Do you want to have a blooming garden quickly and permanently? Then why not sow meadow flower seeds? The flower meadow blooms from May to December and the plants come back. Not only you – also numerous insects will be happy about the blooming landscape, as it provides good food for the flying people.
- Design options with flowers
- What do you need to consider when creating a flower meadow?
- Sowing flower meadow
- Flower meadow for bees
- How to create the flower meadow perennial
- Mowing the flower meadow
Everyone knows it and hardly anyone still has it at home: a flower meadow. It is the simplest and perhaps most beautiful form of garden design. Who hasn’t walked through a flower meadow as a child, looked at the colorful flowers and watched the bees at work? Maybe you picked a bouquet or you just lay down in the middle of the tall grasses and colorful flowers and looked at the sky. And there are other advantages of a flower meadow. But first, let’s look at what options you have when creating a new garden.
Design options with flowers
Do you have a garden and want to redesign it? Depending on how much effort you want to put in, there are several ways to do this.
- The classic is a lawn with beds framing the greenery.
- Probably the worst option would be a gravel garden, which is also often called the Garden of Horroramong garden enthusiasts, because in reality it is not a real garden at all. The reason for this, of course, is that gravel surfaces instead of planting seal the soil and do not provide any food sources and retreat for bees, bumblebees, butterflies and other insects. The floor also emits a high radiant heat and is therefore not pleasant to walk on.
- Advanced gardening enthusiasts create a perennial garden. These are gardens planted with cultivated plants, which are often built according to colors and plant structure. The perennials come from breeding, so they are varieties and hybrids with exceptional flowering characteristics. Often, however, these are also slightly capricious, i.e. susceptible to disease and pests. Perennial gardens also require a relatively high amount of gardening: you must plan time for plucking, cutting, cutting and watering in the perennial garden.
- The much easier way to create a garden is to sow a flower meadow. Ideally, it is composed of annual, biennial and perennial plants. As a result, it offers a new appearance of germinating, sprouting, flowering and seed-forming plants at any time of the year.
What do you need to consider when creating a flower meadow?
If you create a flower meadow, you should consider a few points in advance:
- Determine the size of the flower meadow, because you cannot enter a flower meadow without damaging the meadow flowers.
- If necessary, plan a play or recreation area in your garden when creating a new garden.
- If you do not need a lawn, you should still define paths through your flower meadow in advance, for example with stone slabs, so that you can easily maintain the flower meadow later.
- Are you allergic? Then your wildflower seed mix should not contain grass seeds.
- Take a close look at the area where the flower meadow is to be created in advance. Is it sunny or rather shady? There are special mixtures for different locations. Most meadow seeds do not have great demands on the soil. They are survivors and do well with little food and water!
- Another distinguishing feature is the lifespan of meadow flowers. There are annual, biennial and perennial.
- Annual meadow flowers live only one season, but reproduce by their seeds. Biennial meadow flowers form their flowering and seed head only in the second year, and then die. Perennial meadow flowers survive in the soil for several years, even if the above-ground herb usually dies off in winter. They, too, reproduce by seeds.
Sowing flower meadow
A flower meadow not only looks beautiful, it is also extremely easy to create.
All you have to do is sow. Here’s how to do it:
- Prepare the area in your garden from March/April or in autumn.
- The first thing to do is to remove any lawn residues and old leaves.
- Also remove the wild weed (weed). Although goutweed flowers or mugwort are also valuable wild plants for the insect world, they spread strongly and suppress the germination of the new seed.
- If you have a loose garden soil, you can sow your flower meadow without digging up.
- Superficially, the future flower meadow should be loosened up. But do not hoe too deep into the soil so as not to destroy the soil life.
- If your soil tends to compaction and waterlogging due to a high proportion of loam or clay, it must be thoroughly chopped up and loosened by adding sand so that the wild plants can establish themselves.
- Check whether the area to be created is rather sunny or rather shady.
- There are ready-made mixtures that are compiled for sunbeds or for shade gardens.
- Before sowing, the soil is well watered.
- Sowing: Sow the seeds wide at a sufficient distance so that they have enough space to grow later.
- A good trick is to stretch the seeds with sand or sawdust, this will separate them naturally and ensure correct planting distances.
- Water the seeds and seedlings in case of drought. When rising, the seedlings must not be allowed to dry out under any circumstances. So that they do not feast away, water exclusively with a watering can with a spout or with a garden hose that distributes a drizzle.
EXTRA TIP: Inquire about green sponsorships in your municipality or district. You take over a fallow area and sow a wildflower meadow on it and maintain it for a year. This is fun and a valuable contribution to nature and the neighborhood.
Flower meadow for bees
A flower meadow can be designed according to various criteria. One of the most sensible things is to create a flower meadow that is also a bee pasture. There are many plants that have a high foraging value for insects. This means that they provide a rich supply of nectar and pollen for bees, wild bees, bumblebees and butterflies.
The following list contains a selection of bee pasture plants for your flower meadow:
- Poppy (Papaver rhoeas)
- Marigold (Calendula officinalis)
- Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)
- Viper’s head (Echium vulgare)
- Dandelion (Taraxacum)
- Sunflower (Helianthus)
- Lupine (Lupinus)
- Meadow chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris)
- Corn wheel (Agrostemma githago)
- Borage (Borago officinalis)
- Wild carrot (Daucus carota subsp. carota)
- White sweet clover (Melilotus albus)
- Common Dost (Origanum vulgare)
- Bee friend (Phacelia)
How to create the flower meadow perennial
It is also possible to create a flower meadow in such a way that the plants that sow it once will last for several years. This type of plants is called perennial.
Step by step to the perennial flower meadow:
The seeds of perennial meadow flowers are sown between April and October. The air temperature should be at least 12 °C, maximum 20 °C. You can get the highest germination rate in a loose, humus-rich, watered soil. This should be raked through about 5 centimeters deep in advance. Root weeds and large stones must be collected so that they do not compete with the young plants. If the soil is averagely fertile – i.e. it has not been used intensively before and does not have a majority of sand or clay – you do not need to fertilize it.
The seeds are best mixed with sand or sawdust before sowing for better separation and distribution of seeds. The ratio for this is 1:5. After application, the seeds are sieved with a fine layer of sand and then pressed down with a roller or trowel.
In the first year after sowing, in most cases, the plants will not yet produce flowers. Often, in biennial or perennial meadow flowers, the foliage is formed first, in the hollyhock, for example, in the form of a leaf rosette, and only in the following year does it begin its annual flowering rhythm.
The following meadow flowers are biennial or perennial:
- Windflower mullein (Verbascum phlomoides)
- Perennial lupine (Lupinus perennis)
- Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
- St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
- Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)
- Carthusian elk (Dianthus carthusianorum)
- Common flax (Linum usitatissimum)
- Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)
- Dyer’s Maiden’s Eye (Coreopsis tinctoria)
Mowing the flower meadow
All those who create a natural garden or a wildflower meadow probably ask themselves when this meadow needs to be mowed and “cleaned up”. From an ecological point of view, it makes the most sense not to mow the flower meadow at all. The reasons for this are numerous.
- The meadow flowers form their seeds after flowering.
- Butterflies lay their eggs on the underside of the leaf.
- Predators eat and pupate in flower meadows.
- Piles of deadwood are important refuges and nesting opportunities for insects, e.g. wild bees and beetles.
- Piles of leaves and wilted plant shoots are wintering places for hedgehogs.
For a fresh start to the season for your flower meadow:
Pluck dead plant parts from the meadow between February and March and remove leaves and plants that have grown into each other. This is enough for your flower meadow to bloom profusely again in the coming year.
If your flower meadow is next to a lawn, it may and should of course be mowed, as the seeds of the meadow flowers are also blown into the lawn area and this could otherwise no longer be used as a play and lying area.