With the increasing reduction of wild habits for many plants, many people have begun to look afresh at what they are losing and have gained an appreciation of their native flora. This has encourage them to create areas within their own garden in which wild flowers can flourish, partly to help preserve these flowers and partly because they simply enjoy them.
What is a wildflower garden? A wildflower garden is one in which native flowers are grown in as near wild conditions as possible. The idea of wild conditions is not so much to create picturesque landscape but more to create conditions in which the flowers will grow.
There are several types of garden all based on habitats in the wild. The most common is a wildflower meadow. Next are those based on plants of the cornfield and arable land, which like the disturbed soil of the open border. Then there are the woodland plants that need a shady garden. Finally, there are the wetland plants, which need a pond, stream or boggy area. Once established, wildflower gardens or borders are wonderful for attracting native birds and insects. They are, after all, their natural food.
When planning a wildflower garden, do not source your plants from those growing in the wild. Although they seem to be there for the gathering, always resist the temptation and buy seed from a respectable seed merchant instead. Leave the plants in the wild for others to enjoy.
What are wildflower meadows? These are best created by first sowing grass or using an existing lawn. Once the meadow has become established, mow it regularly to eliminate the coarser grasses. Now is the time to plant the wildflowers. They are more likely to become established if you grow the plants from seed in pots and then transplant them into the grass than if you simply scatter the seed. Prevent rank grass from taking over by mowing in high summer after the plants have seeded and then at least a couple more times before the winter sets in. Do not leave the grass lying after cutting.
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