b'W I L D F L O W E R M E A D O W S : A p p e a r a n c e s c a n b e d e c e3p t i vGe R O U N D P R E P A R A T I O Npreferred option and is added to the seed mixture. This is an annual wild flower that naturally parasitizes the grass and so weakens the latter, enabling the wild flowers to have a much better chance of survival. Yellow rattle MUST though be sown by end of November, for it needs 8 weeks of cold before it will germinate. Flowering from May, it will self-seed and grow again the following year, though at variable rates depending on a variety of factors. As such, I often reintroduce a bit more each Autumn, having scarified lightly.If the grass land is uneven, or full of tussocky mounds, or if earth contouring is to be undertaken, consideration should be given to using a herbicide such as Roundup. This is likely to be banned in a few years for, whatever Monsanto the manufacturers say, many believe evidence of the chemical building up in groundwater and its connection with cancer. Nevertheless careful use of the chemical on a limited basis is perhaps a necessary evil for a greater good. But the professional version sprayed by a qualified operative should be used, as Roundup that can be bought by retail customers is too weak. Remember of course, that if the sward already contains a good selection of wild flowers and gentle grasses, spraying will kill these, so think carefully before you spray.After a spray with Roundup, which is then left for 3 weeks, existing vegetation will be killed off; especially useful if there are thugs like couch grass and bindweed, but of course it will only kill anything that is growing; there is no residual effect; and it should be dry for at least 24 hours after application.Once sprayed off, earth contouring can take place and a fine tilth prepared, with a stone burier being used if required. Tractor mounted versions of such equipment make light work of this.Roadside meadowBefore Prepped and clean After4'