How to choose between Meadowmat Varieties

At the time of writing there are five different types of Meadowmat wild flower mat for you to choose from.  If you are looking for a large quantity and have time to wait, there is also the option to specify your own mix of wildflowers and grasses.

So how do you decide which type of Meadowmat is best for you?  Here are 7 different suggestions to help you narrow down the choice.

1. Sun or Shade?

Light is THE single most important consideration when choosing a Meadowmat variety.  You can change the soil type but you cannot control the sun.

If you are planning to establish wild flowers in a spot where there is very little sunlight, Meadowmat Woodland Shade is the only sensible choice. 

Traditional Meadowmat, Birds and Bees, Cottage Garden, and Roof and Garden all need to be in full sun for at least half the day – longer if possible.  The flowering species will not thrive in shade and you will be disappointed when after a year or so you have lots of grass and very few flowers.

2. Favourite Colours

Everybody has a favourite coloured flower.  Some folks even have a different colour scheme for different parts of the garden.  Personally I lean towards purples, blues and yellows.   Yellow can be seen from right across the garden and brightens the view on a dull day.  Purples and blues are more subtle but they seem to attract pollinating insects.  As a beekeeper, I enjoy growing flowers that my “girls” can benefit from.

Man with a hat tending a wildflower garden

Cottage Garden Meadowmat at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show in 2015.  In July it is mainly blue and white but by mid-late summer the reds and russets of Achillea "Summer Berries" start to appear.

Most of the Meadowmat varieties are a mixture of different colours but there are subtle differences.  Cottage Garden Meadowmat for example has jewel-like berry colours amongst the flowers.  Meadowmat Roof and Garden includes the “Barbie” coloured Maiden Pink, whilst Traditional Meadowmat has lots of yellows, whites and purples.

3. Favourite Flowers

What’s your favourite wildflower? Mine absolute favourite is the primrose because it reminds me of a lost loved-one.  I’m also in awe of fox and cubs – you don’t see many bright orange wildflowers.  And I adore scabious.  Oxeye daisies make me happy while plantains don’t inspire me one little bit.

Look for your favourites in each Meadowmat seedmix and use that to narrow down your choices.

4. Flowering Times

Flowering times are slightly different for each Meadowmat variety.  Traditional Meadowmat has a really big burst of colour in early summer (May/June) and is less spectacular for the rest of the year. 

Traditional wildflower meadowmat in June lots of oxeye daisies

My own wildflower area pictured in June of last year.  This was made using Traditional Meadowmat five years ago.  It has settled down nicely and now gives gentle shades of yellow and purple in late spring followed by big splurge of colour in early summer.  By midsummer it turns a golden brown and when the farmers are harvesting wheat and barley in the fields around us, I'm usually cutting this back to reveal fresh growth.

Roof and Garden has a long flowering time but is most colourful in July whilst Birds and Bees gives a good show in early spring and again in midsummer.  With Meadowmat for Birds and Bees, you get extra interest from seed heads in autumn and winter – so that’s another thing to think about.

brightly coloured wildflowers

Meadowmat for Birds and Bees contains Fox and Cubs, one of only orange coloured wildflowers in the UK. 
I love these vibrant hues.

5. Attracting Wildlife

Meadowmat is not just about easy gardening and beautiful plants.  It’s about supporting all sorts of wildlife.  Whichever Meadowmat variety you choose will help pollinating insects, birds, ladybirds, frogs, slugs, snails, spiders …the list goes on.  

Meadowmat supports the creatures at the bottom of the food chain – the insects that pollinate our food crops and feed our birds.  You might not like spiders and caterpillars but without them there’d be fewer birds and no butterflies.

6. Ease of Maintenance

Each Meadowmat variety is easy to look after.  Wildflowers tend not to be affected by diseases in the same way that roses or hollyhocks are.  Neither are they too bothered by drought, frost or anything that the UK weather systems throw at them.

They don’t need feeding or deadheading, there’s no need for chemicals, and because all Meadowmat varieties contain mainly perennial plants, they’ll grow back year after year without you having to do anything at all.

The only real maintenance involved in caring for Meadowmat is one cut a year.  It couldn’t be simpler.

7. Price

Price varies a little from variety to variety – that’s because the seed costs are different.  The most cost effective Meadowmat varieties are Traditional Meadowmat and Meadowmat for Birds and Bees.

Why not mix and match?

If you like more than one variety of Meadowmat - there's no reason why you can't mix and match.  Maybe order one third Traditional Meadowmat, one third Cottage Garden and one third Birds and Bees - they'll grow perfectly happily together and you'll have the best of all worlds.

Bespoke Grown

If you really can’t choose between varieties, there is an option to have Meadowmat contract-grown to your own specifications.

Find out more in our previous blogpost or call us for more information.   

 

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