Create a wildflower garden

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Spring is the perfect time to sow a patch of flowering annuals - wild style. Go for those easy flowers that thrive when sown directly into warm spring soil.

Select your own mix or buy a prepacked packet of 'wildflowers'.

  1. Start with a sunny, weed free patch of soil.
  2. Mix in fine compost or seed raising mix and work the soil to a fine crumbly texture.
  3. Rake the soil lightly to about 1cm deep.
  4. Scatter wild flower seed evenly over the soil.
  5. Rake the soil again to lightly cover the seeds.
  6. Water carefully after sowing, being careful not to wash the seeds off the garden.
  7. Keep the soil moist as seedlings grow. Flowers should start to appear after about 8 weeks.
  8. Throughout summer, remove weeds and water during dry spells.
  9. Clear away spent plants in autumn, scattering any seeds they have produced. These should germinate before winter,
  10. Sow more seed in the second spring to build your wild flower population.

Wildflowers to grow from seed

  • Cosmos
  • Shirley poppies
  • Soldier poppies
  • Californian poppies
  • Cornflowers
  • Calendula
  • Larkspur
  • Linaria
  • Nemophila
  • Reseda
  • Alyssum
  • Phacelia

Bee friendly!

Honey bees are the unsung heroes of the garden, pollinating our fruit trees, beans and tomatoes. But worryingly, bees are dying out all over the world and no one really knows why. Encourage bees to visit your garden and neighbourhood by planting plenty of nectar-rich plants.

Unable to see red, bees are attracted to white, yellow and blue flowers (including ultra violet, which humans cannot see). They also have an excellent sense of smell and are attracted to flowers that produce ample pollen and nectar. Simple old-fashioned 'single' flowers are best.

Bee favourites include; alyssum, salvia (sage), lavender, rosemary, catmint, cosmos, aster, borage, thyme, monarda (bee balm), and fruit trees.