Woman and man walking in wildflowers

Growing wildflower seeds transformed my garden

When I moved to my retirement property (a lovely little barn conversation) a couple of years ago, I was both excited and frustrated with my blank canvas garden. I lived at my previous property or 30 years so establishing a full and thriving garden hadn’t been a priority for me for a long time. After plenty of research and braining storming, I knew the answer was growing wildflowers!

Tips for a transforming a blank canvas garden

The back garden at my new place was basically a lawned rectangle with no beds or features. At the bottom of the garden there was a lovely stone wall but apart from that the area was a bit boring to say the least! However, I was excited about having a totally blank canvas to work on.

Get inspiration

To decide what I wanted I used Pinterest and also googled garden ideas for an English cottage garden. I also read the YourGreen blog on designing a garden. I have a fair amount of gardening experience but I find it helps to get inspiration from others as it’s likely there’s something that you may not have thought of! This is especially true when you feel you’re a bit short on space. There are some ingenious ideas out there and I definitely found useful tips on how to use height to your advantage and how to organise the garden so it made sense!

Decide what’s important to you

My next step was to decide what main features I wanted in my new garden, so I drew up a simple list of things I wanted to include…

  • Large patio area
  • Large beds cut out of lawn
  • Small shed
  • Trugs for growing vegetables
  • Olive trees
  • Path through lawned area
  • Fences for privacy

For me, it was important I did this before starting my design as then I knew what I had to achieve and include. This made me more organised and focused on what I wanted.

How can you make it bee & butterfly friendly?

My final tip for designing your garden is to think of as many ways as possible to be environmentally-friendly – starting with the plants you include in your garden. Are these good for pollinators like bees and butterflies? Do they provide habitats and shelter?

Then you can think about other ways you can be sustainability conscious, like including a compost heap, using recyclable materials or adding bug houses to your garden. For me though, it's mainly about the plants. To see the bees and butterflies flying between the flowers in bloom is so cathartic!

Why I chose to grow wildflowers in my garden bed

I’d never really used wildflowers in my garden beds before. In my previous garden most of plants were horticultural plants, grasses and trees. However, I’ve always loved the look of wildflower seed mixes and after watching a few TV programmes noticed they were popular. Again, I did a bit of research and came across YourGreen. The mixes looked great and really made sense to me. So, I decided to sow an annual mix, Space Saver, in between the horticultural plants in my beds which I planted in my first summer in the new house. I really wanted the wildflowers to fill out the beds which were full of young plants.

The main benefits of growing wildflowers for me:

  • Cost-effective compared to buying plants from garden centres
  • Provide a real mix of species
  • Add texture, height and vibrant colour
  • Attracted so many bees and butterflies, it was insane!
  • Easy to sow and maintain

What do my wildflower seeds mixes look like now?

I am more than pleased with how the wildflower seed mixes have transformed my garden beds. The mix of wild and horticultural flowers really adds depth, texture and colour to the area. I’ve had so many compliments from my friends and family and the neighbours and now most of them are planning to add some wildflowers to their gardens next spring! I’d definitely suggest giving it a go if you have a young garden or if you need to fill out a space quickly. It’s a great way to make the garden look established, without having to rob a bank to fund it!

Bev x