How I Grew A Wildflower Meadow
Just for a Short Time
I had a wildflower meadow. It was a beautiful Field Of Wildflowers that was previously known as my backyard. I really liked it, but I could have only let it be for a short period of time before it had to be a “lawn” again. All of this resulted from a combination of factors. The main factor was removing a swimming pool! Yes, two years ago next month we removed a large in-ground pool which I wrote about in this post.
We like to save money when we can, so we were not interested in having the lawn sodded or having a landscape company come and re-seed the whole thing after we completely ripped the lawn to shreds. We thought we would just take care of it ourselves. And so it goes…..
First of all, our pool had been installed on almost a terraced-like area because the lay of the land slopes slightly downward toward the back wooded area. (The previous owners installed the pool.) After the take-down, my husband and son graded off the hill, making the lawn just slightly sloped toward the back, resulting in a slightly angled back yard which ends in the woods.
At first it was bare earth, a little rocky and not very pretty at all. We allowed weeds to grow in since gave us green to look at….well, if you squint your eyes!
So by the following spring, it was patchy green but still pretty bare. But alas, we became more and more concerned about our trees in the woodsy portion of the yard. They had been decimated by the Emerald Ash Borer and needed to come down. Estimate after estimate came back so high, we were conflicted about what to do. But we finally decided on a tree company and called them in to have it done.
Thank God, we had not wasted our time getting a pretty new lawn grown in that summer.
Déjà vu….Back to Basic Brown again.
After they took down 13 large trees and sawed up all the pieces and dragged all the brush through the yard, we were pretty much scraped down to bare dirt again. Then the hauling of the trees and wood for the neighbors and friends took more toll on the yard. Our neighbors needed firewood and we let them come get all they wanted. I had paths worn through what previously was lush grass up around the house.
We decided to just let the weeds and blown-in seeds re-populate the ground once again. At least we had green, and intended to overseed the lawn in the spring. So that was the beginning of my wildflower meadow.
When spring rolled around this year, we did spread drought-tolerant grass seed for sun and shade. I had temporarily considered the annual rye grass to sprout last fall so we could have quick green. But it would have died over the winter anyway, so we went with a little hope and faith in the power of nature.
“Here is the yard. Winds blow, bring seeds. Birds fly in, bring seeds.” And that is what happened.
The Wildflower Meadow Emerges
As it was all completely natural, we saw a lot of variety in our foliage. My garden was full of Creeping Charlie, but it didn’t grow in the lawn. I had the Prostrate Spurge, but not in the lawn. Who knows why! But I had a lot of clover, and dandelions, smartweed and crabgrass. And there were tall yellow flowers that I haven’t identified. Lots of oxalis and other small flowers too.
We mowed each week, but then we went through a period of rain and more rain. Lots of rain. Every day it was raining. And we couldn’t mow. So my weeds and grasses just got bigger and bigger and I started to be excited watching the butterflies and bees. The tiny birds were out there by hundreds feeding on the insects and worms.
I was entertained in the morning as I sat on the deck drinking my third cup of coffee. The hummingbirds fought over the feeder, buzzing around our heads. And it was nice.
But finally the rains let up for a few days and it dried out enough to mow. I hated to see it go, but we really needed to have our yard back. I felt as if we were betraying our little “Ferngully” but my husband revved up the Evil Machine as if he were Hexxus and mowed the whole thing gone.
It was sad. I will miss my wildflower meadow. But it was nice for those few weeks. Perhaps I need to keep a small patch of “meadow” out back just for the beauty of it.
Do you have a spot in your yard or land that is naturalized? Do you like having it?