Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful for Wildflower Wednesday

Prairie Rose gave me the idea for my Wildflower Wednesday post this month. What better way to celebrate Wildflower Wednesday than to contemplate the possibilites for the coming year? I've been collecting seeds for a couple of months and the crisper drawer in the fridge is full again.

Almost all of my Blue Flags have been grown from seed. Most are from a plant I got from Niche Gardens,

and some are from seeds purchased from Prairie Moon Nursery.

Carolina Bush Pea is easy to grow from seed and is a beautiful companion for roses.

I've grown dozens of Seashore Mallow from seed (both the pink and the white). In rich soil they even volunteer for themselves!

Bidens is also a great one to volunteer itself but I still collect seed and broadcast it in places where I want more of them.

I am not the biggest fan of red in the garden, except for a true red leaning toward the blue side, but there are many exceptions to this general rule and Hibiscus coccineus is one of them. Not only does it have elegant tropical-looking flowers over a very long time span, it is very, very tough. I moved several out of a ditch and after two years plants appeared from the remnants of the roots left in the mud to thrive and flower again.

Velvet Mallow has large silvery velvety soft leaves and pink flowers that are shy about opening all of the way. Late in the season however they did open fully and although a little chewed up they are lovely.

Gerardia is a wildflower that like Cardinal Flower and Blue Lobelia refuses to be cultivated in my garden; I just have to enjoy it wherever it pops up.

I've also grown dozens of Baptisias from seed although much patience is required; they don't bloom until they are at least 3 years old. The one below is an alba/ australis hybrid and the biggest seedling to date.

Baptisia australis

Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' (which is sterile and does not set seed) and Baptisia alba

Looking at these pictures makes me wish that spring was just around the corner again. Wishing you and yours the happiest of Thanksgivings, and please visit gail at clay and limestone for wonderful Wildflower Week.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

    Carolina Bush Pea does look perfect with roses.

    Good luck with all the seed storage and loads of success come the spring.

  2. What lovely wild flowers you have shown!

  3. Hope you have a happy thanksgiving holiday. So wonderful to read about someone who enjoys growing from seed as I do. My catalogues have just started to arrive. They'll keep me busy over the winter until I can start to play on the light table in February. Wonderful photo of the Baptisia with the soft dappled light.

  4. I love all of your wildflower beauties. Thank you for sharing them all with us here in blogland.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


  5. Beautiful gardens and photographs Sweetbay! I too wish spring were just around the corner . . . sadly it is a very very wide corner. Happy seed gathering and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Best Wishes. Carol

  6. Those stands of baptisia flowers are great, all massed (and I am wanting a yellow Carolina one, I love that color!) The only baptisia I have is the hybrid Twilite Prairieblues and it has a muddy bloom color. Love the clear blue purples and the yellow. I didn't realize seed grown plants take three years to flower, though.

  7. We are all grateful for our wonderful wildflowers and for such a pretty sight. Happy Thanksgiving.

  8. I had a hibiscus in a pot but it was rather tempremental and died on me.. your phtot reminds me of how much I like them. It's on the list for nrxt year.

  9. What beautiful pictures of your flowers in this posting. I love that sea of yellow. I keep sowing seeds off into my little Woodland bed so one of these years I hope it looks like yours. LOL! The Baptistia are gorgeous. And I love the Carolina Bush Pea. I have got to try this plant.
    Wishing you and yours a Blessed Thanksgiving.

  10. Those are wonderful and beautiful flowers, and they dont seem to be getting pests at all! The wildflowers you said are not really wild at all, as they are domesticated by other people, maybe they are just growing like wild in your garden. But to me they are more beautiful that way, as those planted in pots.

  11. Sweetbay, I would be celebrating, too, that is a lot of bounty from seeds! beautiful photos~I am envious of your bidens! Too dry here. xogail

  12. Thanks for the link, Sweetbay. Your photos make me long for spring already! I'm amazed how much you have grown from seed, especially the baptisia--you're much more patient than I:)

    Thanks for such an inspiring post; I'm excited to start some winter sowing soon. Hope you had a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. Happy Thanksgiving to you too! I have good news about the bidens you sent me-one grew and bloomed this year!! Now that I know what they look like I will not weed them out in the future-I hope. It was such a lovely yellow in the garden. How do you grow Carolina bush pea from seed? I added one this year and hope it grows well. Some seedlings would be nice. Spring will come soon and in your garden it will be splendid for sure.

  14. I love your images of the yellow Bidens and I always admire your Baptisias. I have a purplish one that will be 2 years old next summer. Hopefully, in year 3 it will look as spectacular as your mauve/purple ones. It is certainly a plant that requires patience. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  15. Your garden is an inspiration! The Hibicus coccineus is really pretty. I also am not a big red fan, but this color is lovely. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  16. what a wonderfull flower display!
    The Baptisias are lovely!



  17. A very great pleasure to see and enjoy the wildflowers in your garden. A very unique and specially beautiful place.
    I still grow many of my plants from seed or cuttings.T.

  18. have all that land and so many beautiful flowers. Looking at your colorful photos makes me swoon....especially the Baptisias. No color here, everything is brown. I'd rather it be covered in white snow than the dreaded brown.

    Nice to be visiting here again.



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