Seeds of Success: Pictorial Meadows’ proven recipe for brilliant landscapes

In this blog post, our Landscape Manager Peter explores the various reasons why you should use Pictorial Meadows’ seed mixes and turf in your project.

Reliable products drawing on research and tested in practice

Whether it’s the inherent beauty of mixed-species vistas throughout the year, the joy of supporting pollinators over a long season, or a desire to reduce maintenance costs by establishing resilient plantings, meadows are a good choice for many types of landscapes. 

As leading experts on meadows in the UK for over two decades, the team at Pictorial Meadows have developed a range of dependable products to help make the creation of meadows as smooth and reliable a process as it can be. Created through careful research and tested and refined for years in real-world projects, Pictorial Meadows’ turf and seeds provide dependable results you can rely on. When combined with their simple advice for preparation and maintenance, Pictorial Meadows products can help you achieve brilliant landscapes for your clients.

‘Pictorial Meadows’ mixes are great for creating a visually stimulating slice of achievable horticulture that takes relatively little effort beyond the initial prep and sowing.’ – Brendan Arundel, Head Gardener at Helmingham Hall Gardens

Photo © Brendan Arundel
Photo © Brendan Arundel

Built on scientific data

Over the past 25 years, the Pictorial Meadows team have evaluated almost 600 plant species for use in their mixes. The extensive database they’ve built from this research includes everything from growing conditions, seed weights, and field germination rates of each species, to flower colour, bloom time, and growth form. So when they put together a seed mix, they know that the combinations they choose will germinate and thrive in similar growing conditions. From rain gardens and roof gardens to shady edges and highway verges, each of Pictorial Meadows’ mixes are tailored to do well together in specified conditions.

Rotherham ‘River of Flowers’

Informed by aesthetic considerations

Once the Pictorial Meadows team have got the growing conditions locked in, they further refine from the range of all the possibilities they’ve identified to a powerful combination of species that look beautiful together over the year. Unlike other mixes on the market that focus solely on growing conditions, you can be sure that Pictorial Meadows’ mixes not only thrive together and benefit the ecosystem, but will dazzle human viewers too. Each of their mixes has a rich colour palette that remains attractive over a long season. From the bright reds and golds of the annual Sundance seed mix to the cool tones of the perennial Moody Blues seed mix, Pictorial Meadows products are designed to have a high visual impact wherever you choose to use them.

‘The seed mix contained gorgeous flower combinations that were put together extremely tastefully with tons of artistry.’ – Customer feedback from our 2023 NPS Survey

Sundance at the Olympic Park

The forms of the plants have also been considered. While each mix contains both spreading, weed-suppressant species and more upright plants that focus on flowers, some mixes feature species of the same height, while others showcase dazzling spires that rise above their neighbours for effect. The Pollinator Verge turf even does well with multiple cuts across the season, so that it will continue flowering in those places where safety sightlines must be maintained. Throughout the year, the dynamic parade of forms and colours in each mix continue to work well together and contribute to the harmony of the whole.

Pollinator Verge

Field-tested

It’s one thing to put lists of species together on paper and quite another to grow them in the real world. Drawing on their extensive database and years of experience as gardeners and growers, the Pictorial Meadows team carefully calibrate the ratios of seeds so that the right number of each type of seedling germinates in each square metre. The team then sow the seeds in their trial meadows here on the hills of Sheffield where they can keep a close eye on them through the season and over the years. They then tweak the ratios of plants in the mixes based on these results. If one species germinates a bit too much, then the team know they can reduce the quantity of those seeds in the mix. If another fails to make its mark, they increase their representation. So rest assured that once Pictorial Meadows decide to bring a seed mix or turf to market, they are confident in the results. With their meadow turf combinations, they’ve even done the establishment work for you, so when the turf goes down on your project, the plants are mature with healthy root systems ready to grow.

Patchwork Quilt in Solihull

Project-tested feedback

Pictorial Meadows believe in their products and use them regularly, allowing them to see how things work on the ground for clients and projects in a variety of conditions. Their landscape professionals keep a careful eye on how things are going and feed that back to further refine the results. They also listen carefully to feedback from other designers and practitioners who use their products. With all this information coming in, none of Pictorial Meadows’ mixes stay the exact same for long. Even after years of refinement, the team still work hard every day to improve the reliability and impact of Pictorial Meadows’ beautiful mixes.

‘Pictorial Meadows turf works and is a great solution for so many different areas. Our clients love it!’ – Customer feedback from our 2023 NPS Survey

Pictorial Meadows is part of The Green Estate Community Interest Company and offers a range of meadow seed mixes and turf alongside a professional meadow creation, management and consultation service.