In An Ideal Wildflower World

I visited my old gardens yesterday. I couldn’t believe my eyes…..

The hill that my children used to play on was covered with Evening Primrose, Windflowers, Grape Hyacinths and other delightful little wildflowers. Over the years, I had sown many wildflowrr seeds, in hopes of establishing a native, wildflower garden on the dry, granite hill. I never saw any signs of life…..until yesterday.

This is the first Spring bloom since the flood. I find it completely ironic that nature can use the harshest of ways, including a devastating flood, to bring forth beauty. Hard to believe, and yet, there the wildflowers were….blooming in their full, whimsical glory.

Wildflowers grow and bloom on their own time table. Yes, the myth is true….Wildflowers are wild. Hence the name…..”Wild Flower”.  Uncontrolled, unique and wildly fabulous. Try as you may, Wildflowers are not ones to be controlled or micro-managed…..they simply like to do their own thing. If Wildflowers were children, they’d never be scolding for coloring outside the lines.  I’ve actually heard that Milkweed takes YEARS to develope a strong tap root.  Anemone seeds are similar to a Milkweed seed, but without all the fluff. Both plants actually are quite tough to establish, either by seed or by plant.  The seeds are thin and literally float to their next destination. The real problem with natural gardens with Milkweed and Anemone (Windflower) is the lawn mower.

For some reason, most Americans have a love affair with their lawn. The need to have a yard full of thirsty, ever-growing green grass completely baffles my mind, but yet,  we have millions of yards across America to prove the green lawn is still a hip “thing” to have. For mere water conservation alone, native landscape and wildflowers are the better options.

When wildflowers are finally allowed to grow and flourish, the seed stage dooms every plant to death via mower or weed-eater. Let’s all face it…..wildflowers and bulbs are messy. The poor plant is mowed down before the flower is able to mature into seeds. Many fields, hills and by-ways are filled with lovely wildflowers, but are rarely given the chance to reseed.

In an ideal wildflower world, all would adhere to the natural cycle of flowers. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal wildflower world……                                  * yet *

So, what is a wildflower lover to do?

Sow those seeds.

Get to know your local native wildflowers, and observe their growing cycle.

Collect seeds and share them with your friends.

Plant natural wildflower beds and let the scraggly, seed-developing season be a part of your natural garden.

In an Ideal Wildflower World, people wouldn’t judge a flower simply on it’s momentary beauty. The entire cycle of the flower is important. As a gardener, I try to focus on the big picture. Quick color is good, but enjoying color for generations to come is even better.

Happy Gardening, my friends. Take a walk on the wild side. Plant natives, flower bulbs and wildflowers…..and throw caution to the wind to see where beauty might land.