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wild flower "meadow" advice please

As my lawn has plenty of weeds I thought, instead of fighting it and using lawn weedkiller, maybe I could sow wild flowers instead. has anyone advice please-there is a border with shrubs and perennials, do the wild flowers (weeds) colonise the borders? Any other things I should think of? It's too late to get flowers but I should perhaps sow yellow rattle and some seeds?
East Dorset, new (to me) rather neglected garden.


  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,231
    You will probably get some self seeding, but there are plenty of garden plants that also do that. I think it would be wise to have a mown strip between meadow and border, or the grasses will quietly invade the border out of sight. 

    An alternative take would be to get rid of the lawn and expand your borders, including ornamental grasses and nectar rich 'prairie plants' that have a meadow like appearance, but a bit more manicured and actively gardened.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,947
    What sort of weeds are you dealing with?  If they aren't 'thugs'.. then it's certainly possible. 

    I have hollyhocks, corn flowers, poppies, and various other flowers self seed and grow happily in my grass - until I mow them over.  

    Late summer cut your grass/weeds very short and buy up a bunch of packets of tough 'thug' type perennial flowers.  Mix them with a bag of compost and scatter it all over the grass/weed area.  Use a rake and really rough up the surface and spread the seedy compost all around.  Keep it well watered until fall rains can do the work.  The grass and other stuff will grow back, but the flowers should have a chance to get started.
    Utah, USA.
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,898
    edited July 2020
    By all means, sow yellow rattle. It will gradually weaken the lawn grass over the next few years.

    But it will take time. The key to having flowers is to have weak grass plants. So the yellow rattle will help, but it will take time for the soil itself to lose its richness. no doubt the lawn was fed at some time. This will have to be washed out by the rain and so on. Poor soil encourages flowers and deters grass.

    Don’t be in a hurry. It’s a bit like growing your hair out. For the first little while it looks awful and you’re tempted to go back and get it cut short. Persistence is the key.

    The flowers in the grass will only spread into the flowerbeds if you let them set seed.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • SueAtooSueAtoo Posts: 328
    Blue Onion lucky you, you have wild flowers not weeds.
    I have mainly grass but: lots of speedwell and yarrow and in patches: creeping buttercups, selfheal, clover, medick or lesser trefoil (not sure), possibly ground ivy, autumn hawkbit, celandine, birds foot trefoil and moss. So, probably great for native insects but not pretty. Should I scarify then sow lots of wild flowers and yellow rattle?
    East Dorset, new (to me) rather neglected garden.
  • PyraPyra Posts: 152
    Just a warning that creeping buttercup is an absolute thug. I have it, and even though I'm going for a wildlife lawn too, it is trying to take over. Cutting it seem to make it worse. Which I found out too late. 
  • SueAtooSueAtoo Posts: 328
    Up to now I've levered them out with what I think is a daisy grubber - great tool.
    East Dorset, new (to me) rather neglected garden.
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