There is a flower that bees prefer and butterflies desire, to gain the Purple Democrat the Humming Bird aspire.Emily Dickinson
You probably see them all the time and take them for granted, always blooming on their own, untended. Wildflowers are so wonderful because they grow and spread without being planted and surround us with untamed bucolic beauty.
Some of the most common summer bloomers:
- Blazing Star is one of nature’s most ostentatious summer flowers. A tall stalk of vibrant purple blossoms is a favorite for butterflies; this makes it a must for any garden.
- Queen Anne’s Lace (wild carrot) is one of the most romantic wildflowers, with its gauzy white head that almost resembles a giant snowflake. Its seeds have actually been used as a natural contraceptive for centuries (although this is, obviously, not recommended).
- Bee Balm is, hence the name, a favorite of bees. With a spray of petals fanning out at the end, this flower looks like a fireworks display.
- Chicory can be seen growing all along roadsides, in abandoned parking lots, and just about everywhere. It springs up untended, is edible (some like it ground up better than coffee), and has blue petals that turn white when submersed in water.
- Purple (and red) clover is beloved by everyone for its leafy, shamrock foliage and tufts of brightly colored blossoms. Although common, clover is one of the most beautiful, plentiful plants. Not only is it a great pollinator, but rabbits love it as well. It also serves as good ground cover and can be found in just about any field or pasture.
Some other perennial weeds that attract a great deal of pollinators, spread easily, and grow in great abundance include:
- Coneflower (Echinacea)
- Joe-Pye Weed
Go for a wildflower pick
Henry David Thoreau (one of the greatest poets and naturalists of the 19th century) became known as the town botanist (in his famous home of Concord, Massachusetts) as he walked around Walden Pond every day, for miles and miles. With a notebook and straw hat, he would collect flower specimens and place them in a vase on his writing desk after his day’s journey.
After you’ve picked bunches of wildflowers, arrange them in unique, unexpected ways. Using jars, vases, and glasses of all shapes and sizes, create arrangements using other elements from nature (such as twigs, pinecones, etc.).
Flower Child Aesthetic
Baby, I’ll be like a wildflower.Lana Del Rey
To embody a flower-child aesthetic, one must have wildflowers. To feel like a bohemian dancing all night to Lana Del Rey, going to Coachella, Glastonbury (or any music festival), you really need a flower crown (or at least a daisy tucked behind an ear). Wildflowers are perfect for a summer wedding, too. Instead of traditional bouquets of long-stem roses, pick your bouquet from a garden; this will make it all the more special.
Of Great Importance
I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.Edna St. Vincent Millay
Wildflowers are so important because, other than their beauty, they actually support ecosystems by providing food for all sorts of animals, especially pollinators. They produce seeds, pollen, foliage, and nectar so that bees, butterflies, and all sorts of birds can thrive. Fields and meadows filled with wildflowers are entire habitats unto themselves and provide everything certain animals need to survive. Tall grasses camouflaging the earth are optimal for animals that burrow—such as rabbits, mice, shrews, groundhogs, etc.—so they can build dens, protect their young, hunt for food, and remain, for the most part, hidden. Wildflower growth also helps with soil erosion and runoff from heavy rains.
Give Wildflowers as Gifts
Daisies in water are the longest lasting flower you can give to someone. Fact. Buy daisies. Not roses.Anne Sexton
In Praise of Daisies
- Daisies aren’t simply filler flowers; they have a complete aesthetic all their own. There is nothing friendlier than a large Shasta daisy. Whether they’re hand-picked and used to make a daisy chain, worn in one’s hair, or bunched into a charming bouquet, daisies are always lovely and last a long time when cut and placed in water.
- Ox-Eye daisies are edible. Their tender leaves make a lovely addition to any summer salad and complement dandelion greens beautifully.
- Chelsea Flowers offers gorgeous bouquets featuring orange and pink gerbera daisies (as with the “Cheering,” “Blooming Marvelous,” and “Perfect Bliss” options). Go ahead and give the gift of daisies!
(Bouquet pictured above is “Perfect Bliss.”)
For more information on Chelsea Flowers, what they have to offer, and the bouquets mentioned above, click the links below: