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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Once Upon a Wildflower Garden

This spring Grenville decided to plant a wildflower meadow for the hummingbirds and butterflies.

Veggies were grown here a couple of seasons ago, but we downsized the garden. And with the help of his friend, John Deere, Grenville cleared the area, sowed LOTS of wildflower seeds, and covered it with chips from the tree cut down in the front yard last fall

meadow0513 (2)And then the waiting started.

Unlike this past week, when it hasn’t stopped raining, there as a scarcity of rainfall this spring. Growing in the meadow started s-l-o-w-l-y.

wildflower meadow619By mid-July, blooms were everywhere.

meadow0716 (7)meadow0716 (2)Like in other parts of the country, summer was hot, humid and very dry on the VA eastern shore. There were lots of 90-degree days with heat indices near or over 100 degrees, but scarce rainfall.

Watering was reserved for the vegetable gardens. The wildflowers were left on their own, but survived – too well – they grew and kept growing.

These photos were taken late today. The coreopsis are well over 8 feet high and still blooming. No butterflies have been seen in recent days.

927 wildflower jungle (1)Soon we’ll cut it down and mulch everything back in, including most of the seed pods, which means there may be an even BIGGER meadow next season.

wildflowers collage927Even though they are past their prime blooms, the wildflowers are still beautiful. Some hang on to their color till the last petal has dropped.

wildflowers2 collage927

Summer gathers up her robes of glory,
And, like a dream, glides away.
Sarah Helen Whitman

12 comments:

Daisy said...

Wow! Your wildflower garden did really well! Very impressive! I bet the butterflies loved it. I hope it does well again next year.

Lynette said...

Super, super idea and result, plus photos!

Anvilcloud said...

I think your widlflower garden is great.

grammie g said...

Hi B...It was a great idea and looked lovely in is prime and as it glides away .
I often admire the seed pods, they can be quite intesting!!

grace

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

I was wondering if you did get to lots of butterflies to the meadow? Wildflowers seem to thrive once they get established. I like to take the flower and press them till try then make paper with them. Hum, you have me thinking on planting some this spring. That is if we get rain.

No more Lantana, too many Carperter bees and they have attacked my porch big time. We just got rid of them a few years ago after battling them for 10 years. Had to bring out the heavy stuff and I hated to do that. Poison in the paint and spray the porch weekly. But with 40 carpenter bees on the Lantana bush yesterday and holes in the wood it got chopped down.

Wonder if they like wildflowers?

Sandra said...

I love the prickly ball in the bottom left of the second collage. and you already know i love those wild flower beds

thecottagebythecranelakeolof1 said...

Fantastic!
Wildflowers here in Sweden usually grows in meadows that has very little nutricions, so to keep such a garden beautiful it will take a lot of work.

After the flowers has given away all seeds one must remove all vegetation so no nutricions gets in to the soil and continue to do so every year.

Our wildflowers can´t compete with those plants that like very nutricious soil.

Have a great day!
Christer.

Elaine said...

Your wildflower garden did wonderful! I've been busy cutting back flower beds this week even though many were still blooming, but they'll be covered with snow when we get back from our trip. I'm just throwing seeds heads and some more wildflower seeds in my wildflower beds and letting them go. Love the poem--summer has completed the glide here.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Great idea! And less lawn to mow, here I could not get Jerry to do this, although he complains about mowing, he loves the riding mower and doesn't want spaces carved out of his lawn. I would do this is a heartbeat right off the side front where the grass has too many weeds and looks yucky. And to think it can self sow to replenish next year inspires me. I don't want anything else to concern about watering, after this last summer.. This sounds like a great idea.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Daisy, our wildflower meadow took off and exceeded all expectations. We suspect the heat and lack of rain may have cause all of them to over0achieve in terms of height.

Thanks Lynette and AC - there's always photos.

Grace, the seed pods and the dying flowers are more interesting than the ones still blooming - and there are still a lot.

Tammy, we didn't have many butterflies and that surprised us. A couple of weeks ago we had a monarch and black swallowtail and some skippers. Last year we had so many by comparison. Maybe the weather was too hot? I've never had success with growing lantana and after reading of the problems you had it's just as well. Never tried to dry the wildflowers.

Sandra, I liked that photo as well.

Christer, but you have managed to grow quite some beauties in and around your cottage based on your experience with running a nursery.

Pat, that's exactly WHY Grenville planted the meadow - less mowing. He's even talking about expanding it. Of course, maybe we should wait and see how it reseeds after everything is mulced down. Grenville likes te riding mower too!

L. D. Burgus said...

Your wildflower garden proved to be very successful. I am impressed. I had a small package of seeds and they didn't do well. You really did get a great variety of plants. Thanks for sharing it.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Thanks Larry, Grenville sprinkled a LOT of seeds - think it was a half pound, and now he thinks it might have been a tad too much.

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