Elsewhere the willow structures are looking fantastic and starting to come into leaf, the cardamom plants have been potted on and the first batch of wild flowers are just starting to shoot. Now whilst growing for displays is fairly new to us growing wildflowers in pots poses a whole new set of additional challenges. Will our greenhouses be just a bit too hot for them? How much more quickly will they germinate in these conditions? And as we don’t know we’ll be falling back on the tried and tested method of gardening – experimentation and a back up plan.
We’ve started with a section sown directly onto capillary matting and a section in trays with more to be sown in succession every 2 weeks. The inspiration behind the wildflower meadows is meadow at the front of our nursery which we all enjoy so much each summer.
The idea is that the wildflower meadow in front will look like a natural continuation of the printed nursery and meadow displayed as the background. Each summer this is awash with oxeye daisies, buttercups, yarrow, ragwort and clovers, the seed mix we are using ‘country meadow’ contains all of these but we’ll also be sowing some more of the individual varieties later to make sure that the balance of grasses to flowers is nice and colourful. In our own meadow the flowers are very exaggerated and the natural mix has been established over many years. We don’t believe it was ever deliberately sown with wildflower seeds but is just cultivated as a wild meadow by late mowing only once a year.
To get this effect in our display we suspect me may have to cheat a bit and will be prepared to spot plant individual species to boost the colour ratio, to ensure plants are in bloom and to give height at the back where necessary. The display is not huge, so the total number of square metres we need is around 12 but to achieve this we plan to sow at least three times as much in total as I’m so nervous about getting the timings right.