The grass was dying…the good grass anyway. I had plenty of weedy stuff growing. I decided to take about a third of an acre (our yard, front and back, is an acre) out of grass. So now all around the border of the yard and dead center in the front, I mulched.
And then came the wildflowers. I bought over thirty pounds of seed, most of which are highly drought resistant. Liberally sprinkling same, I waited. Ok, I did water a little just to get them germinated. First summer, not much happened because I did start late.
Above is a Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata) a perennial.
Ah, but last summer! WOW! Things took off. I have about 45 varieties of wildflower out there now. Don’t need to bother with them much either. When the neighbors are all complaining about things dying, my wildflowers are blooming furiously.
My father-in-law hasn’t yet grasped the drought thing. He keeps buying traditional water-guzzlers. Unfortunately, since the in-laws live with us, that is cause for some conflict. Where I’ve gone to nematodes to combat grubs rather than chemicals, he still wants to poison everything. We finally had to ban him from all but the small section of yard near their entrance and along a small section of fence in the back yard.
At any rate, wildflowers are great! An added benefit is the variety of birds and butterflies they attract. My next-door neighbor complained last year that the gold finches were ignoring his finch feeder…they preferred my front yard. We had more butterflies last summer than at any time in the last twelve years.
This year we are looking forward to the perennial wildflowers taking off. They don’t usually flower the first year. Some are already in bloom. We also liberally spread the seeds from last year’s annuals and already they are popping up.
This is in front where we got rid of over half the lawn.
The Johnny Jump-ups (Viola cornuta) are in bloom for the first time this year.
They spread like violets, which could be bad or good.
This year, we are working on seeding the wooded section at our back fence with woodland flowers. As things get more established we will start "shaping" to make the layout more presentable. If I could swing it, there would not be much grass out there at all.
But I suppose the doggies still need room to romp and poop.
Quick note...all the flower pictures above with the exception of the Blue Flax and Johnny Jump-up (which were taken today), were taken in August when drought conditions were severe. We were on the fourth flowering cycle by that time. The yard goes through first primarily yellow and orange, followed by pinks, blues and reds, followed by yellows and oranges again.