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Many of us ‘like’ the idea of wildflowers – their vibrant and versatile blooms, their ability to attract an array of bees and pollinators and their low maintenance characteristics. However, sometimes the narrative of whimsical wildflowers doesn’t quite fit in with your current aesthetic of a well-maintained lawn.
Yet, there are ways to introduce wildflowers to your lawn without annoying the neighbours. You can keep your lawn in tip-top condition and have wildflowers - here's how:
By leaving your lawn to grow long and discover what wildflowers cultivate naturally (clovers, dandelions, daisies) or
By removing some of your lawn turf to create wildflower borders and beds
At first glance, you may think that your lawn is incapable of producing wildflowers in its current well-manicured state, but that’s exactly what is preventing it from being a bed flush with versatile blooms! When left to its own devices, most lawns will go on to produce tall arable grasses, daisies, dandelions and white clover. Of course, the diversity of wildflowers your lawn produces will vary from region to region, but these are some of the most common you will find. If you have a large bit of land or garden, you can leave it all to grow wild and then strim and mow winding paths through it, or if you have a smaller lawn you can cordon off a no-mow area in the shape of a circle or square!
Option Two: Remove turf and create wildflower borders and beds
If you want specific wildflowers in your meadow for more of an ornamental display, but still want grass to be present you will need to remove some turf in order to get the desired conditions for wildflowers to grow in. This means removing the top layer of turf and ensuring it remains weed free (weeds will choke out wildflowers trying to grow). Obviously, this would be quite a task for a large lawn, so is better suited to smaller lawns who want to have a wildflower feature in their garden. You can remove your turf to make borders around your lawn, or you may want to be more adventurous and try a circular bed. You can then sow a wildflower mix with grass so that when your wildflowers are finished blooming, there is still a year-round habitat for wildlife and not an empty bed.
With two options available, here’s the step by step for how to achieve them:
Option One : Step by Step
Leave your lawn to grow wild (up to 10cm)
Mow in paths or cordon off an area to leave wild and continue mowing the rest of the lawn
Strim at end of summer to encourage more natural cultivation
Option Two: Step by Step
Mark out an area where you wish to sow a wildflower border
Use a shovel to lift the turf and remove
Leave the area to cultivate for 2 weeks, pull up any new weeds