Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:28 pm
You want to quickly and permanently have a flowering garden? Then just sow meadow flower seeds! The flower meadow will bloom from May until December and the plants will come back. Not only you – but also numerous insects will be pleased with the blooming landscape, because it provides good food for the flying people.
Everyone knows it and hardly anyone still has it at home: a flower meadow. It is the simplest and perhaps the most beautiful form of garden design. Who hasn’t walked through a flower meadow as a child, taking in the colorful blossoms and watching the bees at work? Or maybe you picked a bouquet or just laid in the middle of the tall grasses and colorful flowers and watched the sky. And there are other benefits of a flower meadow. But first, let’s look at what options you have when creating a new garden.
Design options with flowers
You have a garden and want to redesign it? Depending on how much effort you want to invest, there are several options for this.
- Probably the worst option would be a gravel garden, which among gardening enthusiasts is also fondly called garden of horrors, because in reality it is not a real garden at all. The reason, of course, is that gravel areas, instead of planting, seal the soil and provide bees, bumblebees, butterflies and other insects with no food sources or retreat. The soil also emits a high level of radiant heat, making it uncomfortable to walk on.
- Advanced gardening enthusiasts create a perennial garden. These are gardens planted with cultivated plants, often based on color and plant structure. Perennials come from cultivars, so they are varieties and hybrids with exceptional flowering characteristics. However, they are often slightly capricious, that is, susceptible to disease and pests. Perennial gardens also require a relatively large amount of gardening: time, for plucking, pruning, pinching out and watering, you absolutely must plan for in a perennial garden.
- The significantly easier way to create a garden is to sow a flower meadow. Ideally, it is composed of annuals, biennials and perennials. As a result, it offers a new appearance of germinating, sprouting, flowering and seed forming plants every season.
What do you need to consider when planting 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 walk on a flower meadow without damaging the meadow flowers.
- So, if needed, also plan for a play or recreation area in your garden when planting a new one.
- If you don’t need a lawn area, you should still define paths through your flower meadow in advance, for example with flagstones, 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 good look at the area where the flower meadow is to be planted in advance. Is it sunny or more shady? There are special mixtures for different locations. Most meadow seeds do not have great demands on the soil. Are they survival artists and cope well with little food and water!
- Another distinguishing feature is the life span of meadow flowers. There are annuals, biennials and perennials.
Annual meadow flowers live only one season, but reproduce by their seeds. Biennial meadow flowers do not produce their flower and seed set until the second year and then die. Perennial meadowflowers last several years in the soil, although by winter the above-ground herb usually dies. They also reproduce by seed.
Sow flower meadow
Flower meadow not only looks beautiful, it is also extremely easy to create.
All you need to do is sow. And this is how it works:
- To do this, prepare the area in your garden starting in March/April or in the fall.
- To do this, first remove any lawn debris and old leaves.
- Also remove the wild weeds (weeds). While goutweed or mugwort are also valuable wild plants for the insect world, they spread a lot and suppress the germination of new seeds.
- If you have a loose garden soil, you can sow your flower meadow without digging.
- Superficially, the future flower meadow should be loosened. However, do not hoe too deeply into the soil so as not to destroy the soil life.
- If your soil tends to become compacted and waterlogged due to a high clay or loam content, it must be deeply hoed and loosened by adding sand so that the wild plants can become established.
- Check whether the area to be planted is rather sunny or rather shady.
- There are ready-made mixtures composed for sunny beds or for shade gardens.
- Before sowing, water the soil well.
- Sowing: sow the seeds in wide cubes at a sufficient distance, so that later they have enough space for growth.
- A good trick is to stretch the seeds with sand or sawdust, this separates them naturally and ensures proper plant spacing.
- Water the seeds and seedlings during dry spells. During emergence, the seedlings must not dry out in any case. To prevent them from slipping away, water only with a watering can with a spout or garden hose that disperses a spray.
EXTRA-TIP: Inquire in your municipality or your district about green sponsorships. This involves taking over a fallow area and seeding a wildflower meadow on it and maintaining 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 useful is to create a flower meadow that is also a bee pasture. There are many plants that have a high pollination value for insects. This means that they provide a rich nectar and pollen supply for bees, wild bees, bumblebees and butterflies.
The following list includes a selection of bee pasture plants for your flowering meadow:
Corn poppy (Papaver rhoeas)
Marigold (Calendula officinalis)
Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)
Viper’s bugloss (Echium vulgare)
Meadow chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris)
Corn cockle (Agrostemma githago)
Borage (Borago officinalis)
Wild carrot (Daucus carota subsp. carota)
White sweet clover (Melilotus albus)
Common thistle (Origanum vulgare)
Bee lover (Phacelia)
How to plant the flower meadow perennial
It is also possible to create a flower meadow in such a way that the plants that they sow once, immediately persist in the area for several years. This type of plant 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 will get the highest germination rate in a loose, humusy, watered soil. It should be raked to a depth of about 5 centimeters 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 – that is, it has not been used intensively before and does not have sand or clay in the main part – you do not need to fertilize it.
The seeds are best mixed with sand or sawdust for better separation and distribution of the seeds before sowing. The ratio for this is 1:5. After sowing, the seeds are sifted over 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 form flowers. Often, biennial or perennial meadow flowers form their foliage first, in the case of hollyhocks, for example, in the form of a rosette of leaves, and it is not until the following year that they begin their annual flowering cycle.
The following meadow flowers are biennials or perennials:
Windflower kingwort (Verbascum phlomoides).
Perennial lupine (Lupinus perennis)
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Ribwort (Plantago lanceolata)
Carthusian carnation (Dianthus carthusianorum)
Common flax (Linum usitatissimum)
Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)
Dyer’s eye (Coreopsis tinctoria)
Mowing flower meadow
All those who create a natural garden or wildflower meadow, probably ask themselves the question of when this meadow needs to be mowed and once “cleaned up”. Ecologically, 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 leaves.
Predators feed and pupate in flower meadows.
Deadwood piles are important refuges and nesting sites for insects, such as wild bees and beetles.
Leaf piles and wilted plant shoots are hibernation sites for hedgehogs.
For a fresh start to the season of your flower meadow:
Between Feburary and March, pluck dead plant parts from the meadow and remove foliage and plants that have grown into each other. This is enough to ensure that your flower meadow will bloom profusely again next year.
If your flower meadow lies next to a lawn, this 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 sunbathing area at all.