April brings with it the certain promise that summer is on its way. The days are longer and warmer, the hedgerows begin to show signs of life, bees are foraging and birds are nesting.
If you don’t have a wildflower area in your garden. This is the time to plant one…..we’ll talk about that in a bit
If you do, here are some of the things you might be spotting:
Your meadow will do a lot of growing in the next couple of months. It will go from ankle-height to knee-high in a matter of weeks.
While you’re busy feeding your lawn, borders and vegetable plots, don’t be tempted to sprinkle a bit of fertiliser over your wildflower area to help it along. Feeding a wildflower meadow is asking for trouble. Grass and pernicious weeds (docks, nettles etc) will gobble up the extra nutrients and turn into thugs. They’ll crowd out the flowering plants and come summer you will be disappointed with the lack of colour.
Lots Of Insects
Many minibeasts will have overwintered in the safe haven of your wildflower area. Ladybirds, spiders, beetles and all sorts. Now that the weather is warmer, they’re more active. They’re also multiplying so you’ll see more of them.
Don’t be surprised to see birds foraging and hunting amongst the vegetation. They need insects to feed their babies on.
Some perennial wildflowers lose their foliage in the winter and you don’t know they’re there until spring comes along and the leaves start to grow. You may also find that plant seeds that were dropped into the meadow last year – perhaps by birds – will have germinated.
Some wildflowers take years to grow from seed. If you used Meadowmat wildflower turf to make your wildflower area, you may see some of the species on the seed list that haven’t appeared before.
Cottage Garden Meadowmat and Meadowmat for Birds and Bees both have common daisies in their seed mix. These will probably start to bloom in April. Much to the delight of the local bees. You may also see some early vetch, some clover or some birdsfoot trefoil – depending on the weather.
Creating A Mini Wildflower Meadow In April
Every garden can benefit from a small area of wildflowers. They fit into any design style; cottage gardens, contemporary gardens, play gardens, relaxing gardens – all sorts.
There are several ways to start a mini-meadow. My favourites are:
Leave a bit of the lawn unmown and see what grows – you may not get many flowers in the first year but you’ll be amazed at the insect life in the long grass. It’s definitely the cheapest method too!
Sow wildflower seeds. Cost-effective and easy to do. It’s a great activity for children but be careful to choose species that will flower in the first year. Meadowmat offers a range of wildflower seed mixes for very reasonable prices.
Lay wildflower turf. My very favourite method for speed and for instant effect. Meadowmat wildflower turf laid in April will almost surely give you a strong floral display in its first summer. It suppresses annual weeds and it will be an insect haven from day 1.