meadows or flowering lawns. It is also useful on soils with high fertility, where there maybe a lot of competition from other plants and weeds that can not be removed.