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Monday, July 5, 2010

Wild about Flowers

Butterflies and hummingbirds; that was the reason that Jeff and I chose to plant wildflowers a couple years ago. We planted nine strips, three on the edge of our yard next to the hay field,  two across the road, one between the blacksmith shop and the apple trees, two in front of my garden and even one along the edge of the woods in the shade..  While that first year saw little increase in the number of butterflies, there were quite a few more last summer and the flowers looked great for our son and daughter-in-law's wedding.  This year the butterflies have really taken an interest in the flowers and we have been well rewarded.  Jeff even planted a few more strips.

The seed mixture that we planted in the shade was labeled "shady mix" but our shade was probably too much for it.  A few plants came up the first summer with no blooms.  Last summer some of the plants were back and I think we had 2 blackeyed Susans bloom.  This year, many plants have come up and we have continually had a couple blooming. They are interesting to watch with totally different flowers than what the meadow strips offer though we do have to remember to walk by them to check since they are a bit out of the way. 

The first year the flowers bloomed in about every color possible, but last year there was nothing but yellows or gold. It was beautiful for the wedding, but we were surprised that none of the other colors continued.  This year, we are back to a few more colors, but gold is still predominant. 
The strips are a mixture of self-seeding annuals, perinnials and biennials. The new strips will hopefully bloom in time for our cousin's wedding in a few weeks.

We've enjoyed being surrounded by the flowers strips.  Though they aren't really "wild," they are close.  We just prepared the ground so that the seeds would have a good place to start.  After that it has been up to nature - no weeding or watering.
I did do some dead-heading this week. Like everything else this summer, the wildflowers came up early and quickly started going to seed.  In an effort to have blooms for the up-coming wedding, I took out my clippers and went to work for a couple hours snipping off the spent flower heads. I tried to drop the seed heads back into the beds and I left plenty for the goldfinches that spend a big part of their day among the flower heads.

1 comment:

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hello there and thank you for visiting my blog : )
It is fun to see another garden blogger use the same template too !
Wow .. you have loads of beautiful flowers there and it must be butterfly heaven ? along with the Goldfinches .. we also draw them in with feeders just for them .. but we have lots of different birds that visit as well .. I had lots of butterfly caterpillars on my fennel and dill and parsley now .. we really love seeing that happen .. there is so much going on in the garden it is hard to keep track of ! LOL