Does your property have a large swath of unused land such as a strip along the driveway, an oversize backyard or a slope? While the extra space is nice, figuring out what to do with it can be hard. You want to keep it attractive while not adding extra maintenance or landscaping costs to your budget.
Why not try planting a mini-meadow? It's beautiful and simple and will last the whole summer with only minimal help from you.
What is a mini-meadow? It's simply a way to make a splash of land look natural (like a meadow) by planting it with wildflowers and a backdrop of shrubs or small trees. It's an easy way to add an informal, fun beauty to any piece of ground while keeping it very low-maintenance.
Prepare the Ground
First, make sure you have the right spot for your wildflowers. This usually means a full-sun location for most flowers. The good news is that you're unlikely to need irrigation in this area, although you may need to water the new plants for the first 2 or 3 weeks using a garden hose.
Next, make sure the soil is loose and moist and as weed-free as possible. If your mini-meadow will be relatively small, you could just turn the soil over with rakes and spades. If it's a large space, however, you might consider renting or buying a tiller to do the job in less time.
Along the edges of the space, you can add a few complementary shrubs or even some fruit trees to complete the look of a wild field.
Plant the Seed
For your flower mix, you could easily use a wildflower seed mixture available at most home improvement stores or online. However, if you have preferences, you can create your own mix with personal favorites. Choose plants with similar overall heights and that are quick to germinate. A few easy, good choices to start with are zinnias, coreopsis or cosmos.
Mix the seeds well, along with some vermiculite to help grow them, then sprinkle them liberally over the tilled soil. Rake the soil lightly to work the seeds in, then cover with a light layer of straw to help keep moisture in (and birds out). Water twice a day for the first couple of weeks until the flowers are thriving.
At the End of Summer
While the wildflowers in your mix will likely return in the spring, so too will the weeds. By the end of a full summer, you're likely to have a pretty significant weed problem in the meadow. This is simply because it's nearly impossible to pull or kill all the many weeds that will grow in this wild zone. Don't strain yourself trying to do so. Instead, till over the entire area at the end of summer when the flowers have died back and the cold temperatures are setting in. Then, in the spring, you can create a fun new mix of flowers to plant for the new season.
Your mini-meadow can be a great way to utilize an underused space either permanently or temporarily. And creating your own eclectic mix of flowers will wake up your own inner artist. It's a great project for a fledgling gardener or even the whole family. For further assistance, contact a local landscaping company.