Enhanced wildflower mixtures offer additional benefits for pollinators
“Research carried out by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) into how best to support pollinating insects such as bees, butterflies and hoverflies has shown that planting wildflower mixtures of native and non-native flowers can extend the flowering season and therefore boost pollinator populations by providing a more abundant and longer-lasting source of nectar and pollen,” explains Richard Brown, Amenity Director at Germinal.
“For that reason, we have updated our wildflower range by introducing a wider variety of species from beyond the UK which, in addition to creating a more abundant and sustainable source of food for pollinators and other beneficial invertebrates in urban and semi-urban environments, will also produce a more aesthetically appealing array of flowers with a wider palette of longer-lasting colours.”
Wildflower seed mixtures for pollinators
By adding non-native species to its General Landscaping (Urban Meadows) Wild Flora range – which contains 100% wildflower seed mixtures and ready-to-sow wildflower and complementary grass seed blends – Germinal is now able to offer pollinator-enhanced, ‘near-native’ mixtures for use across a range of different soil types and purposes.
Mr Brown adds: “Protecting the diversity and sustainability of the UK’s wild flora heritage is an important aspect of every landscaper’s remit, not only to maintain and promote healthy ecological systems, but also to enhance the environmental aesthetics of man-made green spaces.
“However, what the public perceives to be a natural meadow habitat (a vibrant sea of different colouring flowers) is often at odds with what a true meadow actually contains – a much narrower palette of colours.
"As a result, these less visually stunning, but 100% native meadows often end up underwhelming their custodians and frequently get tidied up into a more manicured green space. As such, they don’t last as long as more vibrant urban meadows which are more likely to be proactively maintained and retained for much longer.
“By incorporating non-native species into our general landscaping wildflower mixtures for use in urban or suburban settings such as new housing estates and business or retail park developments, we are therefore empowering landscape architects to not only do their ‘bit’ to reduce the decline in pollinator numbers but also to produce the wide range of colours expected by the public.”
UK-native wildflower seed
Germinal also offers a range of 100% UK-native wildflower seed mixtures. Based on the National Vegetation Classification (NVC) survey, these Regional Environmental (RE) mixtures are made up of species which are entirely indigenous to the UK and which enable landscapers to create ‘true meadow’ habitats.
“For landscaping projects where the use of species which are entirely native to the UK is the critical driving factor, our Regional Environmental range is the ideal choice,” Mr Brown adds. “These carefully selected mixtures accurately replicate local, regional and national UK habitats, thereby enabling landscapers to safeguard native wildlife populations by preserving the heritage of the UK’s natural environment.”
In addition to its standard wildflower ranges, Germinal is also able to create bespoke mixtures to suit site-specific requirements. All of Germinal’s wildflower seed mixtures contain species that have been deemed ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ by the RHS.