Like all gardens, this page is work in progress…

This is my garden…

…a couple of years ago, with my new ‘micro-meadow’ looking splendid in the summer sunshine. It was a created in ‘Lockdown 1.0’ to serve a number of purposes:

  • A cheap, relatively quick and easy temporary fix until longer-term decisions were made

  • A pollinator-friendly patch to attract bees and butterflies

  • To bring colour and life to a neglected part of the garden

  • To keep me sane when the whole world seemed to be going a bit crazy.


Unfortunately, I don’t seem to have the before ‘Before’ pics. But take it from me, it was an impenetrable tangle of brambles and nettles. They’re both great for wildlife but not so great for humans in a relatively small garden.  (Don’t worry there are still plenty of nettles and brambles in other parts of the garden).

I cleared the patch (using a mattock and elbow grease) and then laid down some membrane until I was ready to sow some seeds.  


I riddled and raked the soil to a fairly fine tilth (like breadcrumbs), ready to sow.  I chose an ‘Instant Sunshine Seed Mix’ from Meadowmania that contained both annuals and perennials because:

  • They were quick to grow and provided a long colourful flowering season from May-September.

  • They were best sown March-May

  • They are attractive to bees butterflies and other wildlife

  • They are suited to fertile conditions, which my patch is.

Wildflowers tend to thrive on poor, infertile soils. One of the reasons for this is that they suffer under competition from vigorous grasses and ‘weeds’ that will smother the wildflowers by establishing themselves more quickly.

I sowed the seeds at a rate of 5g/square metre, kept them watered and protected them using makeshift ‘pigeon scarers’.  

Wild flower ‘micro-meadow’ with cornflowers, marigolds, field marigolds, wild carrot, nasturtiums and Phacelia in the background


This is the first year….as hoped, it was a blaze of colour that was buzzing with life.  

It wasn’t however, all native wildflowers and these are some of the species pictured here - Cornflowers, Marigolds, Field Marigolds, Field Poppies. Wild Carrot.  There are also some Nasturtiums (sown separately)

I also threw in some Phacelia…

I’d read that Biologist Dave Goulson proclaimed Phacelia* “perhaps the single most attractive plant for bees on the planet.”

So, I decided to add some as part of my ‘Pollinator Garden’.  The seeds are also incredibly cheap - winner!  It didn’t disappoint.  It was absolutely buzzing all summer (and well into autumn) - the bees did indeed love it.  It does seed itself prolifically but it’s easy to remove if it pops up where you don’t want it.  

*Phacelia is used as a green manure (usually sown to cover bare ground and suppress weeds and then dug in whilst it’s still green to return nutrients to the soil).

In the second year...

…lots of Red campion (Silene dioica) appeared in late Spring.  And I was delighted!  It’s a lovely native wildflower that blooms for ages and is really great for wildlife - especially bees, butterflies and moths. You can also see the last of the Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata).  Garlic mustard is one of the food plants for Orange tip butterfly caterpillars and I’m happy to report that I now have them visiting my garden.


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