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Could I grow a wildflower meadow in a shady bit of garden? Or not?

(6 Posts)
VulpusinaWilfsuit Sun 26-Jul-09 09:51:18

I'd be grateful to hear views. My non-expert instinct is that wildflowers mostly need dry sunny poor soils to thrive? Not wet shady almost-woodlandy clay soils (which is what we have)

But DH would love to have a wildflower meadow and I said I would investigate. Saw a marvellous wildflower roundabout yesterday - it was utterly beautiful. So much nicer than ranks of bedding plants.

Medee Sun 26-Jul-09 10:04:03

I think you are right, prairie style planting needs dry, poor soil. However, you might be able to find something else that suits that kind of soil - after all, there is a lot of woodland in the UK, and nice things grow there.

cornsillk Sun 26-Jul-09 10:07:40

I love wildflowers as well. You will find some wildflowers will grow in different conditions. Where were you going to get your plants from? I got some great 'wildplants from the garden centre! I'm a very lazy gardener so all my plants have to be tough.

VulpusinaWilfsuit Sun 26-Jul-09 13:10:58

Thanks. Anyone any idea of things we can use in a damp semi-shaded clay soil to mimic a wildflower garden?

ShellingPeas Mon 27-Jul-09 13:51:31

You would probably need to look at woodland plants - although these will look at their best in spring and early summer you could get something of a wild flower meadow effect.

Some to try are:

filipendula (meadow sweet)
snakehead fritillary (which looks great grown in big drifts in soil which doesn't dry out in summer)
echinacea will cope with some shade, and I grow echinacea purpurea (cone flower) in a damp shaded border

There are a some grasses which will do well in damp soil and some shade, but most won't tolerate waterlogging so it depends how wet your site gets in the winter. Rushes do better in moist soils, and some sedges e.g. carex varieties also tolerate damp soils.

I think it would be difficult to get a real prairie style planting, but you could certainly get something which has a wild flower feel to it.

Tinfoil Fri 07-Aug-09 23:32:16

Bluebells, primoses, ferns, cyclamen, wood anemones, astilbes

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