Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
We spy that packet of wildflower seeds in a nursery, and it fills our minds with gorgeous possibilities.
Hold on just a moment. Meadows are possible, but they take more work than you might imagine.
I’m not here to dissuade you. With seeds, starter plants and a bit of patience, you can produce a meadow garden. First, test your soil to at least determine whether it is acidic or alkaline. Meadow gardens often have easy-going perennials and annuals mixed with native plants requiring specific soil and climate conditions. For example, if you live in the sun-washed prairie as I do, you probably don’t want to plant Mertensia virginica, Virginia bluebells, those lovers of acid soil and partial shade. Hint: as a guideline, understory plants found naturally in the forest prefer more acidic soils.
My part of the world is generally composed of poor, alkaline soils, and prairie plants, like Rudbeckia spp., black-eyed Susans and Vernonia baldwinii, western ironweed, rule the day. They are plenty of online resources for native seeds and plants more suited to your part of the country. You may want to start with an area that is a blank slate from a small raised bed to a cleared area in your garden. Don’t plant seeds in the middle of a Bermuda grass patch, for example, and expect them to survive, let alone, thrive.
Next, consider that in wildflower seed packets, there are seeds for annuals, plants which mature from seed-to-seed in one season; perennials which mature over time--usually two to three seasons; and biennials, which grow in the first year and bloom in the second. If you desire an instant meadow, and who doesn’t, you’ll want four-inch pots of perennials and biennials to plant and only depend upon seeds for annuals. Later, perennials and self-sowing annuals grown from the seed mixture should fill in.
What would a meadow garden be without grasses? Grasses, especially native ones, are an important part of the meadow garden, and once, our grandparents’ lawns were meadows. By over-seeding my shady, fescue lawn, and not using chemicals, it is slowly returning to a shady meadow with clover and blue-eyed grass. As for the other lawn weeds, they wither and die by summer.
In the sunnier areas of my garden, I find the native grass, little bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium, is nearly impossible for me to grow. Maybe if I started it from seed it would thrive, but I’m not that patient. I’ve switched instead to the native Panicum spp., switch grasses, which are easier for me. Many, like P. amarum 'Dewey Blue,' are blue in the summer, and then turn gold or a stunning shade of red in the fall.
Study up on local native plants and incorporate those which perform well in your climate. If you need extra help, consult your native plant society or join them. I always get so much more from garden groups than I give. Don’t you?
If you need another good reason to indulge your meadow garden fantasies, the simple flower structure of many native plants is easiest for nectar-loving insects like butterflies and bees. These creatures help our gardens in more ways that we could ever imagine.
So, the next time you see a wildflower packet at your local nursery, go ahead and buy it, but be sure to follow some of the above tips to make your meadow. It will become the magic of your garden dreams.