How to Create a Contemporary Summer Meadow

By Andy McIndoe

Choosing Summer flowers for a meadow effect
The “meadow look” is definitely vogue in gardens of all sizes. Naturalistic planting using simple flowers sometimes combined with grasses in glorious disarray to create the effect of a wildflower meadow in high summer. This style of planting ties in beautifully with our desire to make our gardens more wildlife friendly to attract butterflies, bees and other pollinators. The other attractive aspect to this style of planting is simplicity, easy of cultivation and a fairly instant effect: no waiting around for a few years for a new planting to reach maturity. You sow; it grows and flowers within a few weeks.

Meadow flowers

Suttons seeds have come up with a brilliant range of seed mixes to deliver the display you desire easily by just shaking the seed onto well-prepared ground and raking it in. Quick to grow annuals, biennials and perennials will grow and flower in the position they are sown in: no need to transplant. Of course you do need to water and do a little cultivation particularly in the early stages; if it is going to work ground preparation is paramount.

Step by Step

The sowing area must be well forked over and free from any perennial weeds and annual weeds. Of course there will still be annual weed seeds in the soil which can germinate and compete. If you think this is likely to be a problem I recommend you cover the ground area in a depth of 2 inches (5cm) with a good multi-purpose growing medium that is suitable for seed sowing. This will bury most annual weed seeds too deeply for imminent germination. Then just do what it says on the pack: Scatter the seeds, cover lightly with soil or growing medium, water and wait. If you don’t have any open ground you can still grow them in large containers of multi-purpose growing medium.


There are a number of Floral Fusions to choose from suitable for different situations and ones for different purposes. Madame Butterfly

is bound to be one of the most popular. This is a mixture of easy to grow perennial flowers that will come back year after year to attract butterflies, bees and pollinators.

Most subjects are single flowering and so are really good sources of summer nectar and pollen. Some subjects seed easily and will maintain their presence in that way. Any hardy annuals and biennials overwinter as seed in the soil, ready to germinate, grow and bloom the following year.

Cosmos with bee

Scented flowers are one of the delights of the summer garden. Fleurs Parfumees is a mixture of fragrant annuals that will flower over a long period: all are fragrant.

La Cenicienta is a quick-growing mixture of annual flowers that will bloom within just 40-50 days of sowing. This one is ideal to fill those gaps in the garden that you didn’t get round to planting permanently this season. Although these seed mixtures are designed to sow en masse you can of course just sow in patches through the border, however try and make the patches big enough to ensure a variety of flowers.

La Cenicentia annual mix

La Traviata ideal for those that want a bright and lively picture. This mixture of taller annuals in shades of yellow, orange and red will bring a real ray of sunshine to your garden through summer and autumn.

Not all gardens benefit from open, sunny positions. Many small gardens, particularly those in urban areas only get a few hours of direct sun even in the height of summer. La Rondine is a specially selected mixture of annual and biennial flowers that will grow in exactly these conditions. This mixture is particularly suitable for semi-shaded borders with some overhanging trees, however you will need to pay particular attention to the watering.

La Rondine (Shady)

If you have a dedicated area that you want that meadow effect in on a more permanent basis then choose Rigoletto

This is a mixture of easy-to grow perennials that will seed themselves, spread and delight with a carpet of flowers year-after year.

All of these mixtures will provide plenty of good material for cutting for floral decoration as well as a lively display of summer garden colour. Check out the range of Floral Fusions at Suttons right now and sow as soon as possible for a colourful summer.

Pack top - Madame Butterfly

Andy McIndoe

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