Our No-Stress Approach To A Wildflower Garden – Don’t Judge

wildflower gardenBy Trish Holder

We do silly things.

Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.  Sometimes it’s fun to not stress and just see what happens.

This summer my husband made an impulse purchase at a big box store (he tends to do that) of a $9.00 bag of wildflower seeds.   He spread the entire bag in an unadorned natural area of our backyard.  “What the heck?” I’d said.  It’s not like I had any better ideas, or any intention of working on the spot myself.  Besides, I’m like a kid when it comes to seeds.  I love the anticipation of germination.

It turned out to be a long wait.  In fact, we had just about given up hope until last month when the first random blooms started to erupt.

Wildflower garden

Not exactly a spectacular start to a lush wildflower garden, but the close-ups are pretty!

blue wild flowerMind you, we have quite a few weeds growing there, so until the wildflowers started to bloom, we really didn’t know which was which.  Now, as you can see, we have a variety of wild flowers popping up.  Well, maybe you can’t, but they are there.  I took close-ups to prove it.Red wildflower

Hey — It’s a Start!

Okay, I admit, it’s hardly a mass crop.  But it is a nice sampling of color, including red, blue, lavender, gold, orange and hot pink.  We suspect the birds ate about 90% of the seeds. But what has bloomed is so pretty and

hot pink wildflower

so natural looking, I told my husband we should just invest another nine bucks next spring, feed some more birds, and see what else pops up.  They’re wild, so I’m sure what did come up will continue to reseed, and maybe in about 3 years we will have that lush wildflower garden.  Compared to the seasonal fortune we’ve spent on flowers in the past, maybe this wasn’t such a silly investment after all.

lavender wildflowerFor now I’m content (even delighted) to watch what emerges from the pine straw.  I take a color inventory most mornings when I take out my dog, Abner, for a quick lift of the leg.  With any luck, his markings will help keep the deer away.


6 Responses »

  1. Trish,
    What a “splendid” idea….I loved your story…kudos to your husband and you…why do we think our gardens have to be a lot of work, resulting in perfection…Ha!
    I fully endorse gardens being a place of joy, learning, experimentation resulting in most cases; with delightful ah’s and surprise…I recently inherited a garden installed by a “master gardener”…we moved to this home in late spring and it has been a spring and summer of delight and challenge…
    Thank you for reminding me just how special it is to be connected to terra firma right in our own back yard!

  2. I too purchased that big bag and it is stilled unopened.
    I love this story!

  3. Hi Trish – nice! You have some little blue forget-me-nots, by the looks, and a couple different colors of cosmos – picture isn’t quite clear enough for me to identify the others. Cosmos will produce a profusion of seeds, as will forget-me-nots, and provide nice ground cover. If you mulch them too heavily, it will limit their ability to sprout (cosmos especially) as they are prairie wildflowers whose seeds drop to the ground and are hard enough to winter over. I have forget-me-nots all over my property from just one seeding years ago – love them! Have fun!

    • Jane — Thank you SO much. I think you are right about both — now that I’ve looked them up online. It’s a little confusing about the Forget-Me-Nots because the pictures on the web are so close-up it appears the blooms are much bigger than they actually are. I don’t think any of mine are more than 1/2 inch across and many are smaller. Tiny, tiny clusters of flowers but I adore the rich blue color. I am SO happy that you confirmed that these reseed profusely! Can’t wait to see what happens in the spring!!!

      • Yes, forget-me-not flowers are tiny and clustered and a most beautiful shade of blue. I have had some of the self-seeded plants produce pink flowers the following year as well, which has been just a happy little surprise, but the vast majority are blue.

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