Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wildflowers!

I must admit, I'm quite fond of my wildflower patch.
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Over the past 3 years, I've planted three packets of wildflower seed mix in this bare, 3-foot-by-8-foot patch of thin clay soil over caliche, between the lime trees and the herb garden. The method's always the same:
1. Plant in the fall, roughly defined as the period between September and January, give or take a month.
2. Unceremoniously scatter seed onto unamended soil. If a rake's handy, rake the soil once before planting and once after; if not, don't bother.
3. Rarely water.
4. Never fertilize.
5. Never mow over the patch.

The first year (2007), we had evening primroses, Farewell-to-Spring (Clarkia amoena), forget-me-nots, and prairie verbena, all dolled up in pink and blue nursery colors.
2007wildflowers
I think, maybe, we might have had one blanket flower and one bluebonnet that year.

I've hardly any photographs of the wildflower bed from last spring, 2008; the zinnias and Bright Lights cosmos stole the limelight last year. I remember lots of primroses in the spring followed by a good deal of tickweed and gaillardia in the summer.
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This year, 2009, is the first time lemon beebalm (lemon mint, horsemint) has made an appearance.
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Although tickweed and verbena have popped up along the outskirts, 2009 is The Year of the Blanket Flower.
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The bed looks completely different than it did two years ago; now it's mostly oranges, yellows and reds with a bit of purple. Alas, no primroses or baby blue eyes this year.

Last fall, I tossed in an expired package of Love-In-A-Mist, just to see what would happen. I got a couple of blooms - more than I would have had I tossed the package in the trash.
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Every year, the native wildflower patch gets a little bigger, as wildflower patches do. One day, the wildflowers on the south will meet up with the zinnias and cosmos on the north and swallow the hot tub gazebo whole!

Toward that end :), I want to overseed this fall with more primroses and something new - what should it be?

3 comments:

  1. The gaillardia looks splendid. How about some lupins?

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  2. i scattered a few packets of Texas/Oklahoma wildflower seeds about a month ago. i've got lots of seedlings, but i don't know what they are yet. i hope they turn out as beautiful as your patch. i almost can't wait for Spring!

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