Increasing biodiversity in gardens and urban spaces with Pictorial Meadows

Published at Jan 18, 2024

We live in a world where access to nature is increasingly limited, especially in our towns and cities. In our rapidly urbanising world, green spaces are becoming increasingly vital – not only for our mental wellbeing, but also for the health of our planet. Introducing biodiversity into gardens and urban spaces is a key step in fostering a sustainable and thriving environment. Pictorial Meadows has always been at the forefront of this movement. With over twenty years of dedicated research and development, in partnership with the University of Sheffield, the focus has remained on creating nature-based solutions that not only enhance biodiversity, but also help people to connect with their environment through positive visual and emotional experiences.

Tortoiseshell butterfly on Field scabious Tortoiseshell on Field scabious

The Pictorial Meadows difference

The commitment to creating flower meadows that maximise biodiversity is rooted in extensive research which ensures products are proven and reliable. We recognise that societal acceptance is crucial for the long-term success of such planting styles, so our goal is to make biodiversity-rich flower meadows accessible and appealing to all.

Bumblebee on Viper's bugloss Bee on Viper's bugloss – a key species found in our Aqua mix

A quick and colourful start with Pictorial Meadows annual flower mixes

For those wanting to increase biodiversity in their planting, our annual flower meadows are an excellent starting point. Not only are they affordable and easy to implement, but they also yield quick-wins and vibrant results. The burst of colour is often a talking point for people, as well as a magnet for insects and pollinators that enrich the local ecosystem. These annual seed-sown meadows can be a very rewarding introduction into the world of colour and biodiversity, paving the way for more extensive and longer-term planting practices.

Cabbage white butterfly on Corncockle Cabbage white on Corncockle – a key species found in our Cornfield mix

Various ways of transitioning to perennials

Moving from annual seeds to perennial seeds might seem like a leap, but can provide good longer-term results with more skills, knowledge and patience required. If you want to remove the complexity of growing from seed, Pictorial Meadows’ pre-grown turf simplifies this process as all the professional horticultural growing has been done in advance, providing an instant and long-term planting solution. But it doesn’t have to be a distinct choice between perennial seeds and turf – a combination of both can be employed by carefully thinking about sightlines and planting densities. Strategically placing turf at front-of-view in a planting area will allow perennial seeds to establish behind. This will give quicker and higher flower densities in the foreground, and slower and lower densities at the rear.

Bumblebee on Spiked speedwell Bee on Spiked speedwell – a key species found in our Purple Haze turf

Pictorial Meadows perennial turf – a biodiversity powerhouse

For those seeking the highest levels of biodiversity with minimal effort and instant results, the perennial turf range is the go-to solution. Offering various mixes tailored to different location requirements, this product contains over thirty different species that boast long-season flowering and exceptional winter interest. The ease of implementation, coupled with the visual spectacle and ecological benefits, makes our perennial turf an ideal choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. It’s important to remember – no matter how you choose to establish your Pictorial Meadow – that leaving the dead flower heads standing over winter benefits not just biodiversity in the garden, but also local wildlife by providing a habitat for invertebrates and a resource of oil-rich seeds for winter-feeding birds.

Tortoiseshell butterfly on common yarrow Tortoiseshell on Common yarrow – a key species found in our Botanical Skyline turf

Acknowledging success

Pictorial Meadows’ commitment to sustainability and biodiversity has not gone unnoticed; in addition to having won several awards for sustainability and biodiversity, many customers are delighted with their results. After installing the Classic mix at Clumber Park, the National Trust’s Head Gardener, Dene Wood, talked about how the increase in pollinator numbers was not only evident to visitors, but also celebrated. He humorously remarked, ‘If only those extra visitors (bees and insects) were counted in our visitor numbers!’

Pictorial Meadows Classic Annual Wildflower Seed Mix on display at Clumber Park The Classic mix on display at Clumber Park

Pictorial Meadows is committed to increasing biodiversity in our urban landscapes. Embracing the beauty of flower meadows is not just about creating an aesthetically-pleasing environment, but also about fostering a lasting and harmonious coexistence with nature.

Discover Pictorial Meadows’ full range of annual seeds, perennial seeds and meadow turf