What about growing a poppy-filled annual meadow to save on garden maintenance?
Here’s a great idea and thanks to the Olympics in 2012, the idea and use of annual flowering plants in the form of jewelled, tapestry-like meadows has become more widespread. That golden yellow annual meadow that was in full bloom round the Olympic Park was an unforgettable sight.
Annual meadows are very versatile. They can be used in any amount of space, from acres to inches, with great impact. I’ve even seen people who only had a small courtyard behind their houses, sow some annual flower meadow seed mix in a pot and it looked spectacular.
And they are a great way of saving time on maintenance. Although it does take time to prepare the seed bed and sow the seeds correctly in the Spring, once you’ve done that, you do no more except enjoy it, till the plants have died and turned brown in the late Autumn.
They are stunning. The owners of the meadow in the photos were initially sceptical about it but by the end of the season, they loved it so much, they were out looking at it every day, morning and night.
The poppies in the seed mixes are very beautiful and would make a very fitting commemoration for the 100th Anniversary of the First World War, which will take place in July of this year.
Which would make now a good time to start thinking about having a commemorative annual meadow this year.
To try it our for yourself follow the instructions by clicking ‘Read More…’ below.
These the cultivation notes from www.pictorialmeadows.co.uk who supplied the seed for the meadow you can see in the photos.
Preparing the Soil
1) In late autumn/early spring remove any grass and weeds
2) Dig (or rotovate) the plot over to a depth of 20cm in new plots.
3) Use a rake to create a fine tilth, wait a few weeks and then spray-off any weeds/grass that start to grow again with a systemic weedkiller or remove by hand if you prefer.
4) If you wish you can add fertiliser to the soil – this will help growth of our mixes
5) Once you are sure that the plot is weed and grass free, you are ready to sow.
Sowing the Seeds
Method one – “the quick and simple way”
1) Mix the seeds with sand and scatter evenly over the area. The sand helps you to see where you have sown
2) Gently rake over soil.
Method two- “the Perfectionist Way”
1) Divide the area to be sown into metre squares – using sticks and string. Then mark out each square by dribbling sand along the string , then remove the sticks and string.
2) Measure out the seed needed for one square metre – either 3 grams for annuals or 1 grams for perennials. Pre
3) Pour this seed into a see-through plastic cup and mark the depth on the side of the cup – this saves you having to weigh each time.
4) Pour one measure of seed onto a shovel and spread evenly over one of the marked metre squares . Use a stick to tap the seeds off the end of the shovel at a steady rate.
5) Repeat for whole area
6) Gently rake seed and residual sand into the soil.
7) Sit down and have a cup of tea – you deserve it !!
Want to know more?
If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more then feel free to contact me.