Going wild over castle flowers

THE wildflowers at Arundel Castle are exciting our visitors and causing a buzz with our Bumble bees and Honey bees. When it comes to planting wildflower areas you can either choose perennials or annuals.

You don’t have to have a large meadow to grow your own wildflowers; we have used perennials in the landscape of the castle grounds and annuals in our walled garden which are looking beautiful, and the annuals should continue to flower through to October.

Last year the perennial wildflowers were sourced through a diversifying farmer in North Hampshire who grows the wildflowers in the form of special wildflower turf, which can be used in a number of different ways, to our delight this year we have an even more exciting amount of perennial wildflowers as they have self-seeded well, even after our harsh winter.

The most stunning display is in the walled gardens, were we have seeded a classic meadow mix, the seed mix comes without grasses, which reduces the risk of them taking over the rest of the garden when they go to seed, there are plenty of choices of mixes you can find on the web, ours came from Pictorial Meadow Seeds.

Within our walled gardens we have introduced a new living willow arch and seat, designed locally by Mark and Rebecca Ford, this has added an exciting new quirky area complementing our beautiful annual wildflowers.

The wildflowers have wonderful names such as Fairy Toadflax, Red Flax, Bishop’s Flower, Tickseed and Corn Marigold, Black-eyed Susan, Red Orache, Larkspur, Poppies and Cornflowers, to name but a few! These all give a stunning display of colour to an area that needed a change.

The Cathedral acts as an architectural back-drop adding yet another dimension to this part of the walled garden. We are beginning to shape the yew hedge to create spires which in time will reflect the Cathedral.

As so many visitors have wanted to photograph the wildflowers, during the winter we added some unusual places for people to sit amongst the wildflowers so that cameras can be put to the test, as there are many photographic opportunities.

A few tips from the castle garden team for June:

Hoe and pull annual weeds whilst they’re still small

Deadhead roses and hardy/half hardy annuals to extend flowering.

If you have not already done so, plant out your tender summer bedding plants as it is safe from any hard frosts

Happy Gardening!

For further information on the castle, garden tours, opening times visit our website at www.arundelcastle.org