Starting a Wild Flower Garden

A wild flower garden makes one think of walks in the woods, the wonderful aroma and delightful flowers scattered along the path. The fun of having a real wild flower garden in your own yard sounds most attractive. But many people have little luck trying to grow one in their own yard. Why?

 Starting a Wild Flower Garden It is not a question of luck, but a question of understanding. Wild flowers each have their personality. Just like all flowers each plant grows best under certain conditions so understanding what each flower is accustomed to in Nature is very important. We need to copy Nature herself. Suppose you are hunting wild flowers in the woods and you choose a certain flower, you need to notice the soil they are in, the place, conditions, the surroundings, and the neighbors.

NOTE! I personally do not recommend actually collecting your flowers from the woods. For one thing where I live it is illegal to remove certain flowers from nature, period. It is also illegal to remove any flowers from public places nature parks etc. If you have some private property that someone has given you permission to collect from that’s ok but even there certain flowers are protected from transplantation. All nurseries have wild flowers or their seeds that you can buy for planting. My strong suggestion is to observe them in nature and buy them from your local nursery.

 Starting a Wild Flower Garden So suppose you observe dog-tooth violets and another wild-flower growing near together. Then try planting them similar in your own new garden. When you find a violet enjoying a more open area; then it should be planted similar in your bed. I’m sure you get the point. If you wish wild flowers to grow in your garden make them feel at home.

If you insist on collecting your wild flowers from the woods they should be transplanted after their blossoming time is over. Take a trowel or small shovel with you so you can be sure to take some of the plant’s own soil with the roots. Replanting it with its own soil will give it the best chance of survival.

Prepare carefully the bed into which you plan on planting these ahead of time. You should plant your new friends as soon as possible into their new home. The bed needs to have soil like the woods, deep and rich and full of leaf mold. The soil should have excellent drainage. You may think that the soil in the woods is saturated with water but this is not true. If you have clay soil you may have to dig your garden up very deeply and put some stone in the bottom. Then put a deep layer of top soil. On top of that, where the top soil once was, put a new layer of the rich composted soil mixed with a lot of leaves. Then water well before placing your plants into their new home.

 Starting a Wild Flower Garden It is always nice to plan so that your wild-flower garden is continuously in bloom from early spring to late fall. Here are some suggestions to help you with that.

For March – try the Hepatica spring beauty and Saxifrage.
Then comes April – the beautiful Columbine, the tiny Bluets and Wild Geranium.
For May – there are the Dog-tooth Violet, the Wood Anemone, false Solomon’s Seal, Jack-in-the-pulpit, Wake Robin, Bloodroot and Violets.
June – is blessed with the Bellflower, Mullein, Bee Balm and Foxglove.
For July – I would choose the Gay Butterfly Weed.
Let Turtle Head, Aster, Joe Pye Weed, and Queen Anne’s Lace make the rest of the season brilliant until frost.

One last comment: Wild flowers are wild and some of them when they take root can be fairly invasive so if you don’t want a runaway garden filling your whole yard you will have to set your wild flower garden in an area of the yard by itself or be aggressive at keeping it in control.

Next time we will look at some specific wild flower and the conditions each loves.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 at 8:11 am and is filed under Ideas. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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