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Be wary of wildflower areas

By Penny Stine

Everyone loves wildflowers, so doesn't it sound lovely to have an area in your yard that's a designated wildflower area? Yeah, I thought so, too, when I scattered wildflower seeds out by the mailbox/irrigation cistern about 12 years ago.

Ever since then, I've been trying to tame my wildflower area. Two years ago, I planted some iris bulbs that a friend gave me out there. Last year they looked OK, this year they were fabulous ,especially since they were blooming before the weeds got huge.


Because they were included in that first packet of wildflower seeds, I get sunflowers and cosmos out there every year, which look pretty good at the end of the summer. I also gets lots of grass and weeds, which  is pretty common in a wildflower area. Every year, I add more perennials or self-sowing annuals to the area in hopes they'll overpower the weeds and grass. It hasn't worked yet, but I have discovered awesome flowers like the one above, which I think is a purple mallow and which seems to reseed and spread all over the place.


I'm transplanting morning glories and amaranth to the area, in hopes that they both will reseed and spread themselves all across the area, too. If I can't get rid of the weeds, I may as well hide them behind nuisance flowers.  

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