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My Seed Hasn't Worked!

I want my money back! I bought a wildflower seed mix and followed all the instructions, sowing it in April. It's now nearly the end of May; why has nothing come up?

The first thing to say is the problem won't be the seed itself. It's fresh and we randomly test batches to check on content and germination. If you've sown it according to instructions it's possible something has happened - the seed's been buried, washed away, rotted in standing water, or even eaten by a flock of pigeons. More often than not though, you just need to be patient.

Most of the mixes we sell consist entirely of native perennial species (with the exception of Yellow Rattle, which is a slightly different story). These take a while to germinate - up to several months. As wildflowers and native grasses, they are much slower than horticultural cultivars. Some species won't even appear until the following year, which is part of the fascination of making a wildflower meadow.   

A few of our mixes include a smattering of cornfield annuals, which are much - much - quicker. They will zoom away, flowering within three months of sowing. These are typically mixes without grasses, which, incidentally, also tend to germinate quicker than perennial wildflowers.

Even cornfield annuals have been slow this year though. Conditions for growing in spring were terrible; it was relentlessly cold and dark. Just ask the garden designers at Chelsea! We sowed a bed here with our bee mix in early April, and I'm entirely unsurprised that the only plants stirring so far are a few cornflowers and poppies.