Undecided about your wedding flowers? How about you grow your own wedding flowers? I used to have a wildflower nursery and know a bit about growing wildflowers – particular how much money you can save by growing your own! British wildflowers are gorgeous and most of them are very easy to grow. By growing your own, you can choose exactly the flowers you want and you are helping the butterflies and bees too! There is also the added environmental bonus that you are not contributing to buying flowers that are flown in from Holland and other places every day for the British market.
What Wildflowers should you grow?
The easiest wildflowers to grow are wildflower annuals – this means they will be sown, germinate, grow, flower and die all in one season. I usually sow a mix of Cornflower, Corn Marigold, Corn Chamomile, Corncockle and Poppy.
How to grow your own wedding flowers
Every year, I sow a nectar path in the garden – two rows of flowers that create a path that is full of nectar for the butterflies and bees! You don’t have to grow your flowers as a path – any shape will do! The ideal time of year to do this is April, which means your wildflowers will flower during June, July, August and some may even carry on into September. if you sow later, say in May, the flowering period will be a bit later.
First of all, give the ground where you want your flowers to grow a really good digging over and remove any weeds and other vegetation. This area should also be in a position to receive full sun for most of the day. Here are “tracks” I have dug with a grass path in the middle:
Once the soil is completely bare, then comes the fun bit! You need to sprinkle on your wildflower mix. Depending on the size of the patch you are sowing, the general ratio is 4 grams of wildflower seed per square metre. Sprinkle on the seeds evenly and then press them into the soil by walking on them – don’t be afraid, you won’t harm them! The idea is to mimic the trampling hooves of cattle and sheep in the wild when meadows were sown and cattle grazed them. I have tried germinating seed by covering with soil and by pressing into the soil, and leaving the seeds uncovered yields better results by way of the amount of seeds germinating. Indeed, big seed companies roll the seed bed after they have sown wildflowers for the same reason. Also, if tyou think about it, in the wild there will be no one there to neatly cover the seeds with soil – nature is just left to get on with it!
Then don’t forget to water the seeds! After this initial watering, keep an eye on them and the seedlings and water according to whether it has rained much. Germination will take 2 – 3 weeks, depending, of course, on prevailing weather conditions.
This photo was taken a few weeks after germination – the plants are now about 6 inches or so high. Don’t forget to keep watering if necessary!
This is the culmination of your efforts! When in flower, you wildflower patch will look fabulous and will be visited by many bees, butterflies, small beetles, ladybirds, hoverflies and moths.