Wild flowers for driveway?

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by Weedstoo, Oct 4, 2021.

  1. Weedstoo

    Weedstoo Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi. Can anyone recommend any wildflower seeds (perennial and very low - or no - maintenance) .
    I have a long strip that used to be a house driveway.
    When I moved here recently the weeds had already taken over this area. I´m hoping that next year I can at least have a few flowers growing there too and maybe even some flowers stopping as many weeds pushing through.

    The area will get the sun (well, when it´s out) for a few hours a day at least. Not blocked by anything like a house side etc. if that makes any difference at all.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Palustris

    Palustris Total Gardener

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    If it is well drained and sunny, then have a look at planting a selection of Thymes. We used to have a strip like that up the middle of the Drive which was full of them.
     
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    • Macraignil

      Macraignil Gardener

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      I posted a video here a couple of years back showing some of the wildflowers that have done well on the drive way here. The strongest growing one seems to be the Centranthus ruber (red valerian) but I don't regard it as maintenance free as I still like to get more blooms out of it by deadheading to encourage new flowers and chop it down around now as the older shoots look a bit rough and dominate the driveway a bit too much. A more recent one that has done well is fleabane that I had in containers but is now sprouting up all over the driveway as I had seen it doing in some places in the nearest city. I bought the fleabane plants in the hope they would self seed about the place. The red valerian I got as seed but started in containers as they were to be planted out on a fairly inhospitable north facing slope and did not know they would be so good at self seeding.

      Happy gardening!
       
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      • JR

        JR Chilled Gardener

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        Perenial and low growing, only two hours of sun.
        I've got swathes of creeping jenny (Lysimachia) in a similar situation. Always bright and cheerful but it must have plenty of water.
         
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        • JWK

          JWK Gardener Staff Member

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          By coincidence I have just planted my new driveway with creeping thyme. It is very shaded so I don't know if it will thrive. I sowed in the spring in seed trays and have been growing the plants on in sunshine.
           
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          • Clare G

            Clare G Super Gardener

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            Not a native wildflower but Mexican fleabane is perennial, establishing and seeding itself very readily in sunny, well-drained places and seems to prefer poor soil. It's pretty and not a pest - can be readily pulled out from the wrong places. I have it here in the garden, grown from seed, and have also seen it escaped and effectively naturalised down in Devon, growing out of the cracks in a stone bridge.


            [​IMG]
             
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            • jimcubs

              jimcubs Gardener

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              I try to cultivate weeds as they grow and flower better than what I plant, we do have a wild flower area at the back but at the front we use tubs so we can position them for best effect.
               
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              • Nikolaos

                Nikolaos Total Gardener

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                Why seeds, necessarily? Plugs can be quite affordable and can give you more control over what mix you want and even what insects you wish to attract, if any. :) Places like Naturescape are fairly inexpensive...

                British Wildflowers | Seeds, Plants & Bulbs from Naturescape

                +1 for thymes from me, good suggestion and I would also add marjoram (Origanum vulgare) for similarly light soils!

                Simply doing this and just adding a few that take your fancy can often be the best approach for wildlife and gardeners IMO! :blue thumb: Self-heal, White Clover, Cuckoo Flower and Fox-and-Cubs grow well here and are all loved by pollinators. :)

                For a shadier spot and consistently moist soil I think this cultivar of our Common Bistort is hard to beat and provides good ground cover! I think around 3 hours of sun in reasonably moist soil should be perfect.

                Persicaria bistorta 'Superba'

                Nick
                 
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                • JimmyB

                  JimmyB Gardener

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                  Perfect! I nicked some Mexican fleabane from a wall in a bus stop. It didn't like it much but stuck it in water for a few days then damp compost - and it's all taken. Very keen to see how it gets on next year now I've planted into the spaces between some paving...and some in a big pot. I love it!
                   
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                    Last edited: Nov 1, 2021
                  • Finston Pickle

                    Finston Pickle Apprentice Gardener

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                    I second the Mexican fleabane, it's so prolific. I find it amazing that people can charge £4 for one - we have hundreds
                     
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                    • Logan

                      Logan Total Gardener

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                      I've got some Mexican fleebane I put it in the hanging baskets and some has spread into some cracks in the tarmac, but hasn't spread all over, it's a very nice plant.
                       
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