Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Wildflower Strip: Year Two

This is Year Two for my Wildflower Strip. It's a 150-foot-long (perhaps 15-foot-wide) narrow strip next to the ditch running along our road. A year ago in spring, my husband sprayed and used his 1940 9N tractor to till up and smooth out the strip, and then used a walk-behind broadcast spreader to sow the wildflower seed that I bought online:

The seed mix I used was Eden Brothers "Burst of Bloom" wildflower
seed mix. It has performed beautifully. (Photo from Eden Bros site.)

The "Burst of Bloom" wildflower mix is certainly appropriately named: it contains the following 20 kinds of flowers:
  • Baby's Breath Gypsophila elegans Annual
  • Dwarf Cornflower/Bachelor Button Centaurea cyanus Annual
  • Tall Cornflower/Bachelor Button Centaurea cyanus Annual
  • Red Corn Poppy (Legion Poppy) Papaver rhoeas Annual
  • Lance Leaf Coreopsis Coreopsis lanceolata Annual
  • Mixed Red Poppy (Shirley Poppy) Papaver rhoeas Annual
  • Wild Cosmos Cosmos bipinnatus Annual
  • California Poppy Eschscholzia californica Annual/Perennial
  • Blanketflower Gaillardia aristata Perennial
  • Black Eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta Biennial
  • Wild Perennial Lupine Lupinus perennis Perennial
  • Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea Perennial
  • Russel Lupine Lupinus polyphyllus Perennial
  • Plains Coreopsis Coreopsis tinctoria Annual
  • Siberian Wallflower Cheirianthus allionii Biennial
  • Blue Flax Linum usitatissimum Annual
  • Scarlet Flax Linum grandiflorum rubrum Annual
  • Drummond Phlox Phlox drummondii Annual
  • Sulphur/Orange Cosmos Cosmos sulphureus Annual
  • Gloriosa Daisy Rudbeckia gloriosa Perennial

This photo, taken at the end of July 2013, shows mostly cosmos,
bachelor buttons, annual coreopsis and annual poppies.

Last year, there was a brief show of annuals, as seen in the photo above, but unfortunately the 2013 drought cut short what could have been a much more beautiful and long-lasting display (and no hoses will reach all the way down to that end of our property to allow us to water it).

This spring, there was a glorious orange blaze of Siberian Wallflowers in early June (which I didn't get a photo of, sadly), followed by the current bonanza of biennial Black-Eyed Susans, Blanketflowers and Gloriosa Daisies:

I'm waiting to see what else will bloom: Will we get some stately lupines? Red corn poppies (appropriate for this centennial anniversary of the beginning of the First World War)? Coneflowers, phlox or flax?

And the other question: Will I have to replant the seeds next year, or will the annuals and biennials reseed and the perennials come back? Or will grass and weeds take over?

This is fun, waiting to see what the show will bring us next. Stay tuned for updates! Thanks for reading.

P.S. I have increased the width of my blog in order to be able to post larger photos. Please let me know in the comments section if you have trouble viewing this width on your monitor or other device. Thanks again!


  1. I like the larger photos, Beth, and I LOVE your wildflower strip! I am pretty sure the rudbeckia will self-sow prolifically - they do at my place! Beautiful!!!
    Keep us posted on what grows as the season continues.

    1. Thanks so much, Beth! I'm happy to hear that about the rudbeckias coming back -- I'll have to see what happens. Thanks for reading. -Beth

  2. With the opportunity to have a long strip like that your wildflowers look wonderful. It's interesting to know that you've had different flowers blooming each month and i hope that continues for you.
    We have strips of wild flowers growing in the middle of our city ring roads as a recent policy. They looked stunning at the beginning of the season, but now it seems as if the thistles and weeds have taken over. That's probably due to a lack of maintenance because of economic cuts in the parks and leisure department at the city council. Your photos are good. I've thought about doing the same with my blog re. width, but was anxious that I might experiment and lose what I have already set!

  3. Thanks for visiting, Linda! I'm glad you don't have any problems viewing the photos in their wider format. I was a bit nervous about changing the widths, but I just made sure I wrote down the width numbers before I started changing them. It looks like your blog is already wide enough to use the Extra Large photo setting -- your photos are quite easy to see. I think that Blogger just automatically adjusts the width of text if you change your blog width, although if you made your width narrower, you might need to check to see if previous photos still fit in the width of your text area and didn't lop over into the sidebar. Good luck with any changes.
    And concerning your town's wildflower areas, it's too bad about the cuts. Perhaps a group of volunteers could help out with public plantings maintenance? There are groups that do that here. Just a thought. Thanks for reading!

    1. Thanks for the feed back and advice about adjusting widths on a blog. I think I'll leave experimenting though. I zoom in when reading from my laptop screen so that I can read my blog friends' posts more comfortably and your layout is perfect.

  4. Beautiful! I love the new wider width of your blog. It makes everything easier to see. I love wildflowers and love that you planted them in a huge strip. What a gift to everyone who passes by. :o)

    1. Thanks -- I'm glad the new photo size is easier for you to see. And we're hoping that people driving to the country church next door to us enjoy the wildflowers -- we certainly do! Thanks for reading! -Beth

  5. No problem viewing the photos in the new format. I absolutely love your wild flowers. They must be such a joy to you and your neighbours. It is a wonderful idea to have such a wide strip of wild flowers. Your native flowers are exotic flowers to me though. Gorgeous!

    1. Thanks for visiting, Chloris -- and for letting me know that the new photo size works for you. And I'm glad you enjoy my "exotic" flowers! They are quite pretty of course, but we always covet what isn't easy to grow: in my case, delphiniums, sweet peas, Himalayan blue poppies, flowering shrubs not hardy enough to grow here/requiring acid soil, etc.... Human nature is endlessly fascinating, is it not? Best Regards, Beth