Stewarts Turf in Edinburgh are well known for supplying landscapers and gardeners in Scotland with lawn turf and topsoil. But did you know that since joining forces with Harrowden Turf, they also supply Enviromat sedum matting and Meadowmat wild flower turf.
Enviromat sedum matting is primarily used for green roofing and for no-mow lawns but what is Meadowmat Wild Flower Turf and where could it be used?
What is Meadowmat?
Strictly speaking, Meadowmat is a wild flower matting. It’s grown and harvested in a different way to turf. However, because it is so much like lawn turf in the way it is handled, transported and installed, it’s simpler for everyone if we stick with that terminology.
Freshly harvested Meadowmat stacked onto pallets and almost ready for despatch. Each roll will cover an area 1m wide x 2m long. You can see how dense the planting is and how the roots on the underside of the mat are vigorous and healthy - primed to establish themselves into your garden soil.
When you buy Meadowmat you get a mini-wildflower meadow on a roll. Wild flower plants are grasses are growing in a shallow layer (around 20mm) of growing medium. It looks like a super-sized roll of turf but when you unroll it, instead of velvety lawn grass you’ll find an exciting mix of broad leaved plants.
There are 5 types of Meadowmat. Each is grown and nurtured in the same way. The difference between them lies in the mixture of seeds that form the basis of the matting. All 5 Meadowmat mixes are based on perennial and biannual plants. Provided they are happy with their growing conditions and management, they will last indefinitely.
We’ll look at individual Meadowmat types in more detail in the blog posts to follow this one. But for now, here’s a short summary:
Types of Meadowmat
Created to look just like the traditional hay meadows of yesteryear – but perhaps with a higher concentration of flowers than most farmers would like. Contains wild flowers and grasses that are common throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK. Frequently used on building developments to conserve biodiversity.
Red campions and Ragged Robin (aka Raggit Willie or Cock's-kaim) appear in more than one of the Meadowmat mixes. They're attractive to wildlife. The wee wild thing in this photograph is Jet. He's a working cocker spaniel belonging to the Production Manager.
Meadowmat for Birds and Bees
A favourite with wildlife gardeners. This type of Meadowmat contains nectar rich flowers, larval food plants for butterflies and beautiful seed heads to help support small birds during the autumn and winter months. It has a long flowering period and offers great value for money.
Cottage Garden Meadowmat
My personal favourite. Whilst all of the other Meadowmat varieties contain just native plant species, Cottage Garden Meadowmat contains a few old fashioned favourites. We tend to assume that the Victorian cottage garden was more about colour than it was productivity.
Personally I think that those canny gardeners were wanting more bang for their bucks. Yes, they grew vegetables and then added flowers to make the garden look softer and less functional. But what did those flowers do? They attracted the insects that would pollinate the fruit and veg and increase the yields.
I’ve digressed. Sorry. Cottage Garden Meadowmat doesn’t include any fruit or veg but it does have some stunningly beautiful flowers and grasses to bring colour to your garden AND attract pollinating insects.
Woodland Shade Meadowmat
I think the name says it all. This Meadowmat seed mix has been specially blended to thrive in light or dappled shade. It’s great beneath trees and shrubs and will do well growing in the shade of a hedge or a fence. Just be aware that it does need some sunshine during the day. It won’t do well in continuous deep shade.
Meadowmat for Roof and Garden
This is the most colourful of all the Meadowmat mixes. Jewel-bright pinks, blues, yellows and whites make an eye-catching summer display. As the name suggests, this Meadowmat does particularly well when grown atop a sturdy shed or flat-roofed extension to form a living green roof. However, it’s just as happy in a sunny spot in the garden.
This wild flower roof was exhibited at an RHS gardening show in 2015. Beautiful isn't it?
Where to use Meadowmat
There are a myriad of different uses for Meadowmat. We've briefly discussed green roofing, but what about a wild flower patch in your lawn - it will reduce mowing and increase interest.
You could plant Meadowmat in a raised bed to make it easier to observe the flowers and visiting insects.
I have wild flowers growing beneath my apple and pear trees.
Some people like to grow wild flowers in a border instead of annual bedding plants.
One customer is lucky enough to have a large garden that she has turned into a wildflower meadow with grassy paths mown through it. The choice is yours.
Buying, Installing and Caring for Meadowmat Wild Flower Turf
Meadowmat can be bought online from www.turfonline.co.uk. or you can talk to Eleanor and David in the Stewarts Turf Office who will be pleased to give you a quote.
For more information about Meadowmat, take a look at the website www.turfonline.co.uk.
How to install Meadowmat