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Growing Wild

I am pleased to announce that we have gone green. Or organic. Or wild. I am not a professional gardener, so I am not sure of the precise term.

What I mean is that we have converted the big flower garden in our back yard to a wildflower garden.

For years, we tried to maintain a conventional flower garden, but we found it too expensive to keep buying new flowering plants. It seems that most of what we planted died and had to be replaced.

This was especially true of flowers labelled “annual,” which we took to mean that, once planted, they would regrow every year (since “annual” means “every year”). But this was not the case. These flowers would do alright the first year—especially if we poured some water on them from time to time. This seemed to help them grow for some reason, even though there are no nutrients in water. But, in subsequent years, they would not regrow. It became too expensive to keep buying new plants every year.

Next we tried to turn the garden into a rock garden. We scattered pebbles and even good-sized stones throughout the garden. These didn’t die, but they grew very, very slowly. In fact, the growth was imperceptible. After several years, none had grown into rocks.

So we bought a book called An Amateur’s Guide to Wildflowers. Now, whenever a plant starts growing naturally in our garden, we pull out the Guide and try to identify it. We then put a stake into the soil beside it, identifying the species. The wildflower garden is doing extremely well. We already have flourishing beds of taraxacum officinale (dandelion), ambrosia artemisiifolia (ragweed), sonchus oleraceus (sowthistle), digitaria sanguinalis (crabgrass), rhus radicans (poison ivy), and amaranthus retroflexus (pigweed).


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