The Wildflower Meadow at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is a key summer attraction for artists and visitors alike, and after years of tweaking, is putting on its best bloom ever.
European wildflower meadows are naturally filled with grasses, flowers, and other non-woody plants where cows graze on the upper layers of wild vegetation, allowing other seeds and species of plant to grow through the next season.
However, because of agriculture and the introduction of weeds, they are not a common sight in Australia. That’s what makes the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney’s carefully crafted Wildflower Meadow display so special, especially in December and January, when some flowers grow over a metre tall, and dance in the wind to the buzzing and chirping sounds of summer.
The power of promoting pollination
The different flower bed mixes of the meadows sound like a DJ play list. There is the ‘All-year-round’ mix, the ‘Made-for-shade’ mix, the ‘Summer cut flower’ mix, the ‘Groundcover’ mix, the ‘Mini Monet’ mix and the ‘Bee-friendly’ mix.
Horticulture supervisor, Kayte Wilkie, said establishing the meadow is so rewarding because the sequential flowering of many attractive species goes on for months with so many vibrant colours on display.
However, Kayte said the display is more than just a beautiful collection of flowers, it was an integral part of sustaining and increasing beneficial bugs and pollinators within the cityscape.
“Meadow-style gardens not only look spectacular, but they also play a vital role in creating habitat and food for foraging insects that are so important for pollination,” Kayte said.