How to Create a Mini Meadow
Love wild flowers but don't have room for a meadow? This was my problem too. So, I decided to make some 'mini' meadows from old apple bins. Here is how I got on...
Step 1. Apple bins are a regular sight in my part of England. They are heaped in corners of orchards or on the side of farmyards, ready to be filled with apples. To give you a sense of size, they hold around 1/3 of a tonne of apples. I bought two of these from a local farmer, squeezed them into the back of our old estate car, and then, once home, put them in position.
Step 2: I used thick polythene lining and a craft staple gun to line the sides and the bottom of the apple bin. Then, I took a pair of sharp scissors and created small holes in the bottom of the apple bin, in between the slates of wood. To help with drainage, I added old broken bricks, pots and stones.
Step 3. Because I started this project last autumn, I decided to make use of all the leaves in my garden and put into the 'mix' in my apple bins. So, I continued to fill up the bins with leaves collected from around the garden all winter. As the level went down, I'd top them up. It was a great way of filling the bins without having to buy lots of expensive top soil. I did resort to this, but only after I'd filled them up continuously from all the compostable debris around the garden.
Step 4. The fun part Planting up. I sowed a packet of wildflower seeds into the apple bin, but also added some early colour and texture with a couple of perennial plants - namely Geum, Achillea and Verbena. The wild flower seeds were quick to germinate and simply grew up around them.
Step 5. This picture is in early Spring , by which point the wild beds were really wild - a serious party was going on! Lots of gorgeous colour and an incredible amount of bees, butterflies and other insects. All the beds needed at this point was watering.
The final result - this is late July. Gorgeous wall to wall colour, lots of height thanks to the verbena swaying overhead, while the smaller flowering plants just tumbled over the edges of the apple bin.
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