Yellow Rattle seed for sale

I now have this seasons Yellow Rattle seed for sale, also known as Hay Rattle it reduces grass vigour within a meadow by being semi-parasitic on the grass. Scatter the Yellow Rattle seeds over the surface of the ground after cutting the grass tight and removing the cuttings. In my experience you can sow this seed anytime from now until mid February to achieve successful results. This seed does like a bit of frost which helps break its dormancy and stimulate germination which happens in March or April. You can view and purchase my Yellow Rattle seed by clicking here.

Yellow Rattle plant in flower in May

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Native English Bluebell, Wild Daffodil, Snowdrop, Crocus and Snake’s Head Fritillary for sale as a winter collection

I have had many requests from customers for flowers which will provide a lovely colourful winter display. In response to this I have launched my winter flowering plants collection. This consists of native English Bluebell, Wild Daffodil, Snowdrop, Crocus and Snake’s Head Fritillary. These are my five favourite winter and early spring bulbs which can be planted virtually anywhere, especially in woodland and shade situations and will provide flowering from January until late May. These will fill a gap prior to my other wild flower plug plant and mature plant collections coming into bloom.

Wild Daffodils

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A wild flower meadow I created this year

Seeded this year in February and photographed in mid June

Here is one downland edge site I have created this year using my luxury wild flower seed mix. You will see that it has been rabbit netted as rabbits are a nuisance when creating wild flower areas as they will eat the seedlings as they germinate and create huge bare areas. Prior to seeding the field was nice and bare.

The field in February 2014

The field was a clay site although against the chalk downs, originally weedy grassland and hence it received the preparation as per my advice sheet which I send out with my seed mixes which you can view here in fact the site was so weedy that I left it barren a whole year and it was given 3 weed treatments, different weed species would germinate from seeds on the soil surface every few months, Hogweed was the most troublesome and was still germinating this spring. But by February this year it was ready for seeding, I did it all by hand using my trusty push spreader, it was a cool day so the exercise kept me warm! As with most of my creations I do not cultivate after carrying out the weed control otherwise more weed seeds are brought up to the surface to germinate along with my sown seeds.

Seeding the site using my trusty push spreader in February 2014

The field was over 2 acres and was the side of a hill so had dominating views over the landscape and a lovely open setting for a wild flower meadow, warm and sheltered in places which is very good for wildlife as well as for the aesthetics for people and the landscape.

The field has a prominent position in the landscape

Four months later it looked like this:

Four months after seeding

One notices some interesting things when seeding by hand, for instance I came upon this great big worm

That's a sizeable worm

But look at how he helps with the seeding – see the wild flower seed stuck on his side which is being tucked into the ground as he slides into the soil 🙂

Helping me seed!

The field makes quite an impact now on the edge of the downs

February 2014

June 2014

Bear in mind that my luxury mixtures are basically perennial wild flower mixtures (hence they come up year after year without the need for re-seeding) and so what is showing this year is just the small annual component and next year the perennials will be ready to flower and so the colour scheme will change and be more diverse from month to month from April with yellow Cowslips right through to October when late flowering species will be blooming such as lavender coloured Devil’s-bit Scabious, dark red Betony and white Yarrow, amongst a host of other species, as I have over 40 wild flower species in my luxury mixes for open sites. To see the complete list of wild flower species I put in this seed mix click here.




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I have plants growing that I don’t think are in your mix?

Fat Hen weed

A common weed within landscape suppliers compost

If you use brought in soil in the form of compost from a landscape supplier etc to use as a top dressing (as I mention in my instruction sheet for creating a small annual wild flower area) it may contain weed seeds of plants like Nettle, Fat Hen (Chenopodium album) and Polygonum species, which will germinate along with your sown seeds, so do keep any eye out for these and remove them when fairly young if they come up with your wild flower seeds. They often grow very fast, much faster than your wild flower seeds will grow over the first few weeks and consequently they easily stand out as intruders :o. These weed species are unlikely to appear from your own established garden lawn soil. Do read my instruction sheets linked to my seed mix pages when creating a wild flower area.

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Nothing is happening in my seeded area – help!

In May a lot of people worry that they are not seeing much evidence of the wild flowers they sowed as seed a month or two ago…do not be concerned, most of our native perennial wild flowers do not germinate until mid June or later, it is mainly the annual wild flowers which germinate during April and May. So relax and think of your wild flower bed like growing teenagers… they don’t get out of bed early either!

Also remember that many perennial wild flowers grown from seed usually spend their first year bulking up their leaf and root growth rather than flowering and so think of the second year as their time to shine and every year thereafter. Annuals however flower in their first year following seeding this is why I add them to my luxury seed mixes in order to give you bright gorgeous colour in the first year too  smile,emotion,emoticon,happy

A word of caution – the thing that can keep a seeded wild flower area bare is wild rabbits, it only takes a couple to nip out all the germinating little seedlings to leave your area barren. You will hardly notice that anything has germinated before they nip them out, so please if you have any wild rabbits visiting your seeded area at night use some rabbit netting to keep them out for the first 18 months, after that period of time you can remove it if you wish as amongst mature plants they will only graze areas short but will not kill the actual plants.


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Wild flowers for bees and butterflies

There are various types of wild flower area one can create but the easiest, quickest and most colourful is an annual wild flower area. These are great because our native annuals germinate quickly and flower from spring till the end of the summer. They attract a myriad of fascinating insects, bumblebees, honey bees, solitary bees, hoverflies, butterflies as well as some moths; they are such a valuable resource because they supply nectar right through the year and word soon gets around the insect world as to where to find a good meal everyday!

Hoverfly taking nectar from a Corn Marigold

The best time to sow annuals is between late February and the end of May. Scatter the seeds onto loose, bare soil; a sunny flower bed is ideal. If your soil is heavy clay I suggest spreading a top dressing about 1 inch thick made up of multi-purpose compost mixed with one third sharp sand. This creates a great germination bed which warms up quickly but is not too thick to prevent the seedlings getting their roots into the firmer ground beneath as they get bigger. This is useful because the compost layer tends to be quite light and dries out easily whereas the firmer ground beneath will not. To speed up their growth water the seeds/seedlings in the evening during dry weather and you will have them growing and flowering a lot quicker.  See my annual seed mix which is ideal for the bees and butterflies by clicking here.

Garden designer Helen Billetop using my seed for a lovely effect


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Moving offices

I am moving offices tomorrow and due to a BT oversight I will have no functioning landline for several days so please correspond with me by email until my landline is back up on my contacts page…thank you 🙂

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Economy wild flower seed mixtures for landscapers

I have just unveiled 4 cheaper wild flower seed mixtures for landscapers and councils and those undertaking larger scale wild flower seeding projects. Three perennial mixtures, an economy mix for clay, loam and sandy soils, another economy mix for chalk and limestone soils and an economy mix for woodland and shade conditions. These mixtures all contain wild orchids amongst a range of other beautiful native wild flowers to provide a long flowering season from April until mid-September or beyond. I have also created an economy annual wild flower seed mixture for those wishing to create colourful landscapes quickly, this one is ideal for adding to any economy perennial wild flower mixture to provide a blaze of colour during the first year following seeding when many of the perennial wild flowers spend much of their time developing their leaves and roots rather than flowering. Of course I still have all my classic standard (now relatively called ‘luxury’) wild flower seed mixtures for sale.

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Wild flower lawn seed mix

My unique low flowering wild flower lawn mix containing 26 beautiful wild flower species including wild orchid, wild thyme, lawn chamomile, violet and other wonderful species to delight your senses is now available. This mixture is great for bees and butterflies as well as humans. This wild flower lawn seed mix is for those who want a shorter wild flower lawn, it is suitable for any soil. The plants I have selected are tolerant of mowing. The lawn will tolerate a cut height of about 2 inches. To receive good flowering maintain a mowing frequency of about one cut every 3 weeks for the majority of the summer but you can be flexible with this.

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Advice on creating wild flower areas

I provided an advisory visit for the Sussex Wildlife Trust’s Officers at the beginning of the month. We used a few of the meadows I had created between 2002 and 2010 as examples to discuss methods of establishment and management, including how to deal with weed issues. Creating a good wild flower area is all about preparation, you can view my advisory sheet on creating wild flower areas on my FAQ page here, I enclose a ‘how to’ advice sheet with every seed packet I send out and if you need any further advice you can see details of my advisory service by clicking here.  

A meadows advice day for the Sussex Wildlife Trust


Heading back to the vehicles

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