If you remember from the spring I had plans to grow a wildflower meadow this summer in the front corner of our property. Today I’m going to share with you my experiences with my first year growing a wildflower meadow, what I learned, and what I will do next year to continue getting colorful blooms year after year!
My plans for the garden were to do a mix of perennial and annual flowers. These flowers included Alaska Shasta Daisy, Hidcote Blue Lavender, Cheyenne Spirit Echinacea, and some wildflower seed mixtures (cottage garden and butterfly mix). I received all the these seeds from Vesey’s seeds, a Canadian seed company located in Prince Edward Island.
Around the end of May Tony prepared the soil for me. The kids and I planted the flowers that I had started indoors in the winter, and dispersed the rest of the seed over the soil. The plan was to have a grass path down the center, with lavender to the right of the path, daisies at the front and back of the garden, and the rest of the flowers just random throughout.
Growing a Wildflower Meadow
A few weeks after planting, this is what the meadow looked like (including one extra petunia leftover from my cedar planters).
I planted some grass seed down the path, and you can see that starting to come up. I watered the garden maybe twice, just until the seedlings started to come up. We’ve also had a very wet spring and summer, so I didn’t feel there was a need to water much more than that.
By the end of the summer my wildflower garden looked like this…
Not very impressive, I know. But then when you look a little closer you can see all the different flowers that have actually come up.
A lot of the annual flowers came up very well. There are a lot of zinnia, cosmos, candytuft, and my favorite are the pink poppies. Each day I’m excited to check on the garden to see which new flowers are blooming, because flowers make me happy.
There are also a lot of weeds. I didn’t want this to be a big project and something I’d have to take care of constantly. I weeded several times throughout the summer, usually just when the weeds got taller than the flowers. My hope is that in a year or two (or three?) when the flowers get bigger and stronger, they will eventually choke out the weeds.
The lavender unfortunately didn’t make it. I’m not sure if it was because the soil was a bit poor, or if we got so much rain and they drowned, or maybe it was because Tony ran over them with the lawnmower…but either way, I may have to plant more next year.
There’s quite a few Shasta daisy plants, but they didn’t bloom this year. And about three plants of the Cheyenne Spirit Echinacea made it through the summer, so I’m excited to see them bloom next year.
What I learned and plans for next year
- Next year I will throw some more seeds in the meadow to continue adding more color and variety. I let the kids sow most of the seed so the flowers ended up being concentrated at the back. Next year I’ll start planting at the front first to get a move even coverage.
- Planting was delayed because of the weather, and I’m sure it also stunted a lot of the growth. Nothing can be done about that, other than to deal with what mother nature gives.
- I’m going to plant seeds over the path down the centre. I don’t think it adds much purpose, especially after Tony cleaned up all the long weeds around the whole garden. And plus, there’s always the risk of mowing over flowers.
- Growing a wildflower meadow takes patience. I was expecting a little more color this year, but I need to realize it takes time. This is only the first year. Each year after this the flowers will get bigger and stronger and more blooms.
Here is a slideshow of some of the flowers that came up this year in my wildflower meadow! Which one is your favorite?