Anybody growing wildflower gardens?

ogrose_txNovember 30, 2012

Last winter I put seeds in one end of my large flowerbed in Texas Natives and grasses along with a few roses (of course!) to see what would happen, and didn't mulch this area so they would reseed.

Wow, it started off slow, a few here and there, and by summer's end and even today I have wall to wall flowers still blooming. We have a rabbit living out there as well as doves and other birds who seem to like it as cover; I love this area!

Anyone else?

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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Not an entire garden, just here and there. A picture of yours would be welcomed. ;-)


    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 10:14PM
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Wildflower gardens often look great at first. However, over time, the dominant species in the wildflower mix crowd out the other species. So you may end up with lots of California poppies, for example, but few of the other plants. This means you'll have to reseed periodically to maintain diversity.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 10:04AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I always plant with natural habitat in mind. I try to grow lots of native perennials and usually plant them in clumps so they look purposeful. I also try to mix early and later blooming varieties so there is something blooming throughout the season. I mulch in between to prevent weeds and enthusiastic reseeding. I also add annuals to provide reliable blooms. I don't know if that counts as a wildflower garden, but I think it works as a good attempt to bring wildlife into our suburban neighborhoods, and it doesn't look half bad, in my opinion. I don't have any pictures, because I just moved and I'm getting a new garden established. Hopefully this summer will be spectacular.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 12:48PM
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rhauser44(z6 MI)


This is my first visit to the Cottage Garden forum and I love the photos!. I'm usually lurking over in the Native & Wildlife garden forums.

For the past three or four years I have been turning my back yard into gardens populated only by Michigan natives.
One of my first "visions" was to turn a 25x25 ft. section behind my garage into a native "meadow". It looked good when all the flowers were in bloom, but was maybe a bit too wild looking for a suburban setting. ;) I'm redesigning that now into something that looks more maintained.

But that's ok, as it is has me taking a look at how everything else in the yard is connected together (or not, as most often the case). Lot's of garden renovation to do this Spring!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 9:51PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

I love wildflower gardens. I want more space!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 2:58AM
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rhauser44(z6 MI)

Docmom, I like your purposeful approach to planting natural. After going on several garden tours last summer, and looking into my yard from my neighbors perspective, I realized I need to bring more order and intelligent design to my Native project.
How are your gardens laid out? What natives are you growing? Along with re-designing my lay-out this spring, I plan on focusing on ground cover. I'm going to be winter-sowing wild ginger, pussy toes, and big leaf aster, this winter.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 9:25AM
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Wildflower gardens are so pretty, but do tend to get a little chaotic. I guess that's what I like about cottage gardens...they're a little more of a controlled least that's what mine end up being :)

Ogrose- I love that you have roses, even in your wildflower garden!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 12:02PM
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Chaos come Spring, I suspect; really don't know what to expect! I did mulch pretty heavily in other areas so hopefully they won't spread too much (right).

There is a man who has his whole front yard in natives and has a blog on it, quite interesting. I love it, but knowing the area, imagine some of the neighbors are not too thrilled. Website is http://planobluestem.blogspot.

LL, as you know, I'm hopelessly addicted to old garden roses, and this spring will add a couple of hybrid teas as well as three imported French rose bands from Vintage that had to wait for two years before he could release them.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 12:53PM
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Might we see some pics? :)

Fifteen years ago when I started this garden on raw land in a forest I scattered a package of wildflower seeds in a couple of areas. Only one of those flowering plants (Dame's Rocket or Hesperis matronalis) has continued to self-seed altho I may have eradicated them this last summer with the vigorous weeding out of plants I don't really want and heavy mulching. Dame's Rocket is a very tough plant that can be invasive.

While I have a lot of space to garden there is a problem with some wildflower mixes in that they can be invasive and destroy pasture lands. Oxeye daisy is one of those I don't need more of altho they came in with the hay loads, and not the mix I planted. There is also a lot of wild yarrow on my land altho I'll seed the colored yarrows but not the white.

So, yes I love wildflower gardens and plan to again seed some altho will not buy a mix but will choose which flowers I want. This will be in a wilder area outside of my perennial/shrub garden. I plan to seed some clovers for the bees but won't plant too many as I have horses grazing here in the summer and too much clover is not good for them. I wonder if there are wildflowers that horses won't eat?! Lamb's Ears are one of the few they don't like, and perhaps yarrow. I'll also again seed shasta daisies as have eradicated most that I had.

Im my mind I picture a selective wildflower garden with grazing grasses and paths as a transition from my fenced garden to the forest. It's another project I'm thinking about! And I know it will be a lot of work.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 2:34PM
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