Highclere Castle Hampshire BWS5

A beautiful mixture harvested from the grounds of the well-known  series Downton Abby at Highclere Castle Hampshire. We are particularly proud of our association with the Highclere Estate, the castle meadow covers 1.6Ha of native species bordering the lawns of the property to form part of the Capability Brown Parkland. The meadow was restored in 2010 following grass/arable rotations.

1KG

£55.20

Date of harvest: September 2023

SKU: WF/COMBINED/5 Category:
  • Origin: Highclere, Hampshire
  • Soil Type: Freely draining slightly acid loamy soils

Flora

  • Cowslip
  • Field Scabious
  • Hoary Plantain
  • Meadow Buttercup
  • Oxeye Daisy
  • Red Clover
  • Ribwort Plantain
  • Sainfoin
  • Small Scabious
  • Wild Carrot
  • Wild Parsnip

Grass

  • Fine Fescue
  • Quaking Grass
  • Timothy
Sowing method

1.       Cultivate the area

2.       Spray off weeds which flush or alternatively a light cultivation will reduce vigour of weeds

Repeat as required to create weed free bed

3.       Mix seed well in a bag before sowing, dry sand can be added to aid drilling

4.       Ideally broadcast seed or drill at shallow depth

5.       Roll to improve seed-to-soil contact

Once you have sown the mixture, it is very important to manage the growth for the first year. This includes cutting and weeding if possible. If sowing in the autumn, cut the sward when the grass gets established and keep it down to help the flower seeds to germinate. If sowing in the spring, again keep the grass low for the first growing season.

When to sow

While sowing can occur at either timing, generally speaking, the preferred sowing window is the Autumn as this mirrors nature more accurately. Most perennial wildflowers require vernalisation, a prolonged period of cold, to break dormancy and achieve germination. The winter months after Autumn sowing aids this process. In addition, there is a lower weed burden.

Spring sowing success is reliant on the weather, a cold spring will slow growth and therefore reduce resilience against weeds. However, if warm with moderate rainfall, similar results can be seen as to autumn sowing.

Key to remember:

When sowing wildflowers, the key thing to remember is the cleaner the seed bed the better the success. Wildflowers are often less vigorous than weed species and will struggle to compete against them.

When it comes to fertility, typically speaking wildflower prefer low fertility areas as there is less competition from weeds. However, this does not mean you cannot sow on higher fertility areas, simply more management may be required to control growth and weed ingress.