Pictorial Meadows annual meadow mixes provide the simplest method of achieving breath-taking displays of gorgeous flowers with the minimum amount of preparation and after care. Designed to be sown in situ on an average garden soil, they will quickly start flowering with distinct ‘waves’ of colour right up to the first frost – providing a rich nectar source for all pollinators and putting a smile on the face of everyone who sees them.
Our annual mixes can be used in virtually every conceivable garden and landscape situation – from planters and borders in gardens, to large scale urban or rural projects. Increasingly they are used by Local Authorities and larger landowners as an effective and dramatic antidote to large expanses of grass and municipal plantings but their uses are limitless.
Buy seed online
We are constantly reviewing our range of mixes. For this season’s full range and detailed description please visit our online shop and buy online.
‘How to’ guides
For instructions on how you can achieve a wonderful annual Pictorial Meadow from seed, visit our How to guides page for useful downloads and inspiration.
Frequently asked questions
Q Can I sow my seeds over existing grass?
A No, Grass will prevent your seeds from growing, you need to prepare a clean weed free seed bed
Q How early and how late can I safely sow annual seeds?
A The optimum month is April but you can sow early in March as long as the ground feels workable and as late as early June for spectacular late flowering displays.
Q Does the sowing time have an impact on the length of the flowering time?
A Every year is different. In general though early sowings will mean your meadow will come into flower earlier and if the summer is very hot and dry they may finish earlier.
Q Do I need to irrigate?
A No, but it’s really important to roll or firm the seeds into the ground so the seedlings get enough moisture. The seeds will germinate readily as soon as the soil is warm and moist enough. The only time you might want to irrigate is if you have sown for a very specific occasion and it’s extremely dry and you are really anxious about pushing the germination and early growth on.
Q It looks like I just have a blanket of weeds, is there anything I can do?
A Unfortunately this sometimes happens, but don’t panic. Wait until your weeds are about 150 mm (6 inches) tall and run your mower over the whole area on the highest cut. This checks the weeds and allows the slower growing meadow to come through.
Q My display has been looking great, but in the recent really hot and dry weather the display is starting to go over. Is there anything that I can do?
A Most years the displays carry on without a check with later taller flowers masking the shorter earlier ones. Sometimes it’s just a question of giving nature a little bit more time. Even if the later flowers are less showy they will still have a lot of sparkle. If really looking tatty you can give them the ‘Chelsea chop’ which is a very high cut to knock off the seeding flower heads and stimulate a 2nd flush of growth and flowers.
Q What effect will the fertility of my soil have on the display?
A Annual Meadows thrive on normal to high fertility soils making them perfect solutions for most gardens and parks. The richer the soil though the taller and bushier the plants will be and the thinner and poorer, the opposite will happen. Normally if you grow annual meadows on the same patch of ground for more than 3 years you will see the fertility start to decrease and the emerging meadows look finer and shorter. If you suspect that the soil is very rich then it’s probably best to reduce the sowing rate a little. Equally if it’s very poor either just enjoy the daintier display or increase the sowing rate a little.
Q Do I need to protect the seed from birds, mice or squirrels?
A No. We have sown meadows in areas that were afterwards visited by big flocks of birds and in areas where mice and squirrels where particularly happy and so were our meadows in the end.
Q If I’ve sown an annual meadow one year will it regrow the next year?
A No, not really. Many species won’t reseed at all. Some species will but in a much more random and patchy way. If you have a fairly infertile soil though or you have experienced very little weed infestation you can though get some lovely 2nd and 3rd year displays taking place from the few species that do reseed.
Q What happens if I sow less or more than the recommended rate?
A It’s best to stick to the 2.5 to 3 grams a metre rule as that’s how we’ve formulated the meadow designs but don’t worry too much either way. 3 grams and you will get a thicker, more boisterous display. It will probably look amazing early on but be a bit too competitive for a fantastic late display. Exactly the opposite if you’ve gone down to 1 gram. It might look very sparse to start with but often this is compensated by each individual plant growing much bigger and some amazing late season meadows.
Q Can I mix the annual seed with grass to make it go further?
A No. Grass is very competitive and will quickly dominate. If you want to make the mix go further you are better to decrease the sowing rate – but keep the edges close to the paths at the normal rate if you can.
Q Can I mix the annual seed with perennial seed?
A No. If you are trying to establish a proper perennial meadow then do not put annual seeds with the mix. Annuals will very quickly outcompete the slower perennials and create bare patches in the sward later in the season which will encourage weed infestation. If you want a hybrid mix that is very easy to establish and will flower happily for 2-3 years or more use our ‘Magic Carpet’ mix.
Q Can I sow an annual meadow in the Autumn?
A Yes, but expect to lose most if not of the new seedlings during the winter. The remaining ungerminated seeds will grow earlier in spring and will provide a sparser display in the pring and summer.