The UK has lost a staggering 97% of its meadows since the Second World War and as a consequence much of the wildlife that depended on them.
Wildflower plants provide pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Many of our native wildflowers are also important food plants, for example Bird's-foot Trefoil Lotus Corniculatus; 160 different species of invertebrates are known to feed on this wildflower, more than any other herb in Britain (Plantlife).
Even in a small space you can incorporate wildflowers into your garden, whether it be a border, container or a mini meadow patch.
You can plant out wildflower plug plants all year round as long as the ground is not frozen, waterlogged or baked dry.
So if you would like to create a buzzing wildlife haven it’s time to get planting! Here’s how in 5 easy steps:
Making a Wildflower Area with Plug Plants in 5 Easy Steps
Assess the soil type and aspect of the site. Choose your plug plant collection accordingly for either Full Sun, Semi-Shade or Shade.
If you have a particular soil type you may like to try one of the following collections Clay, Sand, Chalk & Limestone or Loam.
If you are interested in attracting wildlife then try the following collections Bumblebees & Pollinators, Butterflies & Nectar, Birds and Beneficial Insects.
Need a mixture of them all? e.g. Want to attract bumblebees in a sunny site with clay soil? Easy, just purchase one of the collections through
The Wildflower Nursery and on check out you will have the option to send a message with your preferred mix.
Tip-we recommend on average 5 plug plants per square metre.
If you are planting in existing grass then cut as low as you can before planting your plug plants.
Note – Most wildflowers do not cope well in a highly fertile site as they cannot compete with other vegetation, especially vigorous grasses. You can reduce the fertility by removing some of the topsoil.
You can also plant your wildflowers in a border or well drained pots with peat free compost.
Tip – If you would like to create more of a meadow effect then you may like to plant some
Wild Grasses among your wildflowers.
Plant in informal groups of the same species to encourage recognition and attract bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects.
Ensure your wildflowers don’t dry out and weed around them while they establish.
Most of the wildflower plants grown by The Wildflower Nursery are perennial and if happy will come back year after year. Some plants are faster to establish than others and it may take a couple of years for some to flower.
Cut back your wildflower area in the autumn after the flowers have had a chance to set seed.
Tip – Leave some areas uncut, to provide shelter for overwintering insects. Many seed heads also provide food for birds and small mammals.
Having a ‘mosaic’ of different habitat’s is best for wildlife.
You may wish to experiment cutting some patches in late summer, some in autumn and leaving some uncut and alternating each year.
If you follow these steps you’ll soon have a wildlife friendly garden attract a diverse range of animals and insects.
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