It’s long been a topic of debate – annuals or perennials? And the answer is – it depends!
Ok perhaps it hasn’t been a long topic of debate, but there remains an air of confusion about these two types of wildflowers. Will they be around all summer long? Will they grow again next year? Which one is better? Well, we’re here to answer all of these questions.
First, we’ll start off with the differences between the two.
An annual is a wildflower that is normally a one-hit wonder. They’re very popular due to their plentiful appearance and ability to bloom so fast. A lot of people like annuals as they can switch up their wildflower meadow year on year with different annual wildflower species, to keep things exciting – which isn’t possible with a perennial wildflower bed. Most people believe that annuals are here for a good time, not a long time – but you can see them again the following year – if you do your prep. Annuals go to seed head each autumn and drop seeds into the soil. They are self-seeding, and almost self-sufficient but unfortunately, their process is not perfect – they need a bit of a helping hand. You can manually assist this process by putting your mower on a high setting or cutting the wildflowers down. Then use a roller (if you’re fancy!) or your wellies to split the seed heads up to allow more seeds to get into the soil. This will result in a full annual showing in the following year.
Now, perennials are truly here for a long time, if you look after them - 3 – 5 years on average, to be exact. A lot people opt for perennials because they don’t need planted every year, and they are often used on larger areas that are reserved purely for wildflower meadows.
As experts in all things bright and beautiful, The Grass People have two 100% wildflower mixes – a 100% annuals mix, and a 100% annuals and perennials mix so that you get the best of both worlds. Let’s have a look at what’s in each.
It may sound a bit corn-y, but we LOVE our annuals mix that is full of Corncockle, Cornflower, Corn Marigold, Corn Poppy and Corn Chamomile! Purples, yellows and red make for a perfect pop of colour in any summer garden with their bloom lasting up to 6 weeks. If you sow these little lovelies in March / April, you can expect them to start showing off around 60 to 80 days later. They are perfect for planters and individual pots as fuss-free flora for the not so avid gardener!
If you like the sound of both annuals and perennials, we’re one step ahead of you and have made a beautiful 100% UK annual and perennial wildflower mix that allows you to experience all the wonder that wildflowers have to offer. In our Meadow Magic mix there are some familiar faces you may recognise from our Annuals Mix – in fact all of them are available in our Meadow Magic mix, with some added extra perennials. Another divine mix of purples, yellows, red and a fashionable appearance from some fuchsia as well as the much sought-after Foxglove. So, what happens with an amalgamated mix like Meadow Magic? Well, our annuals will shoot up first providing a pretty one-off performance (unless you follow our re-seeding steps), whilst the perennials will follow shortly after, and come back year after year.
The truth is – annuals and perennials aren’t better than one and other – especially when both can return year after year if you look after them well.
So the choice is up to you, a 100% annual mix with a 6-week showstopper blinding bloom, or a magnificent mix of the very best that wildflowers have to offer!