Wildflowers and Weeds……
The mere thought of a beautiful patch of wildflowers engulfed in a bunch of weeds is enough to make any gardener vomit.The actual definition of a “weed” is simply a plant of flower growing in an unwanted area. I’m now going to pull back the gardener’s curtain of Oz……There really is no such thing as a weed-free environment, unless you use Round-up. If that’s the case, we have a lot more to chat about in future blogs! Weeds are a natural part of gardening. In fact, weeds were there first. The land you call your garden is actually THEIR home. The goal for a gardener is to live in peace and harmony with weeds.
Wildflowers and weeds actually coexist in nature. In fact, many gorgeous wildflowers are even considered “weeds”. Many beautiful wildflowers are yanked up or mowed down while growing in a manicured lawn (but who wants a lawn when you can have a garden?). The trick to weed management in a wildflower garden is simple……May the strongest plant survive.
I started a few wildflower beds a few years back in an ugly side area, next to the driveway. Ugly doesn’t even begin to describe the desolate disgust I inherited when I purchased the studio. The area was engulfed in rock, grasses, stickers and other unwanted weeds. There were also a few redeeming plants (very few), such as the native sweet pea vine, Texas Bluebonnet, and some wild Verbena.
I started in with weed pulling and seed sowing like a maniac. I threw out a variety of wildflower seeds, and encouraged the seedlings through plenty of water and mulch/compost. Meanwhile, I continued to pull the unwanted weeds that choked out the new flowers over the entire season. I also planted bulbs and large native specimen plants, to give the area some form and interest.
Many think that when the weed is gone, it’s gone. That’s funny……..Weeds are NEVER gone. They are just lurking about, waiting for the moment to irritate the gardener. Let’s all say that together….
“WEEDS ARE NEVER, EVER GONE.”
Remember……coexist. Plant and sow seeds. Pull weeds and mulch/pile.
After a few seasons of diligence, the wildflowers are gorgeous. I’m so excited for this upcoming season. It is rumored that because of the floods, the wildflower season will be one of the greatest seasons on record. Bluebonnet are already mounding. My Poppies and Larkspur have already shot up, and are weeks away from the big bloom. I am still pulling up grasses, but after a few seasons, I have only 10% of the weeds I used to. The joy of a wildflower bed is unmatched, even if I have to maintain a delicate balance of pulling weeds and sowing seeds.
Wildflowers and Weeds……
Remember, every good thing takes work. If it were easy, everyone would do it. You are special. You are a gardener. Now, go sow some seeds and pull some weeds.
Happy Gardening, my friends!