Do you love the beauty of wildflowers but don’t want to deal with the hassle of maintaining a traditional meadow garden? You can add wildflowers to your ornamental garden and enjoy their beauty without all the work.
In this guide, we’ll reveal how to choose suitable wildflowers, where to plant them, and how to care for them. We will also discuss some of the benefits of adding wildflowers to your landscape.
What Is An Ornamental Garden?
An ornamental garden is a place where you can grow flowers, shrubs, trees and other plants to beautify your home or property. They’re usually for aesthetic purposes rather than functional ones.
For example, an ornamental garden might feature roses and lilies instead of vegetables like tomatoes and peppers grown in a more functional garden.
While many people love ornamental landscape design because it creates a streamlined look for their outdoor area, it can sometimes look a bit boring, which is why adding wildflowers is a great idea.
What Are Wildflowers?
Wildflowers grow naturally in a particular area instead of being genetically manipulated, so they’re a popular choice for nature lovers. In fact, all cultivated plants originate from wildflowers, and each region has its specific plants.
You might find wildflowers growing in meadows, along roadsides and even in your garden. However, most people purchase wildflower seeds from an online provider or their local garden centre, which creates a natural, aesthetically appealing garden.
Popular Wildflowers For UK Gardens
There are so many wildflower seeds available, and most come in a pack of mixed plants, so your garden will burst with colour. Perennials are a popular choice in the UK because they grow well in many soil types and typically flower from June to October each year.
You can also find unique mixes to attract butterflies and bees to your garden, so plenty of options are available.
Adding Wildflowers to Your Ornamental Garden
So, now you know a little bit more about wildflowers, it’s time to reveal how to add them to your ornamental garden.
If you have an intricate design in mind or aren’t sure how to incorporate these flowers without them taking over your outdoor space, you might want to use a wildflower garden designer to bring your vision to life.
Step One: Choosing Your Wildflowers
The first step is determining what type of flowers you want to use in your ornamental garden. There are three choices available:
- Annuals: Plants that only live one year
- Perennials: Flowering plants that return each year
- Biennials: These plants take two years to complete their life cycle
While there’s no right or wrong answer here, many people prefer perennials because they’re the low maintenance solution.
When choosing flowers for your ornamental garden, it is essential to consider your area’s climate and soil type. Not all wildflowers will thrive in every region, so you need to choose plants suited to your specific climate.
You should also think about the pH of your soil and select plants that will grow well in your particular soil type. If you’re unsure about your soil, you can send it to a lab for testing and add compost to neutralise it.
Some of the UK’s most popular wildflowers include:
- Ox-Eye Daisies – Traditional white and yellow daisies flower from June to August.
- Corn Cockle – Deep pink colour, flowers from June – August.
- Betony – Popular perennial, with a lovely purple colour.
- Bugle – Grows well in shaded and sunny gardens but needs moist soil to flourish.
- Honeysuckle – Beautiful flowers which attract bees, moths and caterpillars to your garden.
- Foxglove – Probably the most popular biennial, this plant is a delicate combination of purples and whites.
- Corn Marigold – An annual plant that looks pretty when grown in combination with daisies.
- Lily of the Valley – Perfect for spring conditions, this plant has a pleasant scent and grows well in shady areas.
Step Two: Choose Your Ideal Spot
Once you have chosen the right flowers for your garden, it is time to decide where to plant them.
Wildflowers can be planted near an edge of the property, where they will get plenty of sunlight, but be sure to avoid planting them in too shady or wet areas.
As you’re planting wildflowers into your ornamental garden, it’s worth taking some time to consider how to enhance the aesthetics of your space without ruining the design.
Some people prefer to use wildflower turf because it results in a more polished look than the flowers growing all over the garden.
Step Three: Preparing The Soil
If you’re planting the wildflowers into your existing soil, you should remove any rocks and weeds before sowing the seeds. Loosen the soil and make sure it’s in good condition for the wildflowers to flourish without being restricted by weeds.
Now it’s time to plant your flowers. If you’re using a packet, make sure you follow the planting instructions, as they’ll explain the depth you need to sow the seeds and how to space them apart.
You should also follow the watering instructions and use garden netting if you’re worried about birds ruining your wildflowers while they’re growing.
Step Four: Maintaining Your Wildflowers
Once your flowers have started to grow, it’s essential to keep them healthy and looking their best. This generally involves watering the plants regularly, especially during a drought, and removing any dead or dying flowers.
If you’re not sure how to take care of your wildflowers, there are plenty of gardening books and websites that can help. Additionally, most garden centres will offer advice on looking after specific types of plants.
The Bottom Line
When used correctly, wildflowers can improve the aesthetics of your ornamental garden without ruining the design. With so many plants to choose between, it’s best to think about the colours and scents you’d like to add to your outdoor space.
There’s no doubt that wildflowers create a quintessentially British theme, which is perfect for enjoying the sounds of chirping birds and buzzing bees throughout spring and summer.
If you enjoyed reading this post, you might want to read our ultimate guide to designing your dream garden. It has actionable tips that let anyone turn their drab outdoor area into a haven.