Make space for wildflowers
It doesn’t matter what size your space is, there’s always room for wildflowers! Whether it's a flowerpot, flowerbed, wild patch in your lawn, a verge, field margin or entire meadow, planting wildflowers provides vital resources to support a wide range of insects and other wildlife that couldn't survive otherwise. Long grass, peppered with flowers, is a biodiverse and beneficial habitat. The different plant species help insects to thrive, create feeding opportunities for birds, and shelter small mammals.
There are many websites and videos to help you create a wildflower patch (whatever its size) and the end result will give you hours of pleasure enjoying the colours of the wildflowers as they move in the breeze and watching the bees, butterflies and other insects that they attract.
There are links to many of the websites and videos below but you can also find many more with your own searches. CountryLife have published a simple guide to the Wildflowers of Britain, which you can download or view online here.
You can download the Plantlife guide to transforming local verges into wildlife havens here.
In your garden
Option 1 – Just set aside a part of your lawn, let your grass grow and create a mini wildflower meadow.
Here are a couple of You Tube videos to help you create a pop up meadow in part of your lawn:
Option 2 – Create a wildflower patch from scratch
You can create a wildflower area from scratch on bare ground. Pick a poor patch of ground that hasn’t been cultivated recently as wildflower meadows establish best on unproductive soil. It’s worth checking what sort of soil you have and its pH before you choose which seeds to sow; wildflower seed merchants supply mixes suitable for various soil types and situations.
Perennial wildflowers thrive best on poor soil. If your soil fertility is high, then consider sowing an annual mix that includes plants like cornflower, corn poppy, corn marigold and corncockle.
This RHS webpage shows you how to grow a mini wildflower meadow from scratch and also has a useful list of wildflowers for pollinators which you can download here.
This Wildlife Trusts webpage shows you how to create both Options 1 and 2 above.
The Natural History Museum has useful information too on growing a lawn that’s better for wildlife
If you have pastureland or grow crops why not set aside a field margin, or spare corner permanently for perennial wildflowers
Areas rich with wildflowers provide valuable habitat for insects and their predators. They also have numerous benefits from a farming perspective, including integrated pest management and crop pollination and support a wealth of wildlife that feeds on them.
The Farm Wildlife website has helpful information on wildflower margins plus a lot more useful information.
If you have the space, why not go for the joy of creating a whole wildflower meadow
Save Our Magnificent Meadows is the UK’s largest partnership project transforming the fortunes of vanishing wildflower meadows, grasslands and wildlife. Their website has a wealth of information on how to identify, manage, restore and recreate meadows and species-rich grassland.
There is lots more advice and tips in these YouTube videos:
Top tips for creating a wildflower meadow from the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan
Habitat Aid's practical and simple to follow guide to creating your own wildflower meadow