Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Party's Over

This time of year many of our plants are a little sorry looking. The frosts have played havoc with those delicate blooms like Cosmos. Late in November I went into the field across the street to collect seeds from the spent blooms. We have our septic drain field across the street. You might remember my planting some daffodils earlier this year. This fall we waited until after a good frost and then had the field bush hogged.
The seeds I scattered in the early spring were a mixture I picked up at the local hardware store. Of the flowers in the mix, the Cosmos were the ones that stood out as the summer grasses and weeds grew taller. There were still a few blooms left in the field but a few more frosts and they would be gone.

Bush hogging is like cutting it with a giant/ strong mower.  This field is our septic field, so trees are not a good idea.  A wildflower meadow?? Perfect!  After the field was cut we went over some of it with the small push mower to cut some of the grasses shorter.   The field looked so much larger when it was cut.  Some in the neighborhood just cut theirs and leave it bare...I like flowers!

There is a hunt club in the woods at the back end of the septic field.  I always wear bright colors when working over there. 

So now that the field is cut and a few frosts have occurred, what next?   Meadow in a Box!

I found a website that has great variety of seeds---- so I ordered my own mixture.  I love the blue cornflowers I have seen in the spring, so that was on the list!  I also ordered Blanket Flower Gaillardia, Black-eyed Susans Rudbeckia hirta, California Poppies Eschscholzia californica, Nigella, more Cosmos, and some Joe Pye weed Eupatorium fistulosum.  I added some red poppies I  saved from the last year or two.  I mixed and mixed. 

After mowing and bush hogging I used a metal rake to expose at least a little soil.  I am hoping this exposure will be enough.  Taking the container of all those seeds,  I scattered all my seeds in the field.  Well, not ALL of them, I scattered a few on the other side of the street near the driveway as well.  The only problem with scattering seeds in the winter/fall?  WAITING for spring!!    I timed the scattering to be right before a few days of rain.  The rain helped settle the seeds down into the soil, all tucked in for the winter.   After the seeds, a few more (hundred) bulbs were also planted.  Spring will explode with color! 

Isn't this the saddest Zinnia you have ever seen?  I have been collecting the seeds from this one as well.  This Zinnia was from a packet from James Madison University Centennial Celebration.  The bloom is purple...the JMU purple!  I have some seeds to share with JMU alumni.  If you are an alum -- and want a few seeds, let me know.  Will share until I run out.  Why do I have JMU seeds?  Both my girls went to JMU as well as future son-in-law. 

While checking on the zinnias I noticed the Viburnum next to it was trying to bloom.  This poor baby had a rough summer with the lack of rain.

Still blooming is my native honeysuckle- Lonicera sempervirens

Love this pretty trumpet.

Also blooming is the Gaillardia in the backyard.

A few of you know we got a garden shed this fall.  I am so thrilled with it.  Charlie is calling it "Janet's playhouse".  We will paint it in the spring, once the wood cures.  HOA rules that it should match the house.  I like the natural wood.   It is a really solid shed, tongue in grooved pine planks. 

You can see the slope of the yard.  The cinderblocks are under a dozen points making it very sturdy. 

So, if the party is over for your blooms, make sure to collect as many seeds as possible. 
The seed company I bought my seeds from is new to me and I am not recommending them over any other place.   I will say the seeds were in great condition and I am hoping for tons of color next spring and summer...and for many seasons to come.

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. I've had pretty good luck with American Meadows, so I have high hopes that you will have lots of pretty wildflowers next spring! Love your new shed, it looks like a good size.

  2. Hi Janet. I have had wonderful luck with seeds and bulbs from American Meadows. I cannot wait to see how many flowers you get next year. I scattered some seeds along the woodland garden too. I hope the blowing leaves do not keep them from sprouting next spring. You garden shed is going to be so wonderful. Have a lovely weekend.

  3. Now THAT is a shed...congrats...I bet you're loving it!

  4. Janet,

    Looking forward to seeing the wildflower meadow! Meg planted some seeds from a wild flower packet 3 or so years ago. We have lots of coneflowers there still. Have fun with the shed.

    Picked a strawberry at Meg's school today, weird huh?

  5. I look forward to seeing the meadow emerge next spring and watching your shed become more personalized.

  6. Janet, the whole idea of making a meadow is perfect. Love your idea to have seeds from the college your girls attended! You are making me want to move further south...I remember my parents' garden in Pawley's Island was thriving when mine, here in VA, was not! I hope your seeds produce a beautiful sea of color in the spring/summer--can't wait to see what happens;-)

  7. Go JMU!!! That's the school my daughter is hoping to attend. :o) Your meadow sounds wonderful and I love your shed. All of my flowers and plants have gone to bed for the season. Prairie Moon has excellent seed mixes, too. They only sell native plants.

  8. Hi Janet, I am already looking forward to seeing the pictures of your meadow garden next spring and summer. Your new shed is looking really nice. It will be wonderful for all kinds of storage.

  9. I can't wait to see your meadow! It's going to be beautiful and so colorful. I was going to google bush hog, that's a new one to me. I'm thinking I might toss some poppy seeds out soon around here. I did save some of my pink ones, but I wasn't good about saving much else this summer.

  10. I need to collect some seeds, thanks for the reminder. Your septic meadow sounds kind of gross but will be pretty, ha ha!

  11. Ooh, a meadow of wildflowers! That sounds so beautiful, Janet--can't wait to see it blooming next spring. I'm also drooling over your new garden shed; I know you're going to really enjoy your new playhouse.

  12. You've been busy Janet!! Good for you ~ it's going to pay off this spring for sure. Can't wait to see the pictures.
    Wish I was a JMU alum ~ I learned to swim at the campus pool ~ does that qualify me for seeds??!!! I grew up in Harrisonburg but moved before college so went some place else.
    Your new shed looks great. If it were here, I'd put solar panels in the roof and turn it into a greenhouse! Your climate is not nearly as harsh so you probably don't need one??

  13. I love the mountains, love the sea and love a good forest, but there is something indescribable about a meadow in full bloom. I hope it exceeds your expectations and that you will share it with your blogging public.

  14. Hey Queen,

    What an inspiring story for those with some extra space to grow. Your cosmos image and story made me harken back to the opening images of The Color Purple with the two girls romping through a mass of purple blooms.

    Brilliant idea to create your own custom wildflower blend. If you have the additional money, it's a creative lesson in itself.

    Good luck on your project and I look forward to seeing the results.

  15. Very exciting to be planting a meadow. I hope all your seeds grow in spring as I really want to see your meadow pictures. There's nothing like a field of flowers to put a smile on your face.

  16. I love your wildflower idea! What a nice mix to make a wildflower meadow over the septic field.

  17. Love the seed combination. It should be ablaze next spring. Got the cuttings. Thank you.
    I wish for you & yours a very Merry Christmas.

  18. Wow, the party lasted in your yard much longer than in my yard. Can't wait for Spring to see the results of your seed-strewn meadow!

  19. Alison, I am glad to hear American Meadows had been good for you. I am so anxious for spring!!

    Lona, Glad you also have had good luck with American Meadows. I have been enjoying my shed a lot!

    An English Shepherd, I like it!!

    Scott, I am loving it!

    Randy, I am looking forward to the meadow too. Hoping it comes in!!

    NellJean, please come back and see how it progresses!

    Jan, thanks!! I still need to mail the seeds out, but it SHOULD be winter and they get planted in the spring.

    Tammy, Will cross my fingers for your daughter, Gooooo Dukes!! I hope my meadow measures up!

    Jennifer, Me too!! We are filling up the shed!

    Catherine, I hope it is colorful, that's the plan. I still have some poppies to spread...gotta get that done.

    Ginger, Hope you collected your seeds.

    Rose, I just love the wildflowers along the highways, hoping to copy it.

    Kathleen, Spring is going to explode here! Seeds will be sent out soon.

    Les, I agree. I will share, successful or not.

    Patrick, We do have extra space with the septic field. Hoping to make it attractive. I just chose the seeds I wanted.

    Marguerite, I feel that same way. A field full of flowers makes me smile!

    NCmountainwoman, thanks!

    Lola, thanks!

    On My Soapbox, we have had an extended fall for sure...and an Indian Summer here lately.


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