A few months ago, I decided that I would like to grow even more wildflowers in my garden. I already have a small meadow area which was created some 6 summers ago using Meadowmat wildflower turf. This time, I wanted to let areas of the lawn “do their own thing” – really just to compare costs, effectiveness and workload.
We’re now in early June. Back in March, I stopped mowing some bits of the lawn – just to see what happened.
Three areas were obvious candidates for the experiment.
1. In front of the beehives. This was done mainly out of cowardice. Much as I love my bees, I don’t appreciate being stung any more than they like a smelly mechanical mower rampaging around outside their front door. Plus I thought that a few flowers on the doorstep would make foraging easier for them.
2. By the beech hedge. On one side of my beech hedge is my mini-meadow. The other side is north-facing and looks out onto the main lawn. Every year I battle with moss in this part of the lawn. It loves the shade and it thrives. I wondered if allowing the grass to grow longer would be an anti-moss strategy. Plus this area is adjacent to the beehives and extra wildflowers here might evolve into a nice design feature.
3. Beneath the silver birch. We’re south-facing here and beside a tall privet hedge that separates the garden from the farmyard. The grass is already rich in clover and I thought it would be nice to let it flower as bee forage – and as a lovely floral feature.
Images Of Wildflowers On My Lawn
This is the area in front of the beehives: As you can probably see, the plants haven’t grown ever so tall. This image doesn’t show it well, but there are not many species in evidence. Mostly grass with 1 vetch and a couple of clovers. This picture was taken at the end of May.
Here’s the copper beech hedge with the unmown lawn in front of it. There is a little bit of biodiversity here. This area is normally quite mossy so where the grass sward is thinner, other plant species have managed to establish themselves. There’s some clover in there, some oxeye daisies, a pink-flowered geranium, common daisies and unfortunately a couple of brambles that have sneaked out from under the hedge. I guess that’s the risk you take when you are re-wilding. There’s little or no control over what grows.
This is the spot beneath the silver birch tree. As you can see from the mown lawn, this particular area plays host to a lot of clovers so I thought it would be interesting to let some of it grow. The bees agree with me and I often see and hear bumbles visiting this little patch. The black blob on the left of the picture is Maggie doing a bit of photobombing.
So here’s the Meadowmat that was installed 6 years ago behind the beech hedge. As you can see it’s taller, contains more species and is more interesting than the long lawn. When it was installed there were a lot more species visible – a greater number of flowers and fewer grasses. I love these grasses – the texture and movement is great – but this autumn I will be taking measures to weaken the grass and reintroduce some of the flowering plants.
Here’s Maggie demonstrating the height that Traditional Meadowmat reaches when it’s established. As a rough guide, Maggie is about knee-high on me (I’m 5ft 4)
Maggie again – this time she’s under the silver birch tree – notice the difference in height between the Meadowmat in the previous picture and the unmown lawn grasses/clover in this one.
Finally, here’s a short video showing you the difference between unmown lawn (year 1) and traditional Meadowmat (year 6)
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A summer of wildflowers – images of wildflowers taken in summer 2016 on the Meadowmat production fields
Wildflowers for wildlife – more ideas for bringing wildlife into your garden