Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What Happened to the Meadow?

Tom of Seventh Street Cottage mentioned that his meadow area has not filled in the way he expected.
I went looking for flowers in the natural meadow areas after paths were mowed. Erigeron (Daisy Fleabane) that fell to earlier mowing is starting to return, hardly noticeable from a distance.
Bahai grass seeds out quickly.
The best color I found was grass, not flowers.

I headed uphill to the area where interesting wildflowers are usually found.
Sundrops and Penstemon of a few weeks ago are out of bloom.

Centrosenum virginianum, Spurred Butterfly Pea

Elephantopus elatus Elephant's Foot will bloom in late summer.
I'm seeing more of this large-leaved plant than I used to.
White dots in the bluestem grass are closed buds of
Wild Sweet Potato Vine Ipomoea pandurata.
I should have been here early morning to get the open blooms.
Beautyberry Grove under Live Oaks

Beautyberry Callicarpa americana

Dogfennels line the path going downhill toward the Mayhaw pond.
Dogfennel has no value as forage for wildlife and livestock.

On around to the natural Butterfly area,
Lantana is blooming in two colors.
Passionflower is blooming with Lantana.
I have not seen Gulf Frits this spring. We're ready for larvae.
If a Zebra longwing should wander by, there is plenty for all.
Notice the little fruit already forming We call them Maypops.

Beautyberry too in the Butterfly Area.

...and a reward for the photographer. Delicious blackberries. 

Thank you for touring the meadow with me.


  1. Dear NellJean, How lovely this looks. A wild flower meadow, such as yours, must be one of the most desirable,certainly for me, forms of gardening imaginable and one, which I do know, is by no means easy to achieve. Mown paths through longer grass and flowers is, I believe, perfect.

    Thank you so much, NellJean, for the very generous and kind comments which you left on my recent 'Explanatory Note'. Your thoughtfulness is appreciated more than I am able to say.

  2. Good sharp eye, Nell Jean to spot those wildflowers in all the grasses. We are struggling to introduce flowers into the unmown lawn fans and it is not going so well. The grass is so strong, it overpowers nearly all others. Verbena bonariensis is the strongest so far, nice and tall to show above the tall grass seedheads. Hooray for the berries! :-)

  3. I wish we had a larger, flat, meadow area. Yours is what I envision as the ideal. Ours is on hill, and overpopulated by gophers at the moment. I love your mown paths, they're so inviting.

  4. Such a nice natural area with so much going on. The bees, butterflies and other insects must really love visiting your place.

  5. Thanks for the update. I was disappointed given how many seeds I sowed last fall and even this spring. I thought I would have a bounty of color already, especially with the cosmos. The crimson clover did perform well and has already reseeded heavily. It's going to be very nice next spring, again. Obviously, your meadows are a lot larger than my little space in the backyard. My bluestem grasses, culled from the roadside last fall, are coming back from the roots. I've seen a sprig here and there from the white puffy seeds that floated across the yard in the fall.

    I'll continue to scatter seeds this summer, hoping for more color as time passes. I may just have to start dividing and planting drought tolerant plants for the butterflies and the bees. I don't plan to give up, but I now know that I can't allow it to happen naturally. Unless I want a meadow full of crabgrass.

  6. Green is my favorite color, and that medow is very green! Your blackberries are way ahead of ours!

  7. Of all the many plants that I cannot grow here and regret, blackberries is high on the list. I'll just have to imagine how delicious they were. Hopefully, the gardener will have some reward here soon, too....

    Christine in Alaska

  8. Your meadow is wonderful, flower-full or not.

  9. Lovely meadow! I am curious. The farmer in me worries about all that lush grass. Do you eventually mow it for hay for someone? or just mow it all to keep down pernicious weeds? I know maintaining a meadow is not a simple thing.


  10. Today when I went to pick blackberries, there were sundrops, lots of sundrops, maybe because it was midday.

    As for the blackberries, most were in patches of poison ivy, which I've finally about gotten over after two weeks of itching. DH had better luck across the highway along the cornfield.

    Glenda, the meadows are mostly Bahia grass, not good for quality hay, better for grazing. Hayfields here have a Hybrid Bermuda grass.

  11. Your meadow is magical! I have a large 'lawn' area (actually, we just mow the weeds - mainly dandelions) and I would love to turn it into a meadow. Haven't a clue how to begin. I will have to research how to do it. Great post!

  12. Thanks for the tour. I love your place! That little bluish wild flower is sweet. Of course, I especially love the lantanas and your passion vine. I have 2 beautyberry bushes I planted last summer. They look like they will be blooming in a couple weeks.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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