In the last 75 years, 97% of wildflower meadows have disappeared in the UK. To mark World Wildlife Day on Friday 3rd March, you can pick up free packets of wildflower mix at Regent's Place designed to promote bees and butterflies in the city.
Once you have them, here’s a step-by-step guide for green-fingered novices on how to plant them...
Find your space
Window boxes - so long as these are well-drained and in a sunny, protected spot, prepare to plant.
Community spaces - these are ideal so long as you have the landowner’s permission.
A lawn - simply rake a spot on the grass to reveal the soil beneath. Et voila, the start of your wildflower meadow.
Please don’t sow seeds in or near open countryside or near nature reserves as seeds from your packet could cause cross-pollination.
How to plant in a window box/old crockery/planter
- Choose a container with good drainage - so plenty of holes - and add broken crockery or stones to the bottom of the pot to help.
- Move your containers into position and add soil or peat-free compost.
- Break up the soil or compost as your fill the container until it’s 2.5cm from the top.
- Sprinkle with 1mm of soil or compost and water.
- Keep your wildflowers well watered and three weeks later you should see your first shoots of green.
How to prep your soil in a garden (even if you lack a green thumb)
- Prep your soil in advance - two weeks is ideal - so you can remove any weeds or grasses that come to life. To do this, choose a day when the soil is happy (ie not too wet or too dry). Dig the soil with a fork or a spade (or spatula if you’ve failed to visit the garden centre) to break up any large clumps and remove stones.
- Rake the soil till it is fine crumbly (use a large fork if you don’t have a rake). Rest for a fortnight.
- Then one a fine day in March or April, scatter your seeds by hand to get an even spread.
- Cover your seeds with a fine layer of crumbly soil; they love a bit of sun so make sure they’re not too deep.
- Gently water them. Wait...