I always love planting a good vegetable garden. There’s just something about that fresh produce that can’t be touched by any other source. But my gardens are never just about the vegetables. I include flowers as well. Are you making sure to include wildflowers in your garden?
Wildflowers, especially of native varieties, are wonderful for your garden. They grow better than other plants as they’re adapted to the climate. Many attract bees and other pollinators, and can be beneficial to native wildlife.
Select the right varieties, and they’re also beautiful. That’s true even here in southern California, where most people don’t think of the native plants as beautiful. There are some great ones for gardens. The California poppy is perhaps the best known. There’s a quite lovely larkspur that is native to the part I live in right now that produces stunning, deep purple blooms. I learned about that one when it volunteered itself in the backyard last year.
Wildflowers may not be beautiful year round, which is why not all gardeners like them. If you want them to keep growing year after year, you have to let at least some of the flowers go to seed, which may not be the most attractive time for the plant either. But if you do this, you won’t have to keep planting them year after year. Some of the seeds should come up on their own. Do clear out the dry plants after they’ve gone to seed and add them to your compost pile.
Letting the seeds go on their own does mean a more random, natural look to your garden. That’s one of the things I love about it, but that is difficult for others to appreciate. If you want your flower garden to look a bit more organized, you may need to harvest the seeds yourself and plant them where you’d prefer that they grow.
Wildflower seeds shouldn’t be too hard to find. Look at local garden centers and find out which wildflowers are native to your area. You may also have to check with your Homeowner’s Association if you’re planting them where others can see, as some associations are really picky about what you can grow.
Choose well, plant them in the right kind of soil, and you should have some lovely native flowers to enjoy from your garden in the months to come. A good mix of species will add wonderful colors to your garden.