Try th­ese wild peren­ni­als

Garden News (UK) - - About Now -

Yel­low rat­tle ( Rhi­nan­thus mi­nor)

This pretty plant is a most im­por­tant part of a wild­flower meadow and should be sown now. It’s a semi-par­a­site on grass, de­riv­ing some nu­tri­ents from the grass roots. Be­cause it weak­ens grass it in­creases bio­di­ver­sity and al­lows a wide range of flow­ers to es­tab­lish. Un­like other flow­ers, it should be sown as seed on the grass, af­ter rak­ing it to ex­pose the soil and roots. The blooms are pro­duced for months over sum­mer. Height: 15cm (6in).

Meadow cranes­bill ( Gera­nium pratense)

The sky-blue flow­ers ap­pear from early to mid-sum­mer and cre­ate large patches of colour. It can be sown now in bare patches of grass but it’s bet­ter to raise small plants and pop them in the lawn. Height: 45cm (18in).

Cowslips and prim­roses

Th­ese two wild­flow­ers are an es­sen­tial com­po­nent of any wild­flower meadow. Nod­ding cowslips ( Prim­ula

veris) pre­fer a sunny site, while hum­mock-form­ing prim­roses ( Prim­ula vul­garis) pre­fer a moist, shady one. You can buy both in gar­den cen­tres or sow seeds. The seeds need cool con­di­tions and sur­face sow­ing to ger­mi­nate. Height: 20cm (8in).

Selfheal ( Prunella vul­garis)

Many lawns al­ready have this pretty, creep­ing plant but, when the grass is cut less of­ten, it’ll grow taller and the pur­ple flow­ers will at­tract bum­ble­bees. Height:

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