Three years ago we established an experimental wildflower meadow along the western edge of the school playing field. After initial seeding, dry conditions inhibited growth for weeks – a source of much worry – but with some welcome rain, it took off and flourished throughout July and August. In September, the flowers were allowed to set seed and the area was then scythed. Wildflower plugs were planted in the meadow to increase biodiversity – Wild Carrot, Ragged-Robin, Lady’s Bedstraw and Field Scabious amongst others. In September we added Yellow Rattle seed to weaken the grass and so encourage the growth of flowers. Some (Red Clover and Musk Mallow) took immediately, but others were not so successful.
The wildflower meadow returned again to flowering glory the following year after a late start, due to the dry spring. In June, a little later than expected, it was again in full bloom. After the summer was over the area was mowed and scarified ready for the planting of a fresh supply of seeds, to add extra colour and floral diversity. This included annuals such as cornflowers and poppies, as well as yellow rattle to suppress the grasses.
Now the meadow is established and continues to bloom in the summer, providing colour as well as attracting bees and butterflies, and of course local passers-by.
If you want to grow your own wildlife meadow, in your garden perhaps, then you will find some useful tips here>>