Choosing a wildflower mix for your garden
Choosing a wildflower mix for your garden is a breezeFew simple pleasures compare to the growing a wildflower garden. Recreate the vibrant beauty of a mountain meadow covered with yellow, violet and orange blossoms, baby’s breath, high grass and happy butterflies. A little time and care will put this dreamy setting right outside your window.
In addition to the beauty, there are many perks to choosing a wildflower mix for your garden. Unlike vegetables and other types of plants, these are affordable, simple to plant and super easy to maintain. There’s no weeding, watering or fertilizing required either.
Why are they so effortless? As long as you choose species that are native to your area, they’ve already evolved to flourish in your yard’s natural soil, climate and average rainfall. After the first easy breezy year of gorgeous flowers, you’ll probably be tempted to devote the whole yard to wild, native plants.
How to begin
Choosing a wildflower mix for your garden is the first step. As already noted, it makes the most sense to choose a mix of native seeds. Along with a bag of pre-mixed seeds, consider other native species, possibly yarrow, berries and ferns to complement the blossoms. Pay attention to sun/shade and drainage needs – lots of sunlight and good drainage is almost always the way to go.
The garden can go in a raised bed or directly on your ground, and it can be as large or small as you wish. When choosing a site’s proximity to your home, know that the plants will attract birds and other wildlife. Simply remove existing weeds and grass from the site, then loosen and water the soil. From there, follow any extra instructions on the seed mix bag.
Wildflowers are more than just colorful plants for your garden. Naturally tough, they will win the battle over most weeds. Those that survive may surprise you. Wild grasses will add a fullness you’ll adore.
Choosing between native seed mixes
Seed stores are bound to have multiple native wildflower mixes to choose from. How do you decide? Since most varieties are on par in regards to ease of maintenance, do what gardeners do best – think visually.
Look at your yard and imagine a pool of textures and colors defining walking paths, highlighting water features or buffering woods from your kids’ grassy play areas. What colors do you want to see crowned by your evergreens or edging a trail to the creek?
Choose a mix that will complement your favorite features or enhance the atmosphere – adding whimsy to a rose garden or an intoxicatingly sweet fragrance near your patio, for instance. If you're not happy with the variety of native seeds in the mixes available, buy individual seeds are create your own mix.
Most gardeners try hard to make a wildflower garden look natural. Consult fellow gardeners first ensure your blend follows the patterns of nearby plant communities. This helps ensure success and low maintenance as not all native wildflowers are meant to be neighbors.
After the first year
Choosing a wildflower mix for your garden and caring for it that first year is only the beginning. The site will grow and change with every season. Whatever seeds may have failed to germinate in the first year, may just bloom the following spring. You can re-seed bare spots with a new mix to add more diversity and weed the plants you’re not in love with.
What won’t change is the beauty. Every year the birds, butterflies and small animals will return to their new home.