10.8.17

Wild Flowers & Grasses Gardens

Wild Flower & Grasses Rock-n-Zen Gardens


Walking by WEEDS we may hiss at them while the dogs piss on them and given a chance we will weed-wack them down while never understanding that these lowly weeds can be our medicines, food cultivation, land preservation, and flowers we need not fuss over in our wild gardens. 




If we could see the miracle in a single flower, our whole life will change. Buddha

What are the birds, bees, and butterflies to eat if we keep hacking down their food trails? Is it more beautiful to have everything so tightly controlled by mankind?

Are we excessively mowing and planting fussy plants that we have to struggle to keep growing? Are we using up our water tables for an unsustainable vision of green lawns, mono-crops, and water-needy plants? 



I am learning to waltz with the weeds! 


The beholder of a field of wildflowers attracts many photographers who want to photograph young lovers, women, and children reflecting the FREE spirit and frolicking amongst the wild plants in a field meanwhile all the critters move freely from plant to plant doing a job that sustains our planet. 


Snapdragon Yellow Wild Flowers



My field of wildflowers and wild grasses offer up seasonal displays of color and textures to view whilst it supplies the food chain to a variety of birds, critters, and bugs. The dogs come to visit and love to scoot through the wild grasses, hiding, running, leaping and bouncing while bringing on the serotonin JOY juice of watching them have a blast in the tall grasses.


Front deck facing Gaetz Lake & the Atlantic Ocean.
Front deck facing Gaetz Lake
 & the Atlantic Ocean.
Sitting on the front porch, we are eye level to the wild flowers and entertained by the blue dragonflies, honey bees, flies, and a variety of butterflies. Smaller birds will stop by to feed off the spider webs and humming birds buzz over our heads to get to my pelargoniums.



Last year I transplanted a couple of ferns in early spring and one of them into a pot with two others with moss stuffed into the clay dirt along our lower ditch. 




Surprising all the ferns came back this year so very pleased with that experiment. I find ferns romantic in their fashionable waving branches and then they shoot off a red plume that showcases like a Vegas Girl!


Yellow Coreopsis


 Last year I discovered yellow coreopsis on our septic lawn. I got Jim to stop mowing that area last year and was thrilled to see other wildflowers like the brown-eyed Susans, Queen of the Meadow and lots of grass varieties with their own colors and seed style coming out of the sandy ground. 


A variety of wild grasses & ox-eyed daisies
A variety of wild grasses & ox-eyed daisies.

Online I found an inspiring landscape designer Piet Oudolf who came to peace with the wild side of his original style of plant growing, selling and landscaping. He is a well-known landscape designer implementing wild plants mixed in with perennials. He has taken the challenges of concrete jungles to create plots of landscaping bring mother nature and sustainable plants. 

I love to stroll through mother natures wildness to discover what is blooming, a scheme of perfection that no human could ever master the complexities but we humans enjoy the challenge of manipulating our own vision.


The entire front area of our home is a wave of ox-eyed daisies that have been cultivated with me rescuing a few from the mower and putting them into a bottomless planter made from a repurposed barrel. 


Planter of oxeyed daisies.
Ox-eye daisies (2014) transplanted into
a planter. Mother nature did the rest!
Each year the daisies spread throughout the front lawn so that this year they managed to cover the entire landscape. I went with Mother Natures suggestion and stopped the mower permanently to let the ox-eye daisies become the sole plants for our front landscaping! 


Oxeye Daisy Barrel in a strawbale rock garden.
Read more about gardening experiments.

The strawbale rock garden was built up over a few years and last year planted Egyptian Walking onions, mustard lettuce, brown-eyed Susans rescued from a parking lot and the herb oregano has taken over the strawbale garden shooting up tall it's beautiful purple flowers. Under the strawbale is my first attempt to grow daffodils & tulips to which I found tulips to be delicious to the deer but not the daffodils!


Celebrating Canada's 150th Birthday, I planted the dedicated tulip
cultivated by the Dutch to honor Canada.
Mustard lettuce sprouted easily even in pebble rock  from last years plants that I let go to seed.
Mustard lettuce sprouted easily in pebble rock that surrounds the garden plots. 
Last year I planted some mustard leaf seeds in the garden plots to which we ate them and let a few plants go to seed. This year I had mustard lettuce all over the pebble walkway but they were easily pulled out and ate them daily. I loved the abundance and shared with visiting friends to take home. I do not mind them spreading out and love their gorgeous red leaves and tiny yellow flowers that tower over all the other plants. 


Mustard lettuce gone to yellow flowers in garden.
Towering over all the plants is the rogue mustard lettuce turned to yellow flowers. 
Next spring 2018 I will have LOTS of mustard lettuce to eat and suspect some of it will be a part of our front landscape coming up before the ox-eye daisies that will be blooming a little later so they will get a chance to grow their red leaves and then come to flower along the side of ox-eyed daisies. I will never have to plant another pack of mustard lettuce seeds! This might be a normal gardeners nightmare but to me, it is self-sustaining and can eat it so I like that!


Egyptian Walking Onions

I received my first couple of Walking Egyptain onion bulbs from a neighbor moving away. I enjoyed watching them grow and found they were decorative too and added character to my garden landscapes and in mixed flowering pots. 

To read more about this amazing plant called the Walking Egyptian Onions...

Over the years I have given away many bulbs of the hardy onion to share with others in their gardens. They seem to grow even under the snow so will be one of the first green plants to raise itself into a new season.

I like to pick the toppers which have little onion bulbs that by design will topple over and replant themselves hence the Walking part of the onions nature. 

My sister has pickled the topper bulbs just like pickling any vegetable they add variety to our daily food. My favorite way to eat them is to pull the whole onion out of the dirt, slice long ways keeping the tall green part attached to the bulb, rub in olive oil and add a sprinkling of sea salt. I roast them draped long on a cookie sheet till the green stems crisps and the onion bulb carmelizes. Fabulous sweet onion flavors and can use the green stems like a store bought green onion for salads.


Walking Egyptian Onions
To read more about the Walking Egyptian Onion

The Egyptian walking onion does exactly that action. As they grow tall the bulbs will sprout off the top, which will make the plant top heavy and will eventually drop back to the earth and start a new batch of onions. I eat the whole plant from roots to the bulbs which are like shallots. Mainly I grow them for their looks and like to share them with others who get also get visually captured by their whimsy style.


Wild Roses

There is a trend spreading around the globe to re-think how we are tending to mother natures natural landscaping. There are several landscape designers who specialize in rethinking how we can make parks, cities, and homes more sustainable and teaching all of us to really LOOK at the beauty and not judge mother natures style as bad weeds. 

Dan Pearson is another landscape designer I have enjoyed watching his video talks. All the landscape designers inspire me to keep learning about all the plants that grow on our landscape. A goal is not only learning the plants' attributes but also to inspire a series of paintings.


Lupins Before & After

When we first built our house, the landscape was dug up and nothing but clay dirt was left behind.  The way we build houses, it seems necessary to dig up the landscape and needed to dig deep for water drainage around our house. Jim did toss some wildflower seeds & grasses when we first built out the back area and seen a few come up over the years but mostly the lupins flourished and now see the Shasta daisies spreading. Anything that loves gnarly clay dirt, smashing rains, salty air and wicked winds will find this spot on the hillside very challenging!




Driveway with lined with wild flowers & grasses.


 Listed below is the variety of wild plants growing on our property and know that this list is only the tip of the wildlife story. I am waiting for my library book to help me identify the wild plants growing and will update my findings.


Queen of the Meadow
Queen of the Meadow
Brisbane Daisies
Brisbane Daisies


White Flowers:
Queen of the meadow
Queen Ann's Lace
Yarrow (white)
Brisbane Daisy
Strawberry
Bedstraw
Aster white flat top
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Unknown to me ...a little plant with clover like leaves and 5 yellow petal flower.
Unknown to me
...a little plant with clover-like leaves and 5 yellow petal flower.


Wild plant Elecampane
Elecampane a fantastic healing plant & wonderful discovery.
Find out more here

Wild plant Elecampane
Elecampane a fantastic healing plant
Find out more here

Yellow Flowers:
Buttercup
Cats-ear
Yellow Clover
Goats Beard Yellow
Golden Rod Seaside
Golden Rod
King Devil
Water Lilies
Butter n Eggs snapdragons
Elecampane

Another unknown to me wild plant and one of my new favourites!
Pink roses line our property and grow abundantly.

Pink Flowers:
Lady's Thumb
Rose Pasture
Rose Rugosa
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Wild Pea plant
Wild Pea Plant

Purple Flowers:
Knap Weed
Lupin
Thistle Bull
Asters
Blue Eyed Grass
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Brown Eyed Susan
Brown Eyed Susan

Orange Flowers:
Brown Eyed Susans

Clovers:
Rabbitfoot clover (T. arvense)
Hop Clover (T. campestre)


Chamomile:

I look forward to more discoveries in wild landscaping with transplanting and seed spreading to work towards that dream come true with wild fields filled with flowers and grasses encouraging all the critters to stop by and eat... naturally.

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