Wild flowers have been a passion of mine for years, and about 7 years ago I had the side yard where grass has never grown well tilled up and went to the local farm store for seeds that were normal for the wild flowers found in the West Michigan area. The first spring of my new garden I had a bevy of annuals and the beginnings of a few cone flowers which are perennials wildflowers known here along the roadsides and highways. Each year, I attempted to plant more seeds. And each fall after that I especially gathered along the wooded areas two of my favorites, the milkweed and Queen Anne's Lace, and each spring after that I looked for any signs of either flower in the beginnings of each new spring. Nothing happened. Needless to say I was frustrated and repeated the action each fall. It seemed like each spring though the garden grew and throve with each new wild flower I found and added the two I longed for never seemed to set foot among the the others in this garden.
And then last summer two plants I did not recognize surfaced among the many cone flowers and yellow daisies. As I watched they slowly grew into milkweed and flowered profusely and that year my special garden's aroma was heavenly because of those two additions.
Of course I was please to have the milkweed, but I kept trying with the seeding and this spring was finally rewarded in abundance with the stately Queen Anne's Lace. They started slowly, and I really needed to water there to keep this dry summer from taking these prizes to help establish these beauties, as well as keep the rest blooming.
In July the flowers bloomed, and are blooming still. Though the milkweed isn't right now I did have them doing so in early July and now have the most glorious crop of milkweed pods that I hope to share with some of my friends for their gardens. My special addition to the yard has had a bonus as well. All kinds of birds from the surrounding neighborhoods come here to ride the long flower stalks, and I also have the monarch caterpillars here and the butterflies, too.
I really feel quite blessed to have been able to watch this small piece of earth develop like this, and though the efforts may have seemed to be all mine, I know that these wonders we call wildflowers are not of my making in this small space I call my wildflower garden. This summer despite everything it has become a little miracle in our urban setting for me.