Category Archives: Wildflowers

2020 June

Some of our first color of the season came up the first week of June!!

The first to bloom for the 2020 season.
Purple Lupine came in again this year!

By June 17th the yellow Coreopsis began to come into bloom. Along with the Gaillardia.

June 17 2020
Still pretty green for the week of June 19th. But getting there!
Yellow field.
June 28 2020

Some strong color to finish off the month of June!

June 28 2020

Spring 2020 Wildflowers

We’re starting to prep for new wildflowers in the spring of 2020, and I thought I’d give a rundown of the dates and steps we’ve been taking.

We had a warmer than average March and were able to get out, enjoy the weather, and mow down the existing growth of the wildflowers we left standing over the winter. We also started a few of our annuals indoors for the front flower beds, mainly some purple zinnias. We really enjoyed them last year, and decided to add them to the front flowers to complement the purple coneflowers. Here’s what they looked like in August 2019.

April brought some colder temperatures again, which slowed down our outdoor activities. By early May, we were nearly back on track for normal weather. After a late season snowstorm in early May, the weather finally broke around May 15. While it was cold, we took the time to separate our seeds that we had collected last fall. We’ll be posting videos with details of that later, but here’s a look at how they were stored in the garage through the winter to dry. I like to store them in paper bags to keep them from molding.

Purple Zinnias Stored Over Winter for Seeds.
Sunflowers Stored to Dry

Here’s a look at the yard and wildflowers in early April, just after mowing the stalks in. Very minimal growth starting, except in the dog spots!

Finally, on May 19 I got around to spraying some new areas of the meadow with Roundup to kill the grass. I get the generic 41% concentrated glyphosate at Tractor Supply for ~$10/quart, then dilute into the hand sprayer. It covers plenty of area for 1 year for my size meadow. I’ve found that I like to kill off the existing grass and wait about 2 weeks before planting the new seeds. I should be able to get some new areas started in early June. Stay tuned!

Killing Grass with Roundup

Winter Beauty

Most of our focus has been on the wildflowers and summertime life, but I just had to snap a picture today of the beautiful winter beauty. We really do love Michigan in all seasons, and winter is no exception.

Snowy February Day in Michigan
A Snowy February Day in Michigan

It’s nice to enjoy this white canvas as we plan to add even more color to it in the spring.

July 2019 Wildflowers

Some people say that the best camera is the one you have with you, which is why most of the pictures on this site come from a cell phone camera. It’s decent, but every once in a while you want to grab a real camera and capture the beauty, so enjoy these pictures taken with my 10 year old Nikon D3100. I still love this camera!

A Monarch butterfly enjoying the purple coneflowers.
Our dog enjoying the wildflowers.
Black and White Dragonfly
I love these purple Zinnias. They add long lasting color when the perennials fade out.
The dragonflies really love our space
Another view of the orange dragonfly. Did I mention I love this camera?
A tired monarch relaxing at home in our sanctuary.
The black eyed susans really thrive in our sunny space.
More purple coneflowers
There’s plenty of pollen and nectar for all of the pollenators.
Bugs on milkweed
These were in our front flower bed, not the wildflowers, but they still looked wonderful.

2019 Wildflowers, part 3 August – November

August 2019

August continued with color. This particular orange cosmos, my five year old daughter was thankful for during our yoga session together.

August 2019 Orange Cosmos

August 6, 2019 Eye catching rows of yellows, reds, and oranges.

A sunflower attracts many pollinators. This particular sunflower was from one of our seed packets we started in our basement in March 2019.

August 2019 Sunflower
August 2019 Sunflower
Red Zinnias pop up throughout the month of August

September 2019

As September rolls in, the height of the sunflowers reminded us that summer is coming to an end and the kids are going back to school. Soaking up the warm colors as the sunflowers dance in the breeze of the meadow.

Tall orange sunflower September 2019

We are still greeted with a splash of color throughout the month. Knowing all too well the white snow is right around the corner.

September 8, 2019
September 21, 2019.

The sea of yellow is starting to disappear. They held on since June.

From a distance the color is gone. The flowers are preparing for the end of season. As we prepare for the next.

September 25, 2019

October 2019

As the seasons begin to change, frost comes again. Now we appreciate the fall colors knowing the bright colors of summer will return after months of gathering seeds and preparing our indoor space once again where we come together to cheer on spring.

October 18, 2019

November 2019

At last, the flowers have their winter blanket covering them as yet another season comes to visit. In just a few weeks time from the first frost to the first snow fall. We look forward to what this winter has to offer – sledding, family gatherings, and getting ready for a new year, a new decade, and new growth of wildflowers!

November 1, 2019

2019 Wildflowers, Part 2 June – July

June 2019

June 1, 2019 First real color of the season! Last year’s areas and this season’s prepped areas.

Both last year and this year’s spots.
First color of the 2019 season!

Growth of the new seeds.

New growth.

Our first Lupine from the seed packets we started back in March

June 19, 2019 Lupine

A Monarch Butterfly enjoying nature’s candy. Our first friendly visitor to the wildflowers.

June 19, 2019
June 19, 2019

The next day, we find a ton of Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars devouring the natural Milkweed throughout the meadow.

Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar .
Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar on Milkweed flower.

Yellow flowers start to fill the meadow.

June 23, 2019
June 23, 2019

July 2019

July brought a lot of color

July 2019
July 2019
July 2019
July 2019
July 2019
Foggy evening July 2019
Foggy evening July 2019
Purple Cone flowers at front of the house also attract butterflies.

2019 Wildflowers, Part 1 February – May

February 2019

February 2019 brings us snow and excitement for indoor seedling sprouting.

Snow and leftovers from 2018

March 2019

Here we have from our local home store are annual flower seeds. We prepare to plant these for indoor sprouting to get them growing as soon as possible to be able to then transfer them outdoors. Most of the seeds we plant indoors are meant for our front flower beds and for pots. The majority of the wildflower seeds we plant from seed directly outside, although we have transplanted a few that were started early indoors.

Seed packets from local home store

It’s just so exciting to think about flowers in the dead of winter, when the outside temps are in the single digits (or negative). When the seed packets start showing up in the store, we always look to see if there’s a few new varieties we want to try out.

Indoor planting. All hands needed!

April 2019

As the snow finally cleared, it was time to start planning for this season’s flowers. First, we mowed down the remaining stalks that we left standing. We leave them standing in the fall for 2 main reasons: Seeds/cover for wild animals, and to easily see where the existing flowers are as we expand the plantings.

April 2019 Mowing last seasons growth. In preparation for 2019 seeds.
First few signs of greenery after a frost.

May 2019

Checking our progress so far! More greenery growing. We are waiting for the last frost before bringing out the green sprouts from our basement.

At the beginning of May, grass is already starting to grow. You can see the areas of existing wildflowers from 2018 in the green squares, and the areas of grass that were sprayed with Roundup / glyphosate to make room for new flowers in 2019. We planted seeds on May 19 this year for the expansion of the wildflowers.

Preparing the soil and spreading seed mixture around the prepared areas.