We have this sort of drop-off in our front yard into a ditch along the roadside. It’s pretty steep and the two-lane brings some way-more-than-55-mph traffic within smacking distance, so I often neglect weedeating this space. In fact, we had some great daisies and wild strawberries interspersed with all the less charming stuff in May, so I began referring to the drop-off as our vertical meadow. Positive thoughts. I planned this Good Parent sort of activity with H where we’d go take pictures of local wildflowers and identify them in our Audobon wildflower guide and get some seed to scatter in the vertical meadow.
These are flowers from June (because that how long it takes to get on top of things.)
Orange Daylilies, which we’ve called Tiger Lilies for forever.
They are, it turns out, absolutely not Tiger Lilies.
In my head I get carried away with these sorts of nurturing activities until it feels like scheming. I thought about how we could do it every month and learn so much about wildflowers and then scatter all those seeds, and the vertical meadow would be so taken over by wildflowers and wild edibles that people would say I’d be crazy to ever, ever weedeat that space again.
So away we ran with it, some of us more enthusiastically than others. We had fun hunting them, despite having to find a spot to park the car off the road while I ran out and snapped a picture. Because I’m not kidding about the two-lane. We’d die walking.
Good old dependable Black-Eyed Susans
I read somewhere that the poem Black-Eyed Susan by John Gay was the source of the flower’s name:
|ALL in the Downs the fleet was moor’d,|
|The streamers waving in the wind,|
|When black-eyed Susan came aboard;|
|‘O! where shall I my true-love find?|
|Tell me, ye jovial sailors, tell me true|
|If my sweet William sails among the crew.’|
It always makes me think of Black Eyed Suzy.
Probably given her druthers the flower would pick Roscoe Holcomb’s banjo playing, too, and forget all about Sweet William.
Orange Butterfly Weed. Possibly my new favorite.
We haven’t really been watching for any July wildflowers, because it’s been raining so much we might be building an ark soon. I’ve been thinking about robbing some of these from neighboring ditches as they go to seed. (Except the last, which is elderberry and came from my house.)
Wild Sweet Pea
I hear these elderberry flowers make good fritters. But, then again, there aren’t many edible things that wouldn’t be good frittered.
Not a wildflower. But I planted this elderberry in the
vertical meadow hoping it would take off like one.