Planting a small meadow

Hi,

I have a small section of grass in my front garden which I would like to plant up as a meadow. It is, in effect, a raised border which houses 3 fruit trees (pear, plum and apple) and has a bay tree at the end. All are pretty small and we have turf growing, which was laid around 18 months ago.

It is pretty difficult to mow and so I thought we could set it up as a meadow, help out some local wildlife (particularly the bees) and hopefully help the fruit crop on the trees.

Is this possible / suitable? The garden is south facing and so will get a good amount of sunlight.

Thanks for any help in advance!

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  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,088

    there are wildflowers for every position.

    What sort of meadow are you thinking of and which flowers would you like to see?

  • At this stage I have no idea! Something that is good for bees as I assume that will help the fruit trees? Plus, more importantly help them. Then something which is low maintenance that we can pretty much leave to do what it wants.

    I have read up on them a little and it looks like we can leave them be once they start to establish then cut back in September. Happy to post a photo tomorrow if it helps.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,088

    Yes good idea, show us a photo image

  • imageJust had a quick look and have a photo from last year. Looks more or less the same this year! The bit I am looking to work with is inside the small brick wall area beneath the trees. As you can see it is quite tricky getting a mower around there and so something that looks good and is great for wildlife works for me.

    Last edited: 28 March 2017 23:28:09

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,088

    That's nice, I can see primroses and red campion in the shade of the trees and maybe some cowslips

  • Are they easy to plant and to get up and running as it were?

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,088

    Those are easy plants and reproduce themselves. Cowslips and primroses seed themselves into grass but I wouldn't try and start them by seed in grass, get a couple of plants to start. Seed is a bit hit and miss in grass, except Yellow Rattle which you can sow in grass in autumn, germinates in spring and is semi parasitic on grass, reducing its vigour. Has to be seen to be believed.

    One thing you can't do in grass is have one of those bright coloured annual mixes, poppies, cornflowers etc. Those are plants for cultivated soil, they don't grow in grass

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,381

    Thanks for putting up this thread - I'm thinking of doing something similar in a small area of my back garden. Grateful for those suggestions Nut - they're all on the listimage

    I was also going to add a range of spring bulbs and I have ox-eye daisies, geranium pratense and scabious plants which I grew from seed last year. Do you think they would work? 

    What about knautia? Would they just grow too tall and end up looking scruffy do you think?

    Last edited: 29 March 2017 09:02:29

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,088

    sounds good Topbird. In my meadow Centaurea nigra, Lesser Knapweed has been among the most successful plants. 

    Knautia macedonica, not sure, never tried that in grass

    There's an area in the meadow where we run the shredder, all sorts of unlikely things are growing there, Phlomis russelliana, assorted foxgloves, honesty in the thinner bits, Eryngium giganteum

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,381

    Thanks Nutimage

    Forgot to add harebells to my list as well.

    If you Google 'wildflower plant plugs' there are a couple of companies which specialise in supplying reasonably priced plugs of wild flowers by mail order - which is a good way to go if you don't have a stock of plants to divide. Also gives you even more idea of things to plant.

    Enjoyimage

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
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