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wild flower gardening

Alden, MN

I have a small plot in my backyard that is set aside for wildflowers. I started with a big packet of wildflower seeds, but quickly found out that there is a lot of stuff in those packets that you really don't want (Yarrow, for instance). The butterflies and birds really love it, but it is a lot of work to keep out invasive varieties. Violets are the bane of my existance. They will live to take over the earth! Anyone out there do wildflower gardening? I live in S. Minnesota (zone 4).

KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

I have a few plants but not as many as I would like yet. Mostly I have coneflowers, tall phlox, and a few other plants I can't think of. All are scattered with non-naitve plants at this point.

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

I have a "wild" garden area. It has trees, bushes a little path through with the bird feeders. All the plants are native. It has been a work in process and a long way to go to get it to be pretty. I am at the "non hideous" point right now.
I am lucky enough to have lots of woods, and I transplant columbine, daisys, honeysuckle, black-eyed-susans, things like that, that will move well.
I tried the seed thing and most would not grow in the shaded area, anything that did come up was gobbled by deer and never seen again.
My thought was, if it is growing in the woods, then the deer don't eat it. This is flawed logic, as the deer seem to know that if you move it, you must like it and it may be tastey.
I found that I needed to cut back many of the berry bushes and trim the trees a little. Letting the extra light in (and I did the path last year) brought in just enough light to encourage more growth. I found there were hundreds of new york asters (with beautiful leaves before the late bloom) sitting under all the brush.
It is really fun to watch the progress and see what happens when you make little changes.
Good luck with your garden.

Alden, MN

I really have a lot of purple coneflowers too, plus hollyhocks, wild phlox, monarda, ferns, and some 'tame' stuff like phlox and daylillies. Anything that will duel with violets is welcome! The woodland garden sounds lovely!

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

There are many violets in the woods too. Yellow, white, pink, and of course violet. But not taking over everything. Guess I am lucky on that point.
I love coneflowers and plan to add them when I can.
I have posted before how I started daylillies on our lot a couple years before we built. They did well. As soon as we put in the house, I went out and spent a near fortune on lillies. The deer ate them all. Every year they wait until nice fat buds and then have a munching fest. I have learned to pick them and bring them in to open for a boquet. Only way to get to see them open.

Alden, MN

Our deer stick to the fields, but we have woodchucks--big hummers! They can be very destructive. No luck trapping as yet.

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

Ahhhh, the woodchucks.
I am glad I don't have any of those. I hear plenty of stories about the trouble they make.
Good luck.

New Bern, NC

First don't ever buy packets of wildflower seeds. I did 5 years ago and I'm still pulling fodder and chickweed. Find native wildflowers. You can check online for groups in your area and with your local dept of Ag. I'm in NC and found out there are nearly a 100 native orchids, many different types of Lily as well as hundreds of beautiful plants just growing in the fields and woods. Many native plants can be recovered from construction areas and farm land, you just have to ask permission first. I have over 40 native plants in my garden and don't care if I ever see another packet of wildflower seeds.

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

I have a native woodland front yard that has some native NC & TN wildflowers: Mayflower, Trillium, Jacob's ladder, Solomon's Seal, False Solomon's seal, Dwarf Crested Iris, Sweet Woodruff, Wild Ginger, Columbine, Rose Campion, Wild Geranium, Lily of the Valley , Maltese Cross, and some others with whose names escape my mind right now. My plant labels have long since faded.

New Bern, NC

Glad to here someone else has the Dwarf Crested Iris, hard to find around the coast. I also have the Larger Blue Flag Iris, Jack in the Pulpit, Spotted Horsemint, Coral Honey Suckle, 2 varities of Rose Mallow, Altamasco Lily (My favorite), Native Passion Flower, Mandrake, Orange Fringed Orchid, green Pitcher Plant, Orange Milkworth, several as yet unidentified gifts from the deer, a collection of common native plants and a Day Lily I've yet to determined if it's H fulva 'Flore Pleno' or 'Kwanzo'. Good Luck and keep planting.

Summit, NJ(Zone 6b)

Since I've ended up being sorry when I bought plants I thought were native that weren't, I thought I'd mention that if the Sweet Woodruff mentioned is Galium odoratum, it's not native to North America. I've seen Sweet Woodruff being listed as invasive, but a Google search right now and going to my usual resources for this didn't show too many references to that so maybe it's not too bad. Then again I'm fairly far north, and know less about conditions south and where to get the best information on what's invasive there.

Sweet Woodruff Iooks like a native, and I remember at least one time I was with somebody who identified it as such. It does look good in a woodland garden though.

-- Lori

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

Sweet Woodruff is listed as , and found in native woodland areas in NC & TN. Mine and any that I know of do spread, but slowly, and easily removed. When I think of "invasive" it measn something that spreads profusely and often with deep roots that can crawl under dividers, etc, also invasive plants block out room (choke out) other desired plants in their way. I have never observed this with sweet woodruff. So.......

Summit, NJ(Zone 6b)

BirdieBlue and others,

I know sometimes people get upset when this topic is brought up, so if people don't want to continue the discussion that's fine. If it helps any, I have invasives in my yard, some of which will probably be there forever. I just try to get the mix closer to fewer invasives and more natives.


Otherwise, anybody know the botanical name of it? I've been fooled by other cases of the same common name being used for two different plants. In the past, I've seen non-natives listed as natives in certain catalogs and online web sites, which bothers me, since I tend to believe information I encounter in those.

Sometimes unlinke what happens with (Euonymus alatus) Burning Bush in my garden, we don't necessarily see the invasive effects of our plants, especially if the seeds end up being carried far away by wind or animals.

Thanks. -- Lori

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

Some plants may be native to certain areas ( or been seen there for so long that they're considered native by all the local gardening
"natives" ;-)
Invasives - some plants are terribly invasive in some areas and yet incredibly difficult to establish even a small patch in others, so ..........go figure!? ..... hmm........
checking DG's plant files for Sweet Woodruff - entries clearly speak of this plants different habit relative to where it is grown
some other wildflowers in my yard are; star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum), grape hyacinth (Muscari botryoides), green dragon ( Arisaema Dracontium), blackberry lily, bloodroot, cranesbil(Asclepias tuberosa), common Milkweed, wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricata), oswego tea (Modarda didyma), chicory, (Chichorium Intybus)and pipsissewa wintergreen.
Sheri

Summit, NJ(Zone 6b)

Thanks Sheri. Your yard sounds a bit like mine in the sense that it's a mix of natives and exotics.

-- Lori

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

"Exotics"? In my yard? Please tell me what they are. Everything that I'm aware of has come from right here in NC and a few from TN.

Summit, NJ(Zone 6b)

Sheri,

I looked up most of the ones I thought might not be natives, and if I haven't made mistakes besides Sweet Woodruff, it looks like Grape Hyacinths and Star of Bethlehem aren't from North America. I think Chicory is also from elsewhere but got mixed results so I'll check that some other time. I'm not familiar with black berry lily. The others are all at least NA natives. I pay more attention to what's native here, and recognize them without necessarily knowing where else in the country they're native.

-- Lori

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

Sheri, exotic doesn't necessarily mean it's invasive, it merely refers to it not being indigenous, or native, to your part of the country or in the US. I hope you find the below information helpful, and take it in the spirit in which it's shared☺

From Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council
http://www.tneppc.org/TNEPPC2004PlantList-8x11.pdf
Page 4 lists Muscari botryoides;

Quoting:
Watch List A: Exotic plants that naturalize and may become a problem in the future;
includes species that are or could become widespread in Tennessee. At this time more
information is needed, and there is no consensus about their status.

Another site lists them from Europe, not native to the states. Blackberry lily is also referred to as leopard lily and several other common names. It's a short-lived perennial native to eastern Russia, China and Japan.
Cichorium intybus is native to Eurasia.
Sweet woodruff (Asperula odorata) is native to Europe, and is also found in Asia and North Africa.

How far is Winston Salem from Chattanooga, TN? If it's anywhere close, the Reflection Riding Arboretum is having it's fall open house and native plant sale Sept. 20th from 9-5 and Sept. 21 from 1-5. We lived in TN for a very short time and I found out about the place. I love it!!
http://www.reflectionriding.org/index.html
Click on Upcoming Events.

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

Ooops, sorry Lori☺

Sweet woodruff, what's listed in PlantFiles anyway, is Galium odoratum.

http://www.mobot.org/gardinghelp/plantfinder/plant.asp?code=C820

In doing a search, with typing Sweet Woodruff native to, brings up lots of hits! At the below site, it says sweet woodruff is Asperula odorata.

http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_sweet_woodruff.htm

On the sites that listed where it's from, using both Latin names, brings up that it's not from here. Sheri, do you know what the Latin name is for your plant?

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

Sorry Sheri, I forgot. Here's the link to blackberry lily. I used to have this one at a previous house.

http://www.hort.wisc.edu/mastergardener/Features/flowers/Belamcanda/Belamcanda_chinensis.htm

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

Mercy....Why do some people seem to always have the need to "correct" or "show up", others by sa show of superior knowledge. I think a nice thread, where some of us were having a good time sharing about our plants has been silenced by the need to turn it into one focused on "correct " terminology...........what a shame!
to TerryR - I have never thought that exotic meant invasive...(don't know where thata came from, either)...nor do I claim (or have a need) to know the scientific name of all my plants...I didn't realize that a simple post of the common names of plants in my front garden would bring on such an onslaught of correction and , what seems to me like , strife.
I truly wish I had not posted here at all....No, No, No...I truly wish that we who were sharing had been allowed to continue to share without turning this into a "who knows more than who" deal...........
Many thanks to the lone person that commented on their pleasure @ seeing someone else with Dwarf-Crested Iris---at least that person did not correct me for not using the scientific name or make sure that I knew precisely where that plant was from and that is was not condsidered to be native,...they made a simple, pleasant, nice comment.............
Sometimes making a comment seems to be like throwing out chum for a shark attack...of correction......


Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

You asked a question and I tried to answer. My knowledge isn't anymore superior than the next person. I'm sorry you took offense at my post, it wasn't meant that way at all. It was sharing information based on your question of which "exotics" you had in your yard? Again, I'm sorry.

Winston Salem, NC(Zone 7a)

My "question" was a "tongue in cheek".response to someones previous statement that I had 'exotics" in my yard.....I do not believe that anything that I mentioned would be considered "exotic" by any average back yard gardener as they are all commonly found along roadsides or in woodland areas all over the southeastern Piedmont of NC and TN.I also don't come to DG for this type of discussion, so......................

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