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Meadow in September

We all benefit from the joyfulness of a “meadow”

cgd landscape design install meadows starting with pure native wild flower mixtures ranging from John Chambers from the early experimental days to pictorial meadow mixes created by Professor Nigel Dunnett and the landscape department at Sheffield University.

Careful preparation of the ground and following the seed suppliers’ instructions to the letter has helped create some truly wonderful results. Perennial seeds take about three years to come into their own, so clients must be warned not to expect those romantic meadows within a year. If they can’t wait then the annual mixes produce spectacular results within a few short weeks.

What we have learnt is that you need not be “purist” in creating a meadow and you do not necessarily have to use “natives” to give you a colourful, nectar-rich, insect buzzing field. By adding plants from other countries and sources including hybrids can enhance the richness of colour and lengthen the flowering season as well as attract as many invertebrates and other wildlife as the native seedings. So it is a win-win situation. We all benefit from the joyfulness of a “meadow”, you only need to remember all those visitors to the Olympic Park who stood and gazed at those incredible gardens and the millions of photographs taken.

The relative ease of preparing a site for sowing annuals and the rich rewards in such a short period provides gratification but there is an argument that we should persevere with the perennial mixes to create a sustainable meadow with longevity. These are now readily available through many suppliers albeit that the seed viability can be a bit hit or miss if sourced from a non reputable source. Again the Olympic team of Professors James Hitchmough and Nigel Dunnett and the Chelsea award winning designer Sarah Price established wonderful gardens using flowering perennials and grasses to create a long-lasting breath-taking visual delight.

We too have been using perennial mixes in our gardens to give us that illusion of a “wild flower” meadow to great effect. Our clients are extremely happy with the results and are amazed at the influx of wildlife, which is an essential ingredient to all our work. We are continuing with our “experiments” trying various mixes, with and without grass, seeds and/or plugs and bulbs and monitoring the results carefully so that in future we will be able to provide our clients with their own nature reserve.

cgd landscape design

A new landscape architecture and design practice brings together the creativity, expertise and experience of two of the UK's top garden designers, Helen Billetop and Sally Court, based in London, England

The practice specialises in providing a comprehensive and personalised landscape design service for private individuals and corporate clients in the UK and overseas.

With expertise in planting design across all climate zones and working with locally sourced materials and quality contractors, they are currently commissioned on several prestigious projects in the UK, Moscow, Russia and in New York State, USA.

Our philosophy combines the functional with the artistic to create inspired and sustainable gardens and landscapes. We embrace local characteristics and conditions to develop landscape design solutions which are sympathetic and can be surprising in their simplicity.

Contact Helen or Sally for more information:

020 8892 0118

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