Today was another digging day. Since the ground still retained some moisture from the last rain, I thought it would be a good idea to finish clearing out more weeds before the sun baked the clay soil into some sort of adobe. I’m sure a better idea would have been to rest up today after yesterday’s exertions, but I wanted to finish weeding one particular section.
I considered putting sod in that area, but I will lay down sod for a patch of lawn in the front yard, and I really don’t want to spend the time and effort — and water — to groom two lawn areas. As I was digging up weeds, I noticed there was plenty of knotweed in the area, which passes for grass in this arid climate, so I considered just watering the area and letting the “grass” grow to add a bit of green to the backyard.
But, as I was weeding, I had another thought. When I first moved here, before I got into landscaping and gardening, I’d considered turning my yard into a meadow. Even that takes a lot work, so I abandoned the idea, but a small meadow would be perfect for the area I’ve been weeding. That triangular plot of land will be sectioned off by hard pathways on two sides and the sidewalk on the third side, and I can see all sorts of wildflowers blooming there. Even better, it won’t matter if the “grass” grows between the flowers or if an occasional weed gets a roothold, because that’s the point of a meadow — anything goes.
The real issue for me is to get a mix of short wild flowers. I’ve been researching wildflower and wildflower mixes, and so many of the flowers grow four to six feet tall. Eek! I’d get claustrophobic with such tall plants in an open area! They would be perfect for outlying areas along the fence, but I’ve already planned other flowers for those areas — hollyhocks in one spot and a lily forest in another.
I finally found the right mixture at a seed place that caters to farmers and businesses with acreage to fill, so I’ll have to buy more than I need, but it will be a lot cheaper (and quicker) in the long run than trying to buy individual flowers seed packets and mixing the seeds myself. The good thing about having so many seeds is that I can plant half in the fall, and if they don’t come up next spring, I can plant the other half and see what happens.
Even after all this time, my landscaped yard with lush garden spots is still little more than a vision I dream when I am doing such mundane chores as digging weeds and turning soil, but you never know. Someday I might actually dream that vision into reality.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator
September 6, 2021 at 2:41 pm
My wife and me used to seed in the living room in small pots.(flowers or tomato cerise). When plants grow up then to replant outside.
To watch how it is growing.
No damage with outside weather, insects, other reasons.
It is simply our experience.
More success with sees if it is a good quality.
September 6, 2021 at 2:59 pm
I never thought to do it in the living room, but a plant is plant, whether it’s for decoration or for replanting outside.
September 6, 2021 at 3:45 pm
I am sorry with my grief I have some problems with recollection memory. But I am sure it was successful with tomatoes.
September 6, 2021 at 5:56 pm
I’m sure it was — at least, it sounds right.
September 6, 2021 at 4:07 pm
I may have said this elsewhere but here goes. Wildflower seeds do best when planted in the late fall. The combination of cold, snow/moisture and darkness creates a process called stratification, which allows the seed to sprout in the spring. if you plant in spring, you have to keep the seedbed evenly moist. Let nature do that work, over winter. But then you have to give them a year to develop a good root system, esp the perennials which will NOT flower until around year 2 or 3, but the annuals will put on a show in the first year, so you have to reseed them the following fall. Also beware of “wildflower mixes” with “filler” seeds that are simply invasives like achillea millefolium (yarrow) or other spreading plants that make the buyer think something is growing. Best to buy from seed sources that are professional growers, as it sounds like you are doing, vs the packets in the stores that are labeled “wildflower mix” or somesuch. I speak from experience, and made every mistake in the book.
September 6, 2021 at 5:22 pm
So plant in the late fall. Will do. I checked — no Yarrow!
This is what is in the mixture:
Coreopsis, Dwarf Lance-Leaf
Coreopsis, Dwarf Plains
Pinks, Cottage Daisy, African
Evening Primrose, Dwarf
September 6, 2021 at 9:12 pm
You can prepare your ground now and be ready to sow seeds before the snow is predicted. Just make sure you walk on the newly seeded soil, to ensure good contact with the soil. All the flowers listed are annuals, as near as I can tell. California Poppy is my favorite, will reseed itself freely, but it’s easy to pull if you don’t want it there. Sounds like a good mixture, without the yarrow.
September 6, 2021 at 9:43 pm
Thank you. I didn’t know when in the fall to plant, so that helps. I’d pulled all the weeds weeds from that area except the prostrate knotweed. I thought I could leave it, but the directions the seller gives says all weedy grass needs to be removed. At least I have time! With 100 degree days still predicted for a while, I doubt it will snow any time soon.