Every flower is a wildflower–a native plant–somewhere, though this is easy to forget when that “somewhere” is on the other side of the world. On the other hand, it’s easy to take our own native wildflowers for granted, or even despise them as weeds. And many popular garden plants native to North America had to be recognized as garden-worthy by gardeners in other countries before they were adopted by gardeners here.
And yet many people in North America call them Michaelmas daisies, too, because that’s what the British call them. Is it a garden plant or a wildflower?
For me, it’s both. There are asters I’ve purchased or gotten from friends because they were a particular color, but asters also grow in the fields and verges surrounding my garden, and there’s many an aster seedling I’ve weeded out of the borders. But this time of year, I can’t help but let the ones that escaped my notice bloom before yanking them.
Is it a garden plant or a wildflower? It doesn’t grow in my garden and strangely enough, I’ve never found seedlings I needed to weed out. It does grow along the road and along the edge of wooded areas around here.
Is it a garden plant or a wildflower? That depends on which goldenrod you’re talking about! I’ve already ranted about the thuggish behavior of Solidago canadensis. I weed it out as soon as I find it in my cultivated gardens. But Gail of Clay and Limestone endorses several cultivars and species as garden-worthy, well-behaved plants. I haven’t tried any of them. Yet.
It’s not native to my area, though I find many plants native to midwest North America do very well here. I was given a small piece of this beauty in 2015, and look how much it’s grown in two years!
Is it a garden plant or a wildflower? It started out as a garden plant, but I am hoping it will become a wildflower. I recently dug out this big clump and planted a shrub in its place. I replanted a small piece in another part of this bed as insurance, in case the three bigger clumps I planted in a wild area along the road don’t “take”. ‘Lemon Queen’ is marvelous with tall ornamental grasses such as Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’, but in order for it to stay in the Slope Garden it will need yearly editing. I really love it, but I’d rather grow it in an area where I can just let it be without constantly checking its growth. At least its stolons don’t range as far as those of goldenrod.
I planted the black-eyed Susan, but the asters and the jewelweed (profiled here) just showed up. Is it a garden plant or a wildflower? By now you’ve figured out that–it depends. It depends on the behavior of the plant, and it depends on your expectations–what do you want from the particular piece of land under your care? What else do you want to grow there, and how much time do you have to tend it? One gardener’s weed is another gardener’s botanical treasure.
Posted for Wildflower Wednesday, created by Gail of Clay and Limestone, to share wildflowers/native plants no matter where you garden in the blogosphere. “It doesn’t matter if we sometimes show the same plants. How they grow and thrive in your garden is what matters most. It’s always the fourth Wednesday of the month!”
There’s still time to register!
There’s a few spots remaining for the Great Plants Symposium in Sturbridge, MA, where I’ll show attendees how to Fight Cabin Fever with Your Garden. This exceptional symposium features dynamic lectures filled with inspirational plants and design ideas for creating exuberant, planet-friendly gardens. Gardeners of all ages and abilities will enjoy five informative lectures: Unique and Unusual Perennials for the Northeast; Ravishing Foliage Plants Steal the Show; Combat Cabin Fever with Your Garden – Tips, Techniques and Great Plants to Create a Winter Wonderland and Brighten Your World; The World of Roses and Hydrangeas; and A Thrifty Gardener’s Guide to Luxurious Gardens. The symposium includes morning coffee and refreshments, a buffet lunch, handouts, door prizes, book signings, and a garden gift. $93 per person; $88 for Master Gardeners, members of Nursery and Landscape Associations, or Groups of 5 or more. For more information click here for details or call Kerry Ann Mendez at 207.502.7228.