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).

FLOWER POWER Photo & Art Competition 2021

The Wildflower Trail – Art Competition 2021

INFORMATION FOR ENTRANTS 

Thanks for your interest in the first Wildflower Trail Art Competition, with our theme this year 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

CATEGORIES

There are four categories for entrants this year. 

  1. Adult – professional artists or photographers
  2. Adult – amateur artists or photographers
  3. 12-18 years old
  4. Under 12s

In each category there will be a winner, runner-up and highly commended as judged by local professionals and Green Tides. All selected artworks will be presented to the public to choose the Community Choice. 

SUBMISSION OF ARTWORKS 

Entrants may submit one artwork or photograph in one category only. Submissions should be photographs of artwork or photos emailed to wildflowerartcomp@gmail.com. The images should be no larger than 5mb in jpeg format. Please include your name, contact email, category you are submitting under and a paragraph about what inspires you and your work. 

Winning artworks and images will be exhibited. For the final exhibition(s), artists will be asked to submit their original artwork. No single submission should be larger than 100cm x 100cm.

SUBMISSION PERIOD 

Submission for the competition opens on Thursday 1st July and closes on Thursday 30th September 2021. No submissions can be accepted after that date.

SELECTION OF IMAGES 

All images submitted will be judged under their category. The artworks will be shortlisted by Green Tides. All shortlisted work will be judged by Green Tides and local professional artists. 

A winner, runner-up and highly commended will be awarded in each category. 

Winners, runner-up and highly commended will be notified by Green Tides and The Wildflower Trail within one week of the judging. The judging date will be confirmed in due course. 

PUBLIC VOTE 

The public vote opens Tuesday 1st February 2022 and closes Tuesday 1st March 2022. 

The Winners from each category will be voted on by the public. Their favourite will be chosen as the Community Choice Winner. Our Green Tides members will also be invited to choose their overall favourite. 

The winner will be notified by the Wildflower Trail within one week of the voting closing. 

All artworks whose images are chosen will be exhibited during Spring 2022. Please ensure that artworks will be available for display. 

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, license 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

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.

PRIZES

All winners, runners-up and highly commended will be exhibited during the springtime of 2022. We are currently organising these exhibitions and will provide further details in due course. 

Green Tides and The Wildflower Trail are also working on more prizes for the winners in each category and the Community Choice award. We already have some great goodies on top of the exhibitions next year and will be releasing details throughout the competition period. 

Green Tides are seeking more sponsors, so please get in touch if you want to help out. 

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.