Creating Your Own Wildflower Meadow

If you have picked up one of our seed packets, we have provided you with enough seed mixture to cover an area of 1 metre squared. Follow this step by step guide to creating your very own patch of wildflowers…..the bees will thank you for it!!

To increase your chances of establishing a successful wildflower meadow, it is highly recommended that you sow in Early Spring (March/April).

Step 1: Choose somewhere to create your patch. Ideally you need to have a bit of bare ground that gets plenty of sunshine throughout the day, isn’t too fertile and isn’t too weedy. Wildflowers LOVE poor soils that most other plants wouldn’t dream of growing in! Mark out the outline of a 1M squared area using sand, an old hose pipe or some twine/string.

Step 2: If your chosen patch of ground is grassy, it is best to remove the grass beforehand. Grab your shovel and gradually lift the grass and any weeds from your patch, try not to leave any behind to rot down as this can risk returning extra nutrients back to the soil. Remember…. wildflowers love poor soil!

Step 3: When you have a bare patch of ground, dig it over with a garden fork and rake the soil level and to a fine crumbly texture. Then with your wellies on, tread over the ground to firm up the surface.

Step 4: Split the contents of your seed packet in half and mix one half with some fine dry sand (Roughly 1 part seed to 2 parts sand). This helps you see where you are spreading the seed more clearly. Using a tablespoon, scatter the seed and sand mixture over half the patch. Repeat this with the remaining seed, covering the other half of your patch.

Step 5: Tread all over the area again to ensure good contact between the seed mix and the soil, there is no need to rake it in or to cover the seed with soil. Give your newly sown seeds a good shower of water with your watering can. Remember to water regularly in dry weather!

Step 6….Wait for nature to do its thing! Ensure that your patch is well watered as it gets established. Don’t be discouraged if your patch doesn’t suddenly burst into life! It takes a little while for the flowers and grasses to germinate and get going so don’t give up! It will get better with each year. As and when perennial weeds pop up, such as dandelion, dock etc, you can dig these out by hand to give your wildflower seedlings a better chance.


Maintaining your Wildflower Meadow

Year 1
In the first year of sowing, it may take a little while for your wildflowers and grasses to get going. This is perfectly normal and is because most are perennial, that is they come back year after year, and can be slow to establish and some won’t even flower in the first year! What you might see however is some of the existing annual weeds which have laid dormant in the soil come through. This can shade out your meadow seedlings and an easy way to remedy this is to either chop back the weedy growth with shears or mow over your patch. Mowing may sound drastic but it’s quite important in the first year, you should aim to mow or cut back growth in your patch regularly to around 40mm to 60mm. Be sure to remove the cuttings- these can be composted! Doing this ensures that annual weeds are kept under control and provides your slower developing species with time to catch up with fast growers!

Year 2 and onwards
Your meadow should be left to develop from spring into late summer to allow it to flower and provide pollinators with a rich habitat and source of food. In Late July or August, after your meadow has flowered you should take what’s traditionally known as a “hay cut”. Cut back your meadow to around 50mm and leave the cuttings, also known as “arisings”, to dry out and shed seed on your patch, this takes up to 7 days. After which you can remove the arisings and pop them in your compost. Any regrowth can be cut back again in late autumn and in the following spring if needed.

The seed mix that we have provided was kindly donated by West Sussex County Council. It is a general mix of flowers and grasses developed by Emorsgate Seeds that can be used on various soil types.

Some of the species that might pop up in your patch are as follows:


Wild Flowers: Yarrow, Agrimony, Kidney Vetch, Betony, Common Knapweed, Greater Knapweed, Wild Carrot, Hedge Bedstraw, Meadow Crane’s-bill, Field Scabious, Oxeye Daisy, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Black Medick, Wild Marjoram, Wild Parsnip, Salad Burnet, Cowslip, Selfheal, Meadow Buttercup, Common Sorrel, Pepper Saxifrage, Bladder Campion, Upright Hedge-parsley, Tufted Vetch.

Wild Grasses: Common Bent, Crested Dogstail, Red Fescue, Smaller Cat’s-tail, Smooth-stalked Meadow-grass.

We would love to see photographs of your wildflower patch, please send them in to thewildflowertrail@gmail.com so that we can share them on the trail website (please ensure proper consent).

The Wildflower Trail – Art Celebration 2024

INFORMATION FOR ENTRANTS 

Thanks for your interest in the second Wildflower Trail Art Celebration, with our theme of Wildflowers and Pollinators. We are aiming to really celebrate the diversity and joy that wildflowers can bring to our communities, as well as our insect friends. 

Our contact email is wildflowerartcomp@gmail.com

The Wildflower Trail is a project by Green Tides, a local not-for-profit organisation supporting our Friends and environmental volunteer groups across Adur and Worthing. We raise funds to deliver essential free training, bring projects to life and support groups with their amazing efforts. To find out more about our work visit www.greentides.org.uk

OPEN TO EVERYONE LIVING IN ADUR AND WORTHING, UK

Everyone who lives in Adur and Worthing is welcome to contribute. We have no distinct categories – we are welcoming art or photos that celebrate wildflowers and nature from everyone living locally – children and young people, adults, professional artists or enthusiastic amateurs, we can’t wait to see your efforts. 

SUBMISSION OF ART AND PHOTOS

Everyone can submit one image. We need a good digital image of your art or photos of wildflowers and/or pollinators. Send these to us at wildflowerartcomp@gmail.com

The images should be no larger than 5mb in jpeg format. Please include your name, contact email, title of your image and a paragraph about what inspires you and your work. 

A selection of images will be chosen for display in local galleries in Spring 2025. 

SUBMISSION PERIOD 

Submission for the competition opens on 1st June and closes on 30th September 2024. No submissions can be accepted after that date.

USE OF IMAGES – TERMS AND CONDITIONS

By submitting your images, you agree to grant Green Tides and The Wildflower Trail a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive, licence to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, distribute, make available to the public, and exercise all copyright and publicity rights with respect to your images for the purpose of promoting and selling of Green Tides and the Wildflower Trail promotional material only. 

Green Tides and The Wildflower Trail will likely use submitted images to develop promotional materials, such as calendars or cards. We sell these to raise funds, which then support our Friends and environmental volunteer groups in Adur and Worthing. For more information about how we use our funding, please visit: www.greentides.org.uk

We will also share the images and your inspiration on our social media channels and our websites. We hope you can also help like and share these too – please follow our social media by visiting: 

The Wildflower Trail on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thewildflowertrail/

Green Tides on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreenTides 

If you do not want to grant to Green Tides and The Wildflower Trail the rights set out above, please do not submit your images to Green Tides or The Wildflower Trail

Thanks again for your interest and we all hope you enjoy being creative and inspired by our wonderful wildflowers and their pollinators, everyone at Green Tides.

Keep scrolling to see some of last year’s entrants 🤩

Michelle Furtado

FOREVER GRATEFUL FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Green Tides and The Wildflower Trail are forever grateful to the generous people and organisations who have donated and funded items to ensure we grow over the years. Many continue to support us through our new projects too!

A big shout out to Southdowns Leisure who were wonderful by donating enough cash for us to purchase some bespoke polo shirts and jackets promoting our projects.

The amazing PEP Printers came to our rescue at the last minute by printing and donating some fantastic leaflets for our table at the Net Zero conference.

Sussex Community Foundation Rampion Fund who are supporting our Wild Flower Trail 2024 project.

Adur & Worthing Council – CIL Fund who are supporting Green Tides with their projects for 2024

Stuartt Seaton of Sea Town Accountancy who generously gives his time and expertise

Lorraine Heaysman of Sussex Landscape Photography who supported us 2 years running with profits from sales of her calendars.

Jess and all the team at Community Works who work so hard to support the local voluntary sector in immeasurable ways

Sustainable Scything

The heritage art of scything dates back hundreds of years and is still a viable and sustainable method of land management today. With the move towards using less fossil fuel it offers a carbon neutral way to manage a habitat which is better for the environment and the wildlife within it.

It is possible to cut various areas such as longer grasses, wildflower meadows, waterside vegetation, orchards and private gardens. Without the need for power tools such as strimmers or mowers. Unlike power tools, there is very little maintenance required and it should last a lifetime, so it’s a good choice in the long term to save money.

Scythes can be used to create islands of wild flowers and longer grasses in rotation, which offers havens for pollinators and other wildlife. It is possible to cut up to three times a year in a mosaic pattern in order to stop some plants becoming too dominant or to allow wildflowers to be able to come though. One can work from the middle of an area outwards in order to allow living creatures in the cutting area the chance to escape. This mimics the use of grazing to maintain scrub areas where animals cannot be used.

A huge benefit of scything is the health and wellbeing of the scythe user versus the use of power tools. It is a great way to build up fitness and used correctly will not put any strain on the body. It is a wonderful and peaceful way to be part of the habitat that you are cutting without loud machinery and PPE including headphones and masks. This makes scything an ideal way for private garden owners, volunteers and green space groups to manage their areas independently.

On Thursday 7th September Stephan Gehrels from the Brighton Permaculture Trust came and delivered a Scythe training day to the Adur and Worthing Council Ranger team.

This was a ground-breaking day as it was the first council ranger team to take on this challenge and consider the use of scythes when possible in their work. It was a fantastic training day that I also attended as the Adur and Worthing Wildflower Trail Projects volunteer (link below)

https://www.thewildflowertrail.org/

During the day we learned how to use the scythe in various habitats as well as the method of cold forging known as ‘Peening’ in order to maintain and sharpen the scythe blade.

 

We came away fully able to use the tools safely. The lighter Austrian Scythes are available to buy from the BPT with the whole starter kit if keen to carry on scything. It is hoped that this sustainable training can be rolled out into the wider Community and further Scythe days can be organised via the Brighton Permaculture trust when the cutting season comes round again. (link below)

Brighton Permaculture Trust – Scything Workshop

For more information about scythe training or to express any interest in the use of Scythes, or our Wildflower Trail project, contact Debs Nicolls on the email below.

wildflowertrailprojects@gmail.com

Heene Cemetery Flowering Plants List

At Heene Cemetery, volunteers carry out extensive monitoring of the species that can be found there. Below is a comprehensive list, supplied by the Friends of Heene Cemetery, of all the flowering plants that have been recorded there to date.

American Willowherb
Annual Meadow-grass
Ash
Atlantic Ivy
Barren Brome
Bay
Beaked Hawk’s-beard
Bittersweet or Woody- Nightshade
Black Medick
Bladder Campion
Borage
Bramble
Bristly Ox tongue
Broad-leaved Dock
Broad-leaved Willowherb
Butterfly Bush
Carnation
Cat’s-ear
Cleavers or Goosegrass
Cock’s-foot
Columbine
Common Bent
Common Bird’s-foot- trefoil
Common Comfrey
Common Dog-violet
Common Ivy
Common Mouse-ear
Common Nettle
Common or Black- Knapweed
Common Poppy
Common Ragwort
Common Soft-brome
Common Sorrel
Common Spotted Orchid
Common Toadflax
Common Vetch
Corn Marigold
Cornflower
Cotoneaster sp.
Crab Apple
Creeping Bent
Creeping Cinquefoil
Creeping Thistle
Crested Dog’s-tail
Cultivated Daffodil
Cut-leaved Crane’s-bill

Daisy
Dandelion
Deadly Nightshade
Dog-rose
Early Dog-violet
Elder
Enchanter’s- nightshade
English Elm
Evergreen or Holm Oak
False Oat-Grass
False-brome
Feverfew
Field Bindweed
Field Forget-me-not
Field Maple
Field Wood-rush
Flax
Fool’s Parsley
Fox-and-cubs or Orange-Hawkweed
Foxglove
Garden Grape Hyacinth
Garden Privet
Garden Strawberry
Garlic Mustard
Germander Speedwell
Glaucous Sedge
Goat Willow
Great Willowherb
Greater Bird’s-foot- trefoil
Greater Plantain
Grey Sedge
Hairy Tare
Hawthorn
Hazel
Heath False-brome (Tor Grass)
Hedge Bindweed
Hedge Woundwort
Herb Robert
Himalayan Honeysuckle or- Flowering Nutmeg
Hoary Willowherb
Hogweed
Holly
Honeysuckle
Hybrid Bluebell (H. non-scripta x hispanica)

Indian Strawberry
Ivy-leaved Speedwell
Lady’s Bedstraw
Lady’s Mantle
Large-leaved Lime
Lesser Celandine
Lesser Yellow Trefoil
Lords-and-Ladies or -Cuckoo Pint
Love-in-a-mist
Marjoram
Meadow Buttercup
Meadow Crane’s-bill
Mexican Fleabane
Michaelmas Daisy
Montbretia (C. aurea x pottsii)
Musk Mallow
Nipplewort
Oxeye Daisy
Pedunculate Oak
Pendulous Sedge
Perennial Rye-grass
Perforate St John’s Wort
Prickly Lettuce
Prickly Sow-thistle
Primrose
Purple Toadflax
Quaking Grass
Ragged-Robin
Red Campion
Red Clover
Red Dead-nettle
Red Fescue
Red Valerian
Ribwort Plantain
Rose Campion
Rosebay Willowherb
Rough Meadow-grass
Scarlet Pimpernel
Selfheal
Sheep’s-fescue
Short-fruited Willowherb
Silver Birch
Smooth Hawk’s-beard
Smooth Sow-thistle
Sneezewort
Spear Thistle

Spindle Tree
Spring Crocus Square-stalked St John’s -Wort
Square-stemmed -Willowherb
Stinking Iris
Summer Snowflake
Sycamore
Thale Cress
Three-cornered Garlic or -Leek
Thyme-leaved Speedwell
Trailing Bellflower
Tutsan
Viper’s-bugloss
Wall Barley
Wall Lettuce
Water Figwort
Wavy Bitter-cress
White Campion
White Clover
White Comfrey
White Stonecrop
Wild Carrot
Wild Onion or Crow Garlic
Wild Teasel
Wood Avens or Herb-Bennet
Wood Dock
Wood Forget-me-not
Yarrow
Yorkshire-fog