SomersetFarmhouse Landscape, London
What Houzz contributors are saying:
When to plant wildflower seeds. Wildflower seeds can be planted in spring or fall, but fall is often favored for a number of reasons. Fall planting can be done as part of a fall cleanup, and you won’t need to fend off as many weeds as you would in spring. The seeds (and gardener) have the chance to rest over winter and, come spring, both get a jump-start on the season. Plus, for many wildflower seeds, exposure to cold and then early spring rains can help encourage sprouting. If you choose to start a wildflower garden in fall, make sure seeds are in the ground by early fall through winter, depending on climate. In cold-winter areas, seeds can be planted from late September through October, or until the ground freezes. In mild-winter climates and areas along the Pacific coast, anytime in late fall or winter is suitable for planting. Wildflower seeds can be planted from early spring to midspring in all climates, once the ground has thawed. If you have heavy clay soil in a region that receives frequent rainfall, wait until spring to plant, as seeds can rot over winter in wet soil. Not sure what type of soil you have? Learn your soil type.
With resources like Houzz, you can also see which plants do well in your area by looking online. Filter landscape photos by region to see which plants grow in your area. If you can’t readily get a plant ID from the designer, tap an online forum or network, or bring photos of what you like to a nursery with knowledgeable staff. They may be able to help you identify those plantings.
Keep some weeds. Telling gardeners not to remove weeds, particularly those in flower, would once have been considered heresy. But with nectar-producing flowers in such short supply, weeds have become an important food source for foraging bees. If the bees are regularly visiting weeds growing on your berm or at the back of the garden, try to resist taking out the spade. This cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) is considered a weed in many places but is a great bee attractant and often planted in orchards.
9. Start the seeds for a meadow garden. Early spring, after the last frost has passed and when the soil is beginning to warm up, can be a perfect time to start a meadow garden (if you’ve missed your window, fall is also a great time). For the best results, choose a spot in full sun to partial shade and take the time to prep the soil a bit before planting. First, rake the soil clear of any rocks and weeds, then scatter native wildflower seeds, cover with a light sprinkling of soil or compost, and water gently. Keep the soil consistently moist for a few weeks.
Blur the edges. For the air of a romantic country garden, allow plants to encroach and release their scent when brushed by visitors. A slightly rugged or rustic choice of stone adds to the appeal of these steps. Their simplicity fits in, rather than stands out, so they don’t compete with the natural feel of the garden.