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Alternative Lawns

A lush, well manicured, green lawn is most people’s idea of the perfect lawn but if you are looking for something a little easier to maintain or just fancy something a bit different then why not sow a wildflower or chamomile lawn?

Creating a colourful wildflower area in your garden is extremely easy and your garden will soon become a natural haven for beneficial insects as well as various species of butterflies.

poppyWildflower Lawn

A wildflower lawn is just a patch of grass that isn’t cut as short as usual and where you encourage low-growing wild flowers, such as primroses, violets and cowslips.

Some people also like to encourage some lawn weeds.

A wildflower meadow is wonderful in summer and attracts butterflies and bees. You can either let the wild flowers come up naturally, and weed out the ones you don’t want, or you can plant the wild flowers of your choice into the turf in spring, they will self-seed once they are established.

A wildflower lawn doesn’t need feeding but it will need cutting a couple of times a year in early spring and autumn.

cloverClover Lawn

White clover (Trifoliurn repens) makes a very good ‘lawn’. Sow it in the same way as a normal grass lawn, using clover seeds that you can buy from specialist seed firms.

Clover stays green in dry weather and it grows to only about 5-8cm (2-3in), so it doesn’t need regular mowing. Clover is a mass of flower in summer and very attractive to bees.

chamomileFlower Lawn

The classic flower lawn is chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile ‘Treneague’). You can also grow a lawn of creeping thymes; a mixture of matĀ­forming alpines; or one of the flowering chamomiles, such Chamaemelum nobile `Flore Pleno’.

Flowering lawns don’t need mowing; just a clip over after flowering, but they have to be weeded by hand so you may not want a large area. The types of plants used in flowering lawns need a sunny spot with excellent drainage so dig plenty of grit or gravel into the area before planting.