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Wild Flowers fall into three main categories Annuals, Biennials and Perennials; it is important to understand them if you want to make sure you get the best out of them.
These are species such as Field Poppy, Cornflower, Corn Marigold. They tend to be very colourful and quick to grow.
Annuals will only last one year they multiply by growing fast shedding seed and the seed then grows the following year. For them to grow again there must be some bare soil that the seed can germinate and grow in. Historically the main annual wild flowers appeared in Arable Fields each year after the farmer ploughed the field. This is why they are sometimes called cornfield annuals.
They are often sown with a perennial meadow mix to give some impact in the first year. It is important to understand that with this approach Annuals are unlikely to appear from the second year as the meadow will smother them out.
A biennial plant takes two years to complete it's life cycle. It will germinate and grow, survive through one winter, and in the second year it will grow more, bloom, and then may die.
You may not see them in the first year then it can look like there is a mass of them in the second year then they may die out. If you want to see the species, such as Teasel, every year then sow seed for two consecutive years. The species may self seed and you will then see them every year.
This is the widest range of wild flower species. They include such things as Buttercups, Daisies, Campion, Scabious and many more.
Perennial wild flowers take longer to establish, you may not see them in flower until the second year. But once they are established they come back year after year. Generally they are not as colourful or as striking as the annuals. Their natural habitat is amongst grass and perennial wild flowers work best when you have a range of them with grass as the back drop.
The aim is to have different ones in flower in different months. Normally you would cut the meadow down towards the end of the summer. End of August/early September. Then the grass and perennial wild flowers grow back.
If you are unsure about this then please feel free to contact Tim Evans for more advice by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by Freephone 0800 0854399
Posted on February 26, 2018
Every year the Flanders Poppy comes back into the news as we remember those who have lost their lives. Many people want to plant them to create some sort of memorial over the summer.
Flanders Poppy Latin name is Papaver Rhoeas. This is commonly called the Field Poppy sometimes the Corn or Red Poppy.
This sort of poppy is an annual. This is important in that in the right conditions they grow quickly, will flower in the summer but generally will only last one year. The ground has to be cultivated and tragically they appeared on ground that had been churned up by War. Then the following summer Red Flanders Poppies appeared as if a memorial of the battles. This was the case in the 1st world ward which is where the name Flanders Poppy came from
Historically they also appeared in arable fields when a farmer ploughed a field. With the dominance of Agrochemical control they have nearly disappeared.
Poppies ideally need a cold spell to trigger germination. They do best if sown in the autumn. They can be sown in the spring but do better if sown in early spring,
Poppy seed is exceptionally small and fine. There are about 8,000 seeds per gram.
Before planting, the ground needs clearing and preparing. It helps to bulk the seed up with a medium such as sand. Spread at about 1 to 2 grams per sq metre.
Walk all over it or roll afterwards. The seed wants to be very slightly pushed into the ground rather than buried too deep.
If it successfully established then Poppies should flower between June and August.
If you want to try and get them to reseed the second year. Wait until the seeds have shed. Cut the area down and leave on the ground for a few days, then rake the ground hard and roll afterwards.
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