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I like flowers that have a little wildness in them.

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I’ve tried roses before, that promise cabbage-like, perfect blooms in shades of apricot or cream. I’ve fought the many things that challenge these dainty beauties, from soil that is too sweet, to rust, to aphids. For my efforts, I’ve sometimes ended up with one perfect flower. Too beautiful, even, to leave outside in the elements, it must be cut and brought inside, displayed in the good vase, in a location of special honor. Company should be invited over then, on pretense of a meal, so that the flower can be admired. Every day, change the water and trim the stem, to prolong the bloom time. When it is finally done, collect the petals and dry them, to be saved for some later, unknown – but special – purpose…

Then comes winter. Though ringed with dry leaves and shrouded in an inverted, rigid foam bucket designed just for this purpose, these beautiful hybrids rarely survive. But…

Below the graft is “peasant stock”…a hardy root of something closer to a wild rose that, if left, will come up healthy and worry-free with common blooms by the dozens in pinks or red or yellow. Butterflies abound, but other insects don’t seem interested. It will stand the heat of summer and the freezing temperatures of winter. It will grow into a loose shrub or a climbing vine. This is my kind of rose!

It’s the same throughout my garden.

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I go for the tiny species tulips, grape hyacinth, and common iris. I love the poppies, day-lilies and hollyhocks. I have waves of the wild daisies just now giving way to the wild brown-eyed susans. Wild roses and blackberry canes lean into my yard, and just beyond, the course milkweed perfumes the air with the most delicious scent.

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Specimen plants may be fine for others, but I enjoy my weeds.

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20 responses »

  1. I always try to contain the flowers; much of what I grow are in pots. I attribute this to the control freak in me. But what I love most about the region I have found myself in are the wild Texas bluebonnets. They carpet fields, vacant lots, and highway medians, and I know if I tried to contain them it wouldn’t have nearly the same effect. So I enjoy them as they come to me.

    Thanks for the beautiful pictures!

    • Yes, here we have the margeurites that I call daisies, white with a yellow center, then an all-yellow daisy-like flowers fills all of our ditches and roadsides, followed closely by the brown-eyed susans with their dark centers surrounded by gold. Toning it all down are the whites from yarrow and Queen Anne’s Lace. I couldn’t have possibly planned and planted such nice combinations. Thanks for reading!

  2. I’m with you on this. daisies, columbine, prairie roses, black eyed Susan’s are allowed to grow wherever on the property. Day lilies abound amongst the one cultivated rose bush out back. I love the Queen Anne’s Lace and let it grow where it will. Buttercups vie for space amongst the Hossas a previous owner planted. It all forms a chorus of color and beauty.

    • Sounds just beautiful! It seems the wilder flowers are more tolerant of neglect and the vagaries of the weather as well. Thanks for sharing these wonderful descriptive images of your flowers!

  3. My favorite flowers are wildflowers. My husband once worked out of town for several months. When he came home he brought me the most amazing assortment of gorgeous wildflowers. Never forgot it. Your “everyday flowers” are most lovely.

  4. Your garden sounds delightful – all the colours, shapes, scents to linger over and enjoy. Certainly not weeds, just precious beautiful flowers, the thoughts and reminders to sustain you through winter.

  5. I’m not a gardener so I admire anyone who can grown anything, from fancy roses to a patch of vegetables. However, I delight in the flowers that pop up without much care – like the lilies and daisies like you mentioned. Low maintenance but just as beautiful. Enjoy the summer and the pretty weeds it brings!

    • After years of trying to be a gardener of flowers, I have ended up with beds of survivors. I find them just as beautiful as many of the more “elegant” blooms I’ve attempted. Easy and enjoyable, that’s for me. Thanks, Sara!

  6. The milkweed here in Maine is so abundant this year! So are the daisies! I agree…I love the stuff that is hardy and comes back year after year. Planted some Joe Pye Weed that I dug up from the side of the road two years ago…and this year is is looking fabulous. Go weeds!

    • It seems that the wild flowers are most beautiful in years of cold or drought that would sorely test other types of flowers. Milkweed is doing well here, too! Joe Pye Weed has always been a fascination for me(I love the name, as well as the potential size), but I haven’t planted it. So glad yours is doing well! Thanks, Shelley!

  7. another thing I like besides wild growers? jamming the plants in so it looks nice and full! You can only get away with that here if you’re meticulous about checking for mildews and other diseases/pests caused by low airflow and high humidity. I’m in the garden often enough to stay on top of any probs…good thing too, as I’m the queen of over planting!! LOL

    • I like that, too, though I’ve been at this long enough now where I’m thinning out my beds, rather than thickly planting them. My iris have gotten so thick, I had to lift them out to pull out the crab grass!

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