How to Create a Mini Meadow

6 Materials
9 Months
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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Liz Ridgway
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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3 of 4 questions
  • Diana Egert Packer Diana Egert Packer on Oct 19, 2017
    Just lovely but I'm wondering how you do the watering and how often?

  • Sharon Lockwood Sharon Lockwood on Oct 20, 2017
    Where do you find the apple bins???????

  • Nobody Nobody on Oct 29, 2017
    Can I use an old wash basin for this project????? I have an old fiberglass wash basin, the kind you'd find in waysides....I was thinking of putting it in the ground and making it into a pond of some sort. Any ideas would be helpful....

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  • Arlene Ellerbrock Arlene Ellerbrock on Feb 24, 2019

    This is awesome! Alas, for most of us, apple orchards are not too near (at least in Arizona). So I think a wood pallet, maybe remade so the slats are closer together, would work just fine, then line with the pond liner it will be good to go! I love your wild flower 'meadow'!

  • Darlene Williman Darlene Williman on Mar 31, 2019

    Beautiful. I don't have any apple bins here and pallets are at a premium due to all the DIY projects going on so I will have to think of another type of container but I love the wild flowers. Thank you.

    • See 1 previous
    • Darlene Williman Darlene Williman on Apr 02, 2019

      All great ideas, Thank You :)