A nice garden is the perfect place to spend time with your family. One of the best things about presenting Love Your Garden is that we see what a difference a garden can make.
Very often, the families we meet want a stunning outdoor space to enjoy, but they don’t have time for endless gardening jobs. So we design our gardens to be low-maintenance.
And the wildflower meadow prairie style is perfect for this. These informal plants grow together and find a natural harmony without needing much help from you. Many varieties self-seed around to pop back up the following year.
The style works really well for wildlife. Many wildflowers are popular with pollinating insects like bees and butterflies. Pollinators love plants that are rich in pollen and nectar, so we added plenty of those to the garden too.
Here is how to get the prairie look with wildflower and wildlife meadow plants with my planting list and top tips.
Most gardens have a lawn and they are ideal for children, pets and football games. But ornamental grasses are so underrated in garden design, because they bring so much to your borders.
They have great texture and foliage colour, decorative seed heads and upright growth. They need almost no maintenance and make a lovely swishy noise in the wind.
There are loads of great varieties to choose from. We planted Miscanthus sinensis and its bigger cousin Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’, which grows to six feet tall.
We also used Deschampsia cespitosa, Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’, Anemanthele lessoniana and Molinia caerulea ‘Edith Dudszus’.
There are plenty of low maintenance flowering plants for the garden. But to tie in with the wildlife-friendly prairie theme, we looked at plants that are also magnets for bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects.
In this garden design, we used four varieties of the butterfly bush or buddleja: Buddleja davidii ‘Lochinch’, ‘Harlequin’, ‘Black Knight’ and ‘Pink Delight’.
We also planted Liatris ‘Kobold’, Eryngium planum, Verbena bonariensis, Echinacea ‘Pow Wow’, Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ and Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Lacey Blue’.
We finished off with climbing plants as screens, using ivy and Japanese honeysuckle (lonicera japonica).
See the photos from behind the scenes and view the finished garden gallery here.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.