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Maureen Nikora began creating her wildflower meadow in July, 2004. This photo was taken during June, 2006, during the meadow’s third year. She writes:
“Here’s a shot of my meadow during June, 2006. When I took this picture, I was standing in the middle of the flowers, so you can imagine how many more there were. Last year, I had only black-eyed susans. Don’t know what will happen next! This year, the daisies are terrific with the lupine!” Thanks for all your help and the fabulous seeds.”
….Maureen Nikora, CT
The Wild Perennials: Ms. Nikora’s meadow is a great example of how wild perennials work. They sometimes take their time. Black-eyed susans are usually quick to bloom, but lupine takes some time, depending on your soil. (The heavier the soil, the longer it takes for lupine plants to grow their deep tap roots. If your soil is sandy, they’ll grow and bloom quickly. If your soil is heavier clay, they will grow and survive, but take much longer to reach blooming size.)
A Favorite Combination: Ms. Nikora’s beautiful photo, taken in early summer, is an excellent illustration of how certain species in our mixtures create special shows of color. Wild gardeners learn to pay careful attention to bloom time of each species. Here, a favorite combination of Lupine (Lupinus perennis) and common Ox-eye Daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) work their magic of blooming at almost exactly the same season—usually in June. Once this combination is created, it’s there for years, with the great beauty that the blue and white flowers create as companions.
Planting Time, Bloom Time: This meadow is also a good example of how wildflowers will always settle into their regular bloom time, no matter when you plant. Ms. Nikora planted during July, later than most gardeners, but now, three years later, the wildflowers have settled into their historic bloom times. In this region, (The Northeast.) Ox-eye Daisy and Lupine will bloom in June--always have, and always will, no matter when you plant them.
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