About ‘Wild Flower Lawns and Meadows’
Thank you for taking the time to view my website.
First of all I should tell you a little about myself, Colin Reader, the owner of Wild Flower Lawns and Meadows.
Ever since I can remember I have had a love of wild flower meadows and native wild flowers. My career path lead me to work as an ecologist advising on wildlife habitat restoration projects, many of these involved grassland areas which had lost their floral content. I became aware of just how few good wild flower grasslands still existed in our countryside. Twelve years ago (back in 1999), I was fortunate enough to begin working with an owner of a large country estate in East Sussex, who shared my interest in wild flower meadows and she allowed me to experiment with different methods of creating and restoring these features on her land. At that time there was a lot of different advice being given from various organisations regarding how one should go about creating or restoring these special habitats. We trialled various methods, some did not work at all, we sowed the seeds but just grass came up and other methods produced a few wild flowers after a long period of time and others produced a profusion of weeds very quickly! I was convinced that there had to be better ways and quicker ways to create very floristic and diverse meadows.
It took time and experimentation but eventually I was able to reliably create colourful and diverse wild flower grasslands in most situations and I had learnt how to deal with the weed issues that dogged some of my earlier attempts. I must state here that I was dealing with converting large fields of up to 20 acres on fertile agricultural soils, often with considerable weed burdens. It is much easier to turn a small patch of mown lawn or landscaped and prepared soil into a rich wild flower habitat, so don’t consider it too difficult to undertake yourself in your own garden, it really is very easy.
Due to Public Footpaths criss-crossing the estate, many walkers were able to experience my colourful meadows first hand and soon I was getting enquiries from other people asking if I could create similar wild flower areas for them but on a smaller scale. This side of my work grew and grew and I began exhibiting at Country Fairs and Garden Shows under the name of ‘Wild Flower Lawns and Meadows’, giving advice and taking bookings for creating wild flower areas.
Three features characterise all of my wild flower landscapes: -
- They are very colourful (the photo on my home page is one example),
- They have a long flowering season, flowering continuously from spring right through the summer and into the autumn.
- They contain a very wide range of native wild flower species, more than one could obtain from any commercially available standard wild flower seed mix and it is this factor that allows me to achieve 1. and 2. above.
My seed mixtures
At the shows I displayed the contents of my seed mixtures which I had created for my lawn and meadow conversion projects and people would ask if they could buy some of these mixtures. They noticed that my mixtures contained more than double (often triple) the number of species that they could obtain from any commercially available standard wild flower seed mix. Mine also had a far higher ratio of wild flower seed to grass seed (again more than double). Regrettably in those days I never had enough seed to sell, as my mixes were unique and I made them just for my own needs.
This is the main reason behind me setting up this website, to sell my own native seed mixtures, which are much more species rich and florally abundant than other standard mixtures currently available. I believe species richness to be vital if one wishes to create beautiful wild flower areas that are capable of flowering continuously from spring right through the summer and into the autumn. They also provide a much longer lasting supply of nectar and pollen for our bees and butterflies as well as a superior habitat for a myriad of other of little creatures that rely on these ecosystems for their survival.
‘Wild Flower Lawns and Meadows’ is on ‘Flora locale’s’ list of wild flower seed suppliers having adopted their code of practice which promotes sustainability and responsibility in wild flower seed harvesting.
Please take the time to browse through my seed mixtures that I have for sale. I have included information to show the average number of seeds of each species that are contained within a packet for seeding an area up to 33m2.
Normally information concerning the proportion of individual species within a seed mix is displayed as % of the weight of the mix, however this is difficult for most people to interpret, unless they know how many seeds there are to a gram for each species mentioned and this varies greatly. For instance there are about 6,000 Yarrow seeds to the gram but only 1/100th the amount of Meadow Vetchling seeds to the same weight (there being about 60 of these much larger seeds to the gram). Consequently most people are unable to determine what proportion of the mix each species really makes up and whether the mix is largely made up of seeds of the cheaper more common species with only a very small amount of the uncommon or more expensive ones added.
I also have for sale seeds of some rarer individual species, only available as additions to my main mixtures. You can view more details here. Most of the rarer species, in particular the Orchids and Helleborines have been sustainably harvested by hand by me or my colleagues from plants which we have been nurturing and multiplying over the years in the wild. All my seed is of native British origin and I have noted where each species has been sourced from.
In addition to seed and plant sales on this website you will find details of my two other services:-
- Providing advice to individuals and businesses on creating and managing wild flower grasslands, including how to deal with weed issues.
- Converting areas of lawn to beautiful little wild flower meadows and fields to big wild flower meadows – I can only offer this service within my home county of East Sussex as the need for repeated visits to site and the costs involved of transporting machinery makes it too expensive a project further afield.