Sunday, February 7, 2021

Don't Forget About the Flowers!

"I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers." -Claude Monet

Bees on Flower
Bees on a Bachelor Button Flower

Flowers, Flowers, Flowers...

Are one of the most important aspects (yes, I do say that a lot about a lot of different things but it's equally true for all of them) of having your very own urban.  Pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, etc. need flowers to survive.  Flowers need the bees to survive.  Your veggies ALSO need these pollinators to survive.  Without pollinators you wouldn't be getting any tomatoes, peppers, etc.  and our society as we know it would basically be doomed without pollinators as food production would plummet.  New research suggests that your everyday pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, etc. are in-fact bad for pollinators.  While these chemicals don't kill the pollinators instantly, they do over longer periods of time.  Providing chemical free flowers for your neighborhood bees and pollinators to enjoy is of the utmost importance to not only these very same pollinators but your veggie production, your neighborhood, and the world as we know it.  Lets save the world with chemical free flowers, shall we?! 

We're not just looking for any flowers though, wildflowers are what you want.  Specifically, wildflowers that grow well in your area with minimal watering.  American Meadows is my go to resource for anything flower related, they have a good mission, a great flower selection and more importantly tools to help educate you about what will grow well in your area.  On their site you can select your region and it will show you the wildflower mixes that grow in your area.  Each region has a low-grow wildflower mix, which is meant for replacing grass with wildflowers, that wildflower mix for your region is where I suggest starting, then adding to it as time goes on for your tastes / preferences for how you want your wildflower yard to look.

Grass is useless, unless you actually use it via kids, dogs, etc. and you don't live close to a park.  All your grass is doing for you is eating your money.  Each time you turn your sprinklers on to water the grass, just imagine your dollar bills flying into the grass and being eaten by the ground which will give you zero benefit in return.  Turn your front yard from a water-sucking, grass desert into a regenerative, pollinator friendly, wildflower environment.  Once you turn to flowers, you won't go back!

If turning your non-veggie yard space into flowers isn't feasible then consider doing a portion of your yard or a side-yard or something, anything to help the pollinators out.  Just do it!

Just as with your vegetable space, it is going to take a few years to build the soil health up for your wildflowers.  It may be a rough initial few years to get your wildflowers growing while keeping the weeds at bay while your soil health builds up.  However each year will get easier and easier, you just have to go for it, commit, and have fun.  As the soil health builds up, the soil will naturally retain more water so each year it will also need less and less watering and if you're growing wildflowers you should be able to get to the point to where they don't need any extra watering from you and they just rely on water from mother nature.  Healthy soil acts like a sponge and retains water.

Here is my current list of flowers that I'm growing in my epic wildflower front yard:

-Wildflower Lawn Seed Mix for Western Region (I'm in Zone 5B, you can find your zone here)
-Blue Cornflower / Bachelor Button
-Blanket Flower
-Purple Coneflower
-African Daisy
-Red Poppy
-Forget Me Not
-Baby Snagdragon
-Gloriosa Daisy
-Lance Leaf Coreopsis
-California Poppy
-Black Eyed Susans
-Various Tulip Bulbs
-Various Crocus'
-Various Hyacinths
-Saffron Crocus'

Wildflower Front Yard
Wildflower Front Yard - June 2020

Comment below on what your hesitations are with replacing grass with flowers, what questions do you have about growing flowers, etc.

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