A poppy meadow for World War One

I've been commissioned to create a poppy meadow in a school to commemorate the centenary of World War One next year. We’ve found a sunny site near the playground that’s currently turfed over, which is ideal, as the soil needs to be weed-free. So we’ll have to scrape off the grass, dig over and possibly remove the existing topsoil. Next will come a layer of sand, so that we can see where the seeds are. The idea is that the children scatter the seeds in the spring and the meadow will be in full bloom in time for the anniversary in early July.
I’ve found a seed mix, which includes Flanders poppies, together with Bishop’s flower, Red Flax and Cosmos, which will extend the flowering season into the autumn and, importantly become a magnet for bees and insects.
It’s going to look fabulous for one year, but the dilemma is what to do with the space after that, so that it doesn’t just degenerate into a mass of weeds. Top of my list so far is to sow a perennial meadow the following spring which will just have to be mown once a year and raked over. It should be sustainable, even in a school environment, where maintenance has to be kept to a minimum.

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