It's no secret. I'm a wildflower lover. From the nodding heads of spring columbine to the raucous explosion of goldenrod in the fall, wildflowers bring pure joy. I feel like a little girl again, gathering blooms to turn into bouquets. In fact, several of my recent Floral Friday arrangements featured wildflowers in the mix.
What's not to love? Wildflowers are beautiful, with blooms ranging from soft pastels to vibrant, startling hues.
They're pollinator friendly, providing nutrition for birds, bees and butterflies. And my favorite feature? They're free, growing wildly along the river in our backyard.
Of course, as I've become more obsessed with wildflowers, I've invested in seeds and plants to add to my cutting garden. After all, there are so many gorgeous varieties, I want to grow them all—and nature only provided a smattering of wildflowers in our forest.
Thank goodness for Miriam Goldberger's book, Taming Wildflowers.
A flower farmer and floral designer, Miriam co-owns Wildflower Farm, a 100-acre organic wildflower seed production company in Ontario.
Not only does she include more than 60 of her favorite wildflowers grouped together by bloom seasons, she includes bloom times, germination instructions, plant height, light and soil requirements, and deer tolerance, among other morsels of wildflower growing knowledge. She lists the states in which the wildflower is native, as well as whether it's a candidate for container growing.
Because I'm constantly on the lookout for pollinator-friendly plants to add to our garden that can also be used to create bouquets, Miriam's book is a perfect reference for me. Along with providing information for native plant propagation, she also includes a list of “must-have” non-native plants for the reader in love with bouquets. In fact, she offers a DIY tutorial for creating wedding bouquets with wildflowers.
As Canada's first pick-your-own wildflower farm, Miriam walks the bride-to-be through the process of creating wildflower bouquets. She showcases three brides with differing styles and tells how each incorporated wildflowers into their décor and personal flowers to create magical events.
A two-page reference at the end of the book lists “Best Wildflowers/Native Grasses by Soil Type.” Take this with you to the nursery or keep it handy when purchasing seeds. Even if you have clay or sandy, dry soil, you'll find dozens of wildflowers to grow.
I spent a few minutes thinking about our garden, both the more formal areas and the naturalized portion by the river and in the forest. Then, I went old-school, making a list in my notebook of all the wildflowers we grow—both true “wild,” nature-sown flowers, as well as those I've intentionally added. Here's what I jotted down today:
Garden Delights Wildflowers
Sweet Autumn Clematis
False Solomon's Seal
Small Red Morning Glory (Ipomoea coccinea)
Late Flowering Boneset
Blue False Indigo
Honestly? I'm shocked that we grow so many wildflowers, particularly because we lack sun!
Traditionally, I struggle to enjoy fall. I love spring and summer's blooms, and I've never been thrilled for fall's arrival. This year, though, I've decided to change my attitude and welcome autumn. It's the best time to plant wildflowers.
I'm checking my seed inventory and making my list of what we need to add. After all, we need more flowers for the pollinators—and my Floral Friday bouquets. Wildflower Farms offers a great selection of seeds. I know where I'll be shopping!
Wildflowers are a win/win: beautiful blooms for bouquets and for the pollinators. A girl can never have too many wildflowers, right?!
What's your favorite wildflower?