Wildflower Lawn

2

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  • Paul165Paul165 Posts: 50
    That sounds like a good idea.  Do you have any photos of the kind of thing you mean?  I'm finding it hard to imagine in my head.  So I would just plant loads of bulbs randomly and then lay ordinary lawn turf? Then just enjoy random sprouts of flowers from May? 
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,915
    edited August 2018
    just remember that a good wildflower lawn is about 60% grass (specific sorts not bog standard lawn grass)

    I would go with wildflower turf, its expensive but worth it, otherwise it can take 3 to 4 years to grow properly from seed.
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 3,766
    The main downside with a wildflower meadow in the traditional sense is the flowers are quite short-lived. They look amazing in spring, but less so by this time in late summer and they do need quite a lot of work to keep them flowering (you have to rake off all the mowings when you cut it). 
    I'd maybe go for a mix of native perennials growing in longer grass with short mown paths or a lawn area to give it structure. The bulbs can be scattered along the edges of the paths/lawn with taller perennials behind like cow parsley, ox eye daisies, knapweed, cranesbill geraniums, verbascum, achilleas, toadflax, etc and perhaps a few larger shrubs back under your trees. Foxgloves are a must, although not perennial they will persist.
    You can get a longer flowering period with perennials and they take less looking after, on the whole, than the field annuals.
    You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em
    Know when to walk away and know when to run
  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 875
    Paul165 said:
    That sounds like a good idea.  Do you have any photos of the kind of thing you mean?  I'm finding it hard to imagine in my head.  So I would just plant loads of bulbs randomly and then lay ordinary lawn turf? Then just enjoy random sprouts of flowers from May? 
    Paul, if I were you I would sow the seed soon, from about now until the middle of September.  I don't know where you live but if in the north I would do it in the next couple of weeks.  Go for a general mix containing fescues and clovers and not too much rye grass (less than 50%). You can get native mixtures but they are hard to come by and fairly expensive. You could plant bulbs just before or when you sow.  You could also plant in primroses, cowslips and wild violets as you do this. You may need to water if the hot dry weather continues. Early September is an excellent time to sow grass seed and you will have a lawn by next spring.  AS to placement of the flowers and bulbs, I would plant in groups of the same and just see how you like it when they flower; you can always move them about to get the look you are after.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 1,533
    Paul165 said:
    I'm intrigued - what kind of shape do you have in mind re the quadrant?  Do you mean leaving the whole area above the patio to borders?  The soil in the top right is particularly poor
    Something like this (only not wobbly - that's my rubbish computer drawing skills)
    There are lots of things that will cope with poor soil better than lawn would, including wild flowers (they don't have to have grass mixed in, and can look tidier without - like the pic that karen paul posted)

  • ForTheBeesForTheBees Posts: 166
    Do you need a lawn? Create a meandering path and plant up the rest?
  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 1,443
    edited August 2018
    Would you consider planting the whole area with perennials and bulbs, using bark as both mulch and for stepping on to get to the plants?  I have removed all the grass from my small front garden and done it, I love it.
  • Fishy65Fishy65 Posts: 2,230
    Do you need a lawn? Create a meandering path and plant up the rest?
    I like this idea too, a path either paved or of grass. You could plant shade lovers under the shrubs/hawthorns...foxgloves, violets, campion and primroses. A mix of cornfield annuals and native perennials in the sunnier parts. How exciting having a blank canvas like that!!
  • Paul165Paul165 Posts: 50
    These are great ideas, thanks everyone  

    It is great having a blank canvas but I'm slightly paralysed in my decision making! 

    Path is a good idea but in reality might look a bit odd in quite a small space. We have a small gravel seating area just out of site facing the house and I can't picture how it would meander in this space where I still need access to existing border on left. 

    I think I'll probably be boring and stick with a small square patch of lawn where you can see a square space in the middle, but will get some life into the lawn and the borders through bulbs etc. 

    I'm particularly keen to get some plants under those hawthorns as it's a pile of soil currently. 

    Foxgloves, violets, champions and primroses it is then. Anything else? I'm a complete beginner but should I begin planting all these asap? 
  • Paul165Paul165 Posts: 50
    I should add that the hawthorns are going to stay as wildlife is obviously a key objective. Would you put another Hawthorn in the top right and complete the row or stick a different tree/plant in? That's another obvious bare space at the moment 
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