Member Spotlight: This is a guest post re-published from GrowIt! community member @daisy96’s blog “Sienna Mae Heath’s Writing: The Art of Savoring Time.” Check out all of her posts and subscribe to her blog here. Connect with her on GrowIt! here. (tap from mobile). May this post inspire your wildflower garden.
‘Tis the season for hacking. No, not internet hacking. I mean, bidding farewell to sunflower stalks and unruly plants that flop down, after one too many storms. This is a tale about wildflower gardening in windy Pennsylvania.
I couldn’t have planned it better – three levels of fennel, queen anne’s lace, and black-eyed susan. A trio of yellow, white, and green. The fennel overhead my two favorite flower types lights up my summer.
Not sure how the neighbors feel about it, but I adore this focal point in my backyard. Along the property line, vegetable plants hug the wilderness. “Thank you for the pollinators,” they whisper.
Last year, my husband and I sprinkled seeds to the wind. We had finally found our suburban plot of land, and we were ready to farm it. Our first herb – fennel. Yes, we decided fennel belonged amidst wildflowers.
Jason said, “I want this to be so prolific, that we regret it a little bit!” During his travels painting barns across the Lehigh Valley, he had collected seeds that struck his fancy. Who knew what their names were; this was a free-flowing experiment.
A farmer slowed him down for a moment. “You know, son, the strongest varieties will win in the end.”
The first year, our backyard succumbed to this free-for-all. It was quite a sight. To extend the season, Jason cut and displayed them in Mason jars for my birthday.
As the sun set on the first frost warning, I wandered in the dark clipping the last of them. No better way to end the season than with a bucket of beauties…and bugs swarming around the house.
We discovered, that farmer was right. So long to the mysterious little orange buddies that peeked out last April. This year, the fennel won. Though it was gracious enough to welcome into the family: crazy ladies Anne and Susan. (In fact, the Herb and the Queen tied for first place.)
I’ve come to appreciate simplicity. (This is my version of simple!) I never would have guessed that green and white, with yellow accents, would rule my property. My instinct at a garden nursery is to grab hot red geraniums and spicy orange nasturtiums. These, too, found their way into the color scheme, but there’s something special about classic white.
There’s also something special in spontaneity. I didn’t plan for a field of Lace. Yet I did dive into moon gardening magazines in the dead of winter. My moon garden came to life outside the magazine margins.
At our garden party, Jason and I made s’mores with ten close friends, huddled around our new fire pit. White Queens and Hydrangea glowed in the moonlight. Our volunteer sunflowers bowed down on this glorious scene. And the best part – it was all unplanned.
I wish I was writing this outside. If only I could say that this piece of “garden writing” happened in the garden, notebook in hand, perched on my patio. I’m sorry, the season for wildflowers is coming to an end.
Thunderstorms are trending in Easton, Pennsylvania. Each time the thunder and lighting visit, the fennel plummets. A storm hits; I trim down the stalks. Another storm hits; I arrange another half-dozen bouquets. Knock, knock on my neighbor’s front door. “Would you like another vase of flowers…and an unwanted squash?”
It was time to hack down the wildflower patch.
Hard to believe that it all boiled down to these two jars. A sample of dehydrated fennel leaves and seeds. In Memoriam – Our Wildflower Garden 2017.
The story continues!
Picture it: a meadow of spring bulbs, followed by a show of summer blooms.
Do you think I should plant spring bulbs in my wildflower garden? If so, which ones would look best and thrive in a field?