How To Create An Annual Wildflower Meadow In Five Easy Steps


If you love cornfield annuals and would like to create a mini meadow in your own garden here's how in just 5 easy steps.

Once a common sight throughout the British countryside it has become increasingly rare to see crop fields splashed with bright red poppies, brilliant blue cornflowers, sun-yellow corn marigolds, purple corncockle or the pretty white daisy flowers of corn chamomile. 

Not only are they beautiful to look at but they are extremely important to help our bees and other pollinating insects. The good news is that they are easy to grow in your garden, no matter the size. And even without a garden, cornfield annuals can be grown in pots and troughs on patios, balconies and window sills - there's no place that's too small to grow these wonderful annuals!

Unlike the wild flowers that grow in a perennial grassland meadow, cornfields annuals are sown on bare, fertile soil. They can be sown anytime from August right through to May. 

1. Pick an area in full sun, or at least has as much as sun as possible.

2. Make sure the area is free of weeds and then rake to a fine tilth.

3. Sow the seeds at a rate of around 1 gram per square metre. (Useful tip: mix the seed with fine sand to help make sowing the often very tiny seeds a little easier to distribute evenly.)

4. Lightly tread the soil to ensure the seeds make contact with the soil but do not cover.

5. Water when necessary.

What To Do After Flowering

Unlike a perennial grassland meadow which is simply cut after flowering before starting to regrow, cornfield annuals need to have the soil disturbed, dug or rotovated, for the seeds to germinate the following season.

So once the flowers have died back and set set, weed the area, dig over, and rake to a fine tilth. Although the bed should now contain many seeds from this season's flowers I would recommend topping up with some fresh seed (at half the amount, half a gram per square metre), for the first 2 or 3 years until the soil bed as built up a substantial bank of its own wildflower seed. From then on you should be able to enjoy successions of cornfield annuals year after year, simply by repeating the above steps.

To get you started, take a look at these great value Wildflower Corner Seeds For Bees, Butterflies and Wild Birds for just £1.69, containing:

  • Corn Marigold
  • Corn Chamomile
  • Cornflower
  • Corn Poppy
  • Ox Eye Daisy
  • Corn Cockle

NatureTree is committed to raising awareness about our precious wildlife and is proud to support the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. 10% of all our profits support this organisation. 

We also stock a wonderful seed mix of wild flower perennials, Native Wildflower Seeds For Pollinating Bees, for £3.99, containing a mix of the following: 

  • Oxyeye Daisy
  • Field Poppy
  • Foxglove
  • Majoram
  • Cornflower
  • Meadow Cranesbill
  • Purple Loostrife
  • Ragged Robin
  • Yarrow
  • Bird's Foot Trefoil
  • Greater Knapweed
  • Common Knapweed
  • Musk Mallow
  • Vipers Bugloss
  • Hemp Agrimony