Technically speaking, a wildflower is defined as a native plant that grows naturally in the wild, and is not a cultivar that is different from what nature created. That's a pretty broad definition. Most of us would most likely imagine wildflowers in a meadow or wooded area with a large variety of random native flowers growing in conditions that each plant has adapted to over eons.
When we decide we want to create some of that wild meadow feeling in our own home gardens, it often turns into a battle to contain the wanderings of these wild-flowers as well as attempting to provide the right conditions for our favorite varieties. It can require lots of water to keep the wildflowers looking fresh and not weedy or scrappy. It can be an ongoing challenge to weed the volunteers that appear where they aren't welcome, as well as the true weeds and grasses that often creep into the mix over time.
But, it doesn't have to be that difficult to enjoy a little bit of the meadow look at home.
The trick is to choose plants that are native to your area/climate (and therefore require less water and just less fussing) and are likely to grow in a way that's suited to the amount of space you have and the tidiness that you prefer. Don't get me wrong, any wildflower will always have a loose and unplanned look to it. But then that's part of the true charm that appeals to us in the first place.
Over many years of experimenting in my Northern Arizona mountain garden, I've found a few superstars that strike that balance.
One of them is the Evening Primrose (I recently did a blog post about Growing Mexican Evening Primrose) and the other that I wanted to explore today is commonly called Blanket Flower.
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Hey there. I'm Miriam ~ and I've been doing this my whole life. It's my passion.