Monday, May 11, 2015

Wildflower Hill of Phlox and a Few Other Wildings

Wildflowers in the garden are still beautifying the area. I marvel each day when I spot something new blooming. Spiderworts have a been a favorite in my garden lately. Their sweet little flowers are so petite and perfect, but you must enjoy the flowers in the morning for by the afternoon they will all be gone.
Phlox is a flower that is long lasting tho. Our Wildflower Hill is covered in phlox and it is such an amazing sight I had to share. The pictures do not really do the hill justice I'm sorry to say. The big leaved plant in the center of the above picture is American Columbo. It is a native wildflower and this particular one is about to bloom. The property will be loaded with these blooms soon and it is quite a sight to see these tall wildflowers in bloom. Once their bloom is over the plants will die for they are monocarps; bloom once and then die.
Another shot of the phlox. Once we cleared this hill of all the tree saplings and cleaned it up the sun was really able to reach the ground. This has surely caused so many more wildflowers to pop out. Each month it is a different view. This entire month and part of last month we have been loaded down with phlox. The phlox is such a sight as are all the pollinators it attracts. Butterflies flit to and fro all among these flowers.
The hill is about 800 feet long but I mow a portion so the wildflowers end up being in an area bout 600 feet long and 300 feet wide. The hill slopes at a rather steep angle down to our little path and a small seasonal stream. Mr. Fix-it and I always had the goal of making this property a wildlife habitat and this hill is integral to that plan. It faces east and all sorts of wildlife use it.
At the opposite end of the Wildflower Hill along the driveway; which is about the only shady part on the property that I can garden; are a few of the spiderworts I showcased in the first picture of this post. These two were planted by me but there are spiderworts growing on Wildflower Hill naturally. Behind the chartreuse (Sweet Kate) and green (Blueberry Sunday-also the bloom pictured in the first photo) spiderworts Packera glabella, aka Butterweed, grows nicely. I love the yellow contrast. I actually dug up these 'wildings' from my other house and moved them there. I hope they self seed and spread themselves about because the yellow is a very pretty eye catcher and pollinators like the flowers. The Illinois Wildflower site says cottontail rabbits and white tailed deer avoid this plant. That's another reason I like it in this area because it is tough and I don't have to worry about it being eaten.
In the wild orchard we still have some of the over 10000 daffodil bulbs blooming. It was always my intent to allow the orchard floor to grow up naturally but I am rethinking that strategy simply because waist high grass is no fun to walk through. That is a problem I will have to work on. But for now allowing the grass to grow ensures the daffodil foliage will have a chance to ripen up before being mowed down. I do think the long grass is beautiful but just tough to walk in. Surprisingly we have not had a tick problem in the orchard. This most likely be because wild animals generally cannot get into the orchard due to the electric fence, and also because there are no large trees in the orchard. So for now the long grass is not a major problem for me.
I leave you with one last picture of my little Cornus kousa, Korean dogwood. It is quite the bloomer this year-18 months after having been moved out to the new property. I love its blooms and all the blooms, wild or not....

in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. How wonderful to have such a wide-open space for so many wildflowers! I've avoided planting any spiderwort here, for fear it would take over my garden. But you have the perfect place for it.

  2. I have noticed so much wild Phlox and some type of Verbena along the roadside here in GA this year. I assume the plentiful spring rains has something to do with that. Love that pretty bloomer.....

  3. I'll bet that phlox meadow is a sight to see. My brother mows paths through his grass meadows. He is trying to get a stand of native prairie grasses for the state conservation. Very hard to bring back our native grasses. You are so lucky not to have a tick problem.

  4. It all looks great. You sure have done a lot of hard work. I'm glad you have the room to have all this beauty.

  5. Love love love your wildflower areas.