Having looked through countless pages of wildflowers for our area, I’ve made my final decisions for next year! I placed my order through Wildseedfarms.com of Fredericksburg, Texas. I loved the annuals corn poppies and cornflowers so much that I’ve ordered them again this time around.
In addition, I chose Purple Coneflower (echinacea), which can be used medicinally. It reportedly grows up to five feet tall and blooms from April through September. Bees and butterflies love these! From what I’ve read, purple coneflower is a perennial.
Chicory is the next flower I chose. It sports periwinkle-colored blooms that last only a single day, but flowers June through October, growing up to 4 feet tall. Bees, butterflies, wasps and lacewings enjoy nectaring on chicory. The leaves can be used as a nutritious addition to salads, while the roots can be dried in the oven, ground and used as a coffee substitute. Chicory is a perennial.
To add more red to the garden, I chose the almost fluorescent Scarlet Flax. This variety is shorter than the rest, measuring up to only two feet or less, but blooms from late spring all the way through fall. It is also an annual.
Finally, I’ve decided against the larger sunflowers this year and chose Maximilian Sunflowers. These are wonderful sunflowers you see all over Central Texas. Growing from 3-10 feet tall in thick mounds, they make a nice natural hedge absolutely covered in multiple blooms up to 5 inches across. These are also perennials, and bloom from late summer through fall.
With the exception of the sunflowers, all of these wildflowers can be directly sown in fall. I’ll be preparing the beds in the coming weeks and get them sown by the end of October so they can establish themselves and put on a great show in 2011. Unlike last year, when I used a wildflower mix, I will be sowing these in groupings so as to ensure a good representation of each.
I can hardly wait to see how colorful the garden will be next year with all of these new additions, PLUS the milkweed and the native flowering plants I put in earlier this spring! Who knows, I may also have coreopsis and primrose come up from last year’s sowing … and maybe even bluebonnets that failed to germinate!
Have you made your wildflower order yet?