Spring is finally upon us and the wildflower bed I prepared last fall is teeming with greenness! This is the first time I’ve sown wildflower seeds and I have no idea what each of these plants are, but there are hundreds of them! I purchased the seeds from mybluebonnets.com, a local Austin seed distributor. The package said the seed mix contained the following wildflowers: bluebonnets, Indian blankets, purple coneflower (echinacea), phlox, cornflower, cosmos, corn and California poppy, daisy, scarlet flax, primrose, Mexican hat, and Indian paintbrush.
I did very little to prepare the bed. The grass was mostly dead along the fenceline in the back, so I stripped the sod along 30 feet of the fence and about 1 1/2 feet wide. Then I edged the bed with rocks and poured a little topsoil and compost into the bed before sowing. Then I simply scattered the seeds and covered with another dusting of topsoil. The most eager of the seeds germinated within a couple of weeks, but it didn’t take long for a carpet of green to form all throughout the bed. Today, nearly six months later, many are now over my knees and preparing to put on a show. Somewhat disappointing is the fact that I can only find one bluebonnet, and it doesn’t appear to want to flower. I did find this explanation on mybluebonnets.com:
“Adapted to the rocky, alkaline soils of the Hill Country – and to its frequent droughts – Bluebonnets produce large, hard-coated seeds that may cause them to have a low germination rate the first year or two. This is Nature’s “insurance” so that, in case of drought, residual seeds are left in the soil for the following year. As the hard seed coats wear down from abrasion and decay, with some water the seedlings begin to sprout.”
I made sure I either cut with a knife, or rubbed with sandpaper every seed I sowed (which took a long time!). The seeds are extremely hard, like pebbles. Disappointing that I can see only one! Even still, I’m eager for the colorful blooms, of the other wildflowers, the bees, the butterflies and, of course, posting pictures!
In the meantime, I have to contain my anticipation by taking pictures as the flowers are preparing to bloom. Perhaps someone out there can help me identify these flowers simply by the foliage?