Annual meadows

Just imagine a meadow full of flowers outside your back door. It's a dream many gardeners share: and it can come true if you plant one of the popular annual meadow mixes, available in our garden centre. Here's how:

Preparing the ground: annual meadows need good garden soil, unlike traditional hay meadows (wild meadows grow best on poor land, which is why they're so hard to establish in gardens). So weed the site, add organic matter and rake it into a fine tilth just like you would for sowing any seed.

Choosing your mix: Cornfield annual mixes include poppies, corn marigolds and corncockle; or choose a blend for short stems (around 40cm tall) or perhaps combining particular colours: red flax, black-eyed Susan and Californian poppies, for example, for a hot-coloured meadow.

Sowing and aftercare: mix seed with silver sand so it's easier to distribute evenly, then broadcast at about 3g – a small-ish handful – per square metre. Rake in afterwards and water, then watch it grow. After you've enjoyed the display, clear the ground in autumn: some will re-seed but to get your special mix back again re-sow next spring.

Please ask the staff in our Chislehurst, Newchurch, Canterbury and Welling garden centre for more information and advice about planting annual meadows.

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