Created by Suzanne Paul
For talk about creating pollinator-friendly gardens
Sponsored by the Wilmot Community Association & the Wilmot Garden Club
March 26, 2023
Many recipes are available for how to and why to establish a meadow that will benefit pollinators, but I like the notion that we all are better served if we experiment. And I should warn you now … meadows are addictive. Having the basic information helps, including:
Side note: Sedges (Carex) are cool season plants and green up earlier than the grasses, which are warm season plants and come into their own in the heat of summer.
I don’t get to concerned about taller grasses shading the flowering plants, there will be enough light filtering through to reach them in most cases, especially if the flowering plant can tolerate some shade, like Penstemon, part sun means part sun.
Plants that are rhizomatous, like Monarda and Pycnanthemum, will spread on their own. Happy re-seeders will travel as well.
You would be well served to watch baby plants grow. Learn how to identify seedlings. They are your plant stock for the future!
If you are working in a small area and you want it to look restful, opt for fewer species or keep a closely tied color theme. A rambunctious look will be a riot of color. The more the merrier they say.
Always remember that a meadow is meant to change from year to year. You will find that some plants are particularly suited to your site and will be more prominent. This is half the fun of it, watching change.
A good rule of thumb for meadow plantings is to take an average of the mature widths of the plants
that you chose and cut that by one third. This will help prevent undesirables from establishing. For
example, I will plant 18 to 20 inches ‘on center’ spacing if the plants I am working with have a mature
width between 24 to 30 inches wide.