A mini scottish wildlife haven!

Belinda Macdonald from Shades of Green Garden Design was commissioned by two clients who have a passion for wildlife, to create a garden that included a wildflower meadow surrounding a mini-woodland of birch and rowan trees.
The soil on the site was a free-draining, fertile loam. Due to the fact that the site had been allowed to grow wild for a number of years, there was also a well established seed-weed bank.  This meant that creating a successful wildflower meadow from seed would be more than just a challenge, and would probably have ended up giving disappointing results. Not the sort of odds a landscape designer would be happy to accept!
Seeding requires a great deal of patience and careful weeding for the first few years to avoid them dominating the whole area. Additionally on fertile soil, grasses tend to dominate.  With this in mind Belinda decided to use our Wildflower Turf so that she could be confident that her clients would get a guaranteed meadow.
Although the Wildflower Turf naturally acts as a weed blanket, Belinda’s experience and expertise meant that she understood the importance of clearing the ground as much as possible before laying the turf.  This garden was sprayed repeatedly with a glyphosphate-based weedkiller before any planting was attempted.

Laying the turf is very straight forward

As you can see from the image above our Wildflower Turf is supplied in manageable size rolls, similar to grass turf, and is laid onto the prepared soil like a carpet. Because it is a soil-less system, it is very clean and doesn’t break up when you try to lay it. The turf was installed in September 2010.
The freshly installed turf

Belinda commented that, ‘the newly laid Wildflower Turf formed an attractive green sward under the trees and there were some flowers within a couple of weeks’.
By May 2011, the clients were enjoying a beautiful purple-blue haze being displayed under the trees.  In early June, Belinda made a follow-up visit to the garden, where she discovered that the meadow was nearing 60cm tall, with the ox-eye daisies in full bloom.  Belinda commented that ‘it was truly a sight to behold’!
May 2011 and the flowers are blooming!

The Wildflower Turf works well surrounding small trees

Maintenance of the meadow is very simple – an annual cut in autumn is all that is required, once the wildflowers have set and dropped their seeds.
Wildflower Turf provides a natural backdrop to a formal border

Belinda commented that, ‘creating a meadow using Wildflower Turf is more expensive than using seed, but for time-poor clients looking for quick results, I think this is definitely the way to go.  I can’t wait to see how it develops over the next few seasons’!