How to make a miniature chalk wild flower meadow

I've just been watching a video on the BBC springwatch Facebook page about making a miniature wildflower meadow out of a plastic storage box. Now I have a load of scrap timber which I can make containers out of and I was going to do the same. My first thought was a bit of chalk grass wildflower meadow but I'm wondering how to go out about creating it. Where can I get lumps of chalk from in a very small quantity and how best to construct it...ie layer of crushed chalk and then a thin layer of soil or compost on top.

Any advice most welcome 

Posts

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 45,148

    You can buy limestone gravel/chippings from most DIY places and garden centres

    http://www.diy.com/departments/diall-20-mm-limestone-large/35707_BQ.prd

    image

    If you stop taking chances, you'll stay where you sit. You won't live any longer, but it'll feel like it.” 
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 2,002

    It's a lovely idea but might be very hard to carry out. Did you see the BBC progamme on the South Downs recently?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/search?q=South%20Downs%3A%20England%27s%20Mountains%20Green&suggid=urn%3Abbc%3Aprogrammes%3Ab08fsbtk

    It explained that the chalk grassland depends on close grazing at the right time of year to maintain it, and some of the plants that make it so special are things like orchis, most of which are unavailable commercially and very difficult to raise from seed (if you can get it!)

    This web site gives you some information about downland and the plants that grow there. 

    http://www.wildaboutplants.org.uk/wp-content/themes/plantlife/content/chalk%20grassland.pdf

    Many of them would grow well in a small rockery, or scree, forgetting the meadow as such, and would look very pretty, so you could make a container  for that and site it somewhere sunny.  It wouldn't need to be very deep, as limestone soils are thin. Limestone chippings will give you an alkaline environment, but I think they are harder and break down more slowly than pure chak, so you would need to choose small sized ones. You may find a few of the plants available in nurseries, or a good seed merchant such as Chiltern Seeds will be able to supply them. (There may well be others, this is just the one I use!)
    Hope this will help you get something of the effect you wantimage

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