Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski
Do you have places in your yard that are hard to mow? Do you have rocky areas that you just don’t know what to do with? Problem areas can be found in lawns all across the country, but there is an easy – and beautiful – way to handle them. Cover them with wildflowers!
The Advantages of Using Wildflowers for Ground Cover
There are several reasons why wildflowers are such a great choice for taming problem areas:
- They are easy to plant and grow. Prepare the ground by turning the soil with a tiller or shovel, removing any plants or shrubs that you don’t want amidst the flowers and then raking the surface until the soil is loose, yet smooth. Mix your wildflower seeds with sand in order to make it easier to sow them evenly, then sow them by hand. Don’t cover the seeds, simply press them into the soil by using walking over it or using a heavy roller. Choose perennial wildflower seeds over annuals and do your planting in early spring before the rainy season begins in order to ensure fast blooming.
- Wildflower gardens are easy to maintain. Simply water and fertilize as needed (which is actually very little) and remove unwanted tree seedlings, shrubs and weeds on occasion.
- Wildflowers are hardy, and they’ll come back year after year as long as you plant perennials.
- They attract wildlife to your property, especially butterflies, honeybees and birds.
- They eliminate the need to mow and trim those difficult to work with problem areas.
Decorating Your New Wildflower Garden
Wildflowers are beautiful all by themselves, but you can really spruce up your garden by strategically placing birdbaths, birdhouses, Trellises and even flowering trees amongst the flowers. Don’t over-do it however because you want these additions to compliment and enhance your flowers, not overwhelm them. One of my favorite wildflower gardens featured a partially buried antique porcelain bathtub that served as a watering hole for any critters that happened to stop by for a visit!
Another great option is planting a fruit tree or two in the midst of your colorful wildflowers. Cherry trees are absolutely perfect because their colorful blossoms will soon give way to green cherries, which will eventually turn bright red and end up providing a generous buffet for your feathered friends. Another favorite tree for planting in a wildflower garden is the crabapple since the dried fruits will draw in any number of rabbits and other small mammals onto your property well into the winter months.
Wildflowers Are For City Dwellers Too!
Just because you might happen to live in a town or city instead of out in the wide open spaces doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the benefits of planting wildflowers too. Wildflowers will grow pretty much anywhere, and even if you only have enough space for a small garden you can easily fill it with wildflowers and reap the same benefits that your rural friends and neighbors enjoy.
You don’t have to struggle to keep that rocky area or steep bank neatly mowed and trimmed. Simply replacing the grass with wildflowers will eliminate a ton of work while adding great beauty and a host of other enhancements to your yard.
Rick Rouse grew up in the country where he was always surrounded by wildflowers, both planted and, well…wild! He is also the owner of RLROUSE Infoblog where you’ll find lots more great home and garden articles.