When most people think of gardens, they think of neatly trimmed lawns and rows of colorful flowers. But there is another way to garden – by incorporating wildflowers and meadows into your landscape. This can be a great way to add some natural beauty to your property, while also providing a habitat for wildlife. In this article, we will explore the benefits of Wildflower and Meadow gardens.
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Meadow, Pasture, or Field?
Strictly speaking, a meadow is a piece of land that is cultivated with grasses. Meadows are usually grown with the intention of cutting them for hay, while a pasture is specifically used for grazing animals like sheep or cows. A field can hold either crops or be a pasture.
In landscaping, a meadow garden is slightly different. A meadow garden doesn’t appear if you simply stop mowing your lawn. That’s just an overgrown lawn that often gets taken over by weeds. No, a meadow garden is a deliberate choice to cultivate a wildness on your property.
Meadows and wildflower gardens are not only beautiful, but they are also beneficial to the environment. Meadows provide habitats for many species of animals and insects, which can help to support local ecosystems. Wildflowers are also an important food source for bees and other pollinators.
By creating a meadow or wildflower garden on your property, you can help to make a difference for the environment! Some benefits of wildflower and meadow gardens include:
- They are low maintenance once they are established
- They can help to attract wildlife to your property
- They can provide a natural source of food for pollinators
- They can be a beautiful addition to your landscape!
If you are interested in adding a meadow garden to your landscape, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, it is far more complex to establish a meadow garden than you may expect. You can’t simply till up the grass and toss some seed in. Creating a meadow garden requires patience and planning. Does your space need some work to improve drainage? Has it been fertilized recently?
It is important to choose the right location for your garden. Meadows and wildflowers need full sun in order to thrive, so choose a spot that gets plenty of sunlight throughout the day. Meadow gardens do not require fertilizers or pesticides, so you can feel good about creating a garden that is gentle on the environment.
In essence, to create a meadow garden is to reproduce the plant communities found in nature, and that can be a tall order. Wildflowers and meadow grasses tend to thrive in areas that have soil that is nutrient depleted, so recent fertilization may make establishing your meadow garden a challenge.
Insufficient sun, aggressive weeds, excessive moisture can all work against you, but fear not! With the help of the landscaping professionals at Landscape Solutions, it is possible to establish this type of garden experience in your space.
Choosing Your Plants
Once you have chosen (or created) the perfect spot for your garden, it’s time to decide on which grasses and wildflowers to put in your new garden. In Tennessee, there are plenty to choose from.
Some wildflowers to consider in the Nashville area include:
These do well and are attractive, but they are not your only options. Before you make your final choices, consider some of the wildflowers listed at US Wildflowers (Tennessee). There you can see images of the various wildflowers native to Tennessee and learn more about their growth seasons.
Adding grasses as a part of your meadow garden will add beauty and provide a consistent backdrop to your wildflowers. Some of the meadow grasses that thrive in Nashville are:
- Big Bluestem
- Indian Grass
- Prairie Dropseed
To get the most enjoyment out of your meadow garden, be sure to pick a variety of grasses and flowers and be sure to choose flowers with different blooming seasons. Here are a few wildflowers and their bloom times to consider when planning your Tennessee meadow garden:
- Clover blooms from March to October
- Buttercups bloom from April to June
- Poppies bloom from April to May
- Queen Anne’s Lace blooms from May to frost
- Daisies bloom from May to October
- Black-Eyed Susan bloom from June to September
- Milkweed blooms from June to September
- Sunflowers bloom from July to frost
- Goldenrod blooms from August to September
Source: Nashville Wildflowers – Find & Plant TN Flowers that Bloom Each Month
Different varieties of flowers and grasses will have different ideal planting times. With a little planning and a professional by your side, you can create a stunning, low maintenance garden that will provide habitat for wildlife and food for pollinators. Contact Landscape Solutions today to assist you with designing and installing your meadow garden.