One of our customers’ favourite Meadowmat products is the Birds and Bees seedmix. It has an enormous range of flowering plants, is loved by a whole range of wildlife and stays interesting all year round. Production Manager Robert Allen is justifiably proud of his creation and this year, he’s been working to make it even better. Read on to find out about some exciting changes.
Meadowmat for Birds and Bees looks like this when it’s delivered to your door. Simply unroll it onto low nutrient soil, keep it well watered and let Nature do her thing. You have dense groundcover from day 1 and once it’s established, you Meadowmat for Birds and Bees will offer up flowers every summer followed by beautiful seedheads in autumn.
New Meadowmat For Birds And Bees Has Less Grass More Flowers
The most important change to Meadowmat for Birds and Bees is that the ratio of grass to flowering plants has been reduced.
The original seed mix contained 20% grass by weight. The NEW seed mix contains only 10%. That’s half the grass!
Why Do We Need Grass In Wild Flower Matting?
Grass is so important for wildlife. It provides perches, food, and most importantly, keeps the sward nice and dense. It helps create a safe haven for small creatures and it helps to keep the soil moist by preventing evaporation. From a production point of view, it’s the roots of the grass plants that knit together and keep the mats strong and easy to handle. It’s taken a lot of experimentation to find that sweet spot where there’s enough grass to give the Meadowmat it’s handling properties but not so much that it detracts from the flowering plants.
Grasses – or rather their tangled root structure, lend Meadowmat the strength to stay in one piece whilst being harvested, rolled, stacked, transported and installed. Without them the mats would quickly disintigrate into lumps and clumps. Not only would they be difficult to handle, the delicate roots of the flowering plants could easily be damaged. We are working hard to reduce the proportion of grasses without compromising the handling quality of Meadowmat.
The grasses in Meadowmat for Birds and Bees have been chosen for their ornamental appeal, their seed quality (for birds) and their root structure.
New Species Of Flowering Plants Introduced
Three new flowering species have been added to the seedmix for Meadowmat Birds and Bees.
The Common Poppy brings bright splashes of colour while some of the perennial plants settle into their new environment. Poppies like to set seed onto disturbed land so you may not see many of them in the second season – unless of course you collect the seeds and sow them yourself in autumn or spring.
Common Poppy – Adding a splash of colour to the new seedmix for Meadowmat Birds and Bees.
Heartsease replaces the sweet violets that were in the previous seedmix. We were finding that violets didn’t do as well as we’d first hoped so rather than disappoint we’ve found a substitute. Heartsease or wild pansies have like tiny happy faces that appear from April until September. In Victorian times they were planted in memory of lost loved ones.
Heartsease or Field Pansy. Smaller and more delicate looking than commercially grown pansies and violas. It’s a real delight to find these quietly nestling in the bottom of your Meadowmat.
The third new addition is Sheep’s Bit. It’s closely related to the bellflower but looks a bit like a scabious. Beautiful sky-blue coloured blooms between May and September.
The stunning blue flowers of sheeps bit are irresistible to bees
The complete seed mix with links to plant profiles on the Meadowmat website appears at the end of this article.
At the time of writing (October 2017), Robert Allen reports healthy stocks of each of the Meadowmat varieties.
The new Birds and Bees mix is normally available all year round, unless the weather makes harvesting impossible or installation impractical.
For best results, install Meadowmat between August and Late March. That way the plants will have time to establish before the flowering season. It’s perfectly possible to lay Meadowmat at any time but if it’s laid between April and August you may not see a full flush of flowers in the first summer.
Seed Mix For New Improved Meadowmat For Birds And Bees
- Autumn hawkbit
- Birdsfoot trefoil
- Clustered bellflower
- Common daisy
- Common knapweed
- Common mallow
- Common poppy
- Common sorrel
- Common toadflax
- Grandmother’s garden (Aquilegia)
- Heartsease (wild pansy)
- Maiden pink
- Meadow buttercup
- Meadow cranesbill
- Musk mallow
- Purple loosetrife
- Ragged robin
- Red campion
- Red clover
- Sheep’s Bit
- Small scabious
- Vipers bugloss
- Wild basil
- Wild carrot
- Wild clary
- Wild marjoram
- Wild thyme
- White campion
- White clover
- Meadow barley
- Sheeps fescue
- Slender creeping red fescue
- Quaking grass