Forum home Wildlife gardening

Low growing wildlife lawn?

Hi All,

I have a small (roughly 10sqm) raised lawn I made last year, it's surrounded by low growing perennials, but all I do it cut it and walk on it, there's no real benefit to nature in it. So I got thinking, take it up, kill off all the weeds then either scatter seeds or plant lots of plug plants and have it as a functional (i.e. still short, say about 15cm high) wildlife lawn.

Would this work, it's not a heavy traffic area? In the past I tried direct scatter but it just ended up a horrible weedy mess, I'm not sure I waited long enough of repeated glyposate treatment before I started).

Species I was thinking (apologies I'm not 100% sure of the 'low growing' varieties):

Daisy, buttercup, birds foot trefoil, clovers, thrift (forms a mat?), scarlett pimpernel, yarrow*, Bugle**.

* I think it's yarrow (at least the leaves look similar, like very fine heather), you see it on old mowed meadows/lawns, very mower tolerant, but any yarrow I've looked up have grown tall?

** Again, not 100% sure if it's Bugle I've seen this on a mowed old lawn at work, that gets mowed ever couple of weeks but seems to keep flowering close to the ground.

Has anybody done this successfully?

Many thanks image


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 26,982

    Yes to yarrow,  daisy, birdsfoot trefoil, clovers, 

    if you get buttercups get the meadow ones, Ranunculus acris, not the creeping ones but they do need a bit of height before they flower.

    I wonder if your bugle is self-heal, Prunella vulgaris, that flowers in my lawn between mowings. 

    I'm not sure if thrift and scarlet pimpernel would compete but worth a try

    Also green in my lawn but won't flower if mowed are yellow bedstraw, marjoram,  agrimony and cat's ear

    Prostrate thymes and small mints also worth considering

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • FoxBatFoxBat Posts: 9

    Thanks nutcutlet,

    Think you might be right re: selfheal, the two shades of purple on the flowers do look familiar. I'll look into the other ones too. image

    What do you think the best way to do it would be to start, scatter all the seeds mixed with sand into a fine tilth, or raise loads of individual plants in cells to give them the best start? I'm just worried if I scatter I end up with a muddy mess full of weeds (and the clover won through) like last time!

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 26,982

    I think I'd use small plants then you know where they are and can remove the plants you don't want. (stinging nettles etc) You could grow them yourself to plant out later or buy plugs depending on the budget.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
Sign In or Register to comment.