The Day We Sowed Wild Flowers

 

Wildflowers Olympic Park

A couple of weeks ago I posted about planting our Willow Wigwam and I am pleased to report that it has already started to sprout.  I can now reveal that around the wigwam we plan to have an annual wild flower meadow and we spent Sunday preparing the ground and sowing this.

I wanted to complete the work this week as part of our contribution to the RHS’s National Gardening Week, which is all about making your garden more bee and wildlife friendly.

wildflower seeds

We have, however, not sown the free wildflower seed gratefully received from the RHS as we had already ordered a pack of flower seeds from Pictorial Meadows, the company responsible for the planting at the Olympic Park last year.  Not sure we will quite achieve the same effect though.  We went for the Pictorial Meadows “Short” Annual Mix, which is meant to be really long flowering.  This is not a wildflower mix, but I hope the flowers will be bee friendly. It contains

Fairy Toadflax Linaria maroccana, Red Flax Linum grandiflorum rubrum. Shirley Poppy Papaver rhoeas, Love-in-a-mist, Nigella damascene, Candytuft Iberis umbellate, Blue Flax Linum usitatissimum.  I think this mix will be similar to the photo above, taken when we visited the Olympic Park.

The flowers will grow to a general height of 30-40 cm.  The seeds came with a very helpful instruction sheet.  Our soil is very much clay, so I knew that we may have to improve the plot before we could sow.  We added some sand from an old sandpit to help drainage and some compost to improve the quality of the soil.

 

kids gardening

I did most of the digging and all of the weeding!  My garden helper was on hand though and learnt some new skills.  I appreciated the help with breaking up clods of soil with a hoe and then stamping down the ground to flatten it.  The final raking of the soil was also a favourite activity.  He is a strong 8 yr. old so is able to use adult gardening tools, which make life easier.  Though you do have to sometimes keep your distance as a rake can be a dangerous weapon! 

 

wildflower seeds in sand

sowing wildflower seeds

We just had to a mark out where the path to the willow den would be and then came the fun part.  We can all now say we have sown a wildflower meadow.  Well just a bit of artistic licence, not quite a meadow and not quite wildflowers.  Our instructions gave 2 options for sowing the seeds a quick and simple way and a perfectionist’s way.  I am sure you can guess which we choose? We mixed the seeds with a little sand, scattered them evenly and then gently raked over the soil.  Easy Peasy.  This really was child’s play and great for children of any age to do.

Now we just wait and hopefully in 8-10 weeks I’ll be back posting some pictures.  The good thing is that we still have half a packet of seeds for next year.  We still also have our other free wildflower seeds to sow as well.  As these are enough to grow a square metre area of wild flowers I might be running out of space.  It looks as if they will have to go in the front garden amongst some lavender and roses.

We are going to monitor the two areas to see which is more successful in terms of growing, longevity of flowering and attractiveness to insects.  But most of the time I hope we are going to be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labour.

Anyone else been doing some wild sowings recently?  Would be great to compare notes.

I am linking up this post with Countrykids at Coombemill and the Outdoor Play Party.

 

 

 

 

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13 Responses to The Day We Sowed Wild Flowers

  1. Kierna Corr (@CiarnaC) April 19, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    I love this idea & it will make your willow den really stand out among all the flowers. Can’t wait to see this area develop. We planted some poppies in tyres, I just love them so much.

    • Lynda April 20, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

      Thanks for the comments – I’m really hoping this will work. Like you i love poppies and you have reminded me that i have a tyre to plant up.

  2. Kate, scattymumofboys April 20, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    As soon as I saw the title of this post I had visions of wild flowers around a wigwam in our garden. Will be dragging hubby out to get canes this weekend and hoping its not too late to plant a sweet pea and possibly green bean wigwam inspired by your willow one.

    looking forward to seeing your flowers bloom and willow develop.

    • Lynda April 20, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

      We tried a bean teepe last year, but because of the poor weather the beans didn’t grow. A Sweet Pea wigwam sounds lovely and very aromatic.

  3. Gemma Mills / Chamberlain (MyMillsBaby) April 20, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    Oooh you got some free seeds from NGW – I went in for these too. Hopefully I’ll get some!

    • Lynda April 20, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

      I hope you get some too. It was a great offer. I think that a number of companies sell them now, but its always good to get something for free

  4. becky @ lakes single mum April 20, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    we have done some too though we didn’t properly prepare the ground – totally lazy gardeners! this was us http://beckywilloughby.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/in-garden-with-children.html

    • Lynda April 20, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

      Becky will check your post out – sometimes plants grow with very little effort and other times it doesn’t matter what you do.

  5. jenny paulin April 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    oh my goodness your flowers will be so beautiful – all those bright colours . i love seeing wild flowers – they just make me smile.i havent done any green fingered work in our garden yet – i dont really know what i am doing!!
    i look forwards to seeing your flowers once they have bloomed x

    • Lynda April 20, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

      Thanks for your comments – I’m hoping with all the sunshine we are having some of the seeds will start to sprout now. But most of all my fingers are crossed that in 2 months time i’ll be posting photos of beautiful flowers. Hope you manage to get started on your garden soon too

  6. Coombemill April 20, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    I can’t wait to see how this turns out, it sounds so dreamy and idyllic. I once tried a wild flower gharden but the stingingnettles and grass thrived best, I have a feeling yours will be more successful. Thanks for sharing on Country Kids, it is a lovely idea with the path to the willow den too.

  7. Lula B @ www.navigatingbyjoy.com April 20, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    My 9yr old daughter planted some wildflowers in her patch of our garden last year. She just opened the packet and scattered away, and a few months later they came up great! I love wildflowers :-)
    Thank you for the reminder to get going with them this year, too. LOL at the dangers of rake-weilding :-D
    Lucinda (visiting via Country Kids from Coombe Mill)

  8. TheBoyandMe April 21, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    I love wild flowers but I do tend to get confused; in the past I’ve pulled up a load of Californian poppies before I twigged they weren’t weeds.

    Nipping over from the Country Kids linky.