Flowery Meads

I met Jane Owen at an open day with the charismatic Andy McIndoe at Hillier’s this week. I’ve got a pretty steep learning curve to deal with but at least, as I’ve commented before, I’m finding some of the best and nicest people to help me up it. Jane was researching an article on flowering lawns so I put her in touch with Linda Laxton, the expert’s expert on native plants and founder of British Wildflower Plants, one of our suppliers.
We sell both plug and seed mixes for flowering lawns, so I ought to know more about them and post more information on the website. I do know that “flowery meads” or “enamelled lawns” were an important element of medieval gardens and I can very much see their attraction now. Playing football on them might be problemmatic but they’re low maintenance, hugely more wildlife friendly than a “traditional” lawn and add colour and interest to smaller gardens in particular. I suppose a well kept tightly mown lawn is the gardening equivalent of a field of perennial rye grass from an ecologist’s point of view…

Unmown section of lawn
Unmown section of lawn
If you don’t want to go the whole hog then mow tightly around small islands and only let them grow a little to make them look neat, which I saw at Jenny Steel’s garden (left). Leaving these sections unmown for a couple of weeks or so gives at least the clover and, here, Selfheal as well (a good bumblebee plant) a chance to flower. Perhaps I could sell this solution to the footballers.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to Jane’s article on the lawns and, in the meantime, back to Linda for some notes to help folk on the website.