Wild Flowers: Nature's Own Potpourri
WILD FLOWERS What is a wild flower? It can generally be defined as those flowering plants that grow in the wild or grow on their own, without cultivation. By a broad estimate it has been said that there are over 40,000 varieties of wild flowers belonging to more than 500 families and more than 20% of wildflowers are in the Sunflower family. These plants are equipped to grow on their own .
They are very hardy and very fertile, which help them survive in the most adverse conditions and multiply vigorously.At the same time , if one were to cultivate them at home , they may not grow as easily as they do in the wilderness.
There are enough archaeological evidence to show that some of these plants existed almost 17,00 years ago.This was proven by the plant findings in Iraq and the delta of River Nile , River Indus..
The introduction of these wild flowers into cultivated garden began in England in the early 19th century gentry, the most famous of which was Vita Sackville-West . People began to be fascinated by these exotic plants and became more interested in introducing some of them side by side with the other ornamental flowering plants , as 'Natural' looking gardens came into vogue.
One of the early enthusiast Gertrude Jekyll, a famous English garden writer of that time, began cultivating what she called "flowering incidents" in her woodland and meadows by either encouraging wildflowers she found in her garden to grow by providing the right care or by planting them in a naturalized manner.She was extremely happy with the success of her venture and this became a rage at the time and more and more upper class households began growing 'Natural' gardens.Today's fascination for wild flower gardening is a continuation of those early innovations by English Gardening enthusiasts who recognized the flowers of the wild as , perhaps the most wonderful and beautiful of them all...
Although most wild flowers are native to the region in which they occur, some are the descendants of flowering plants introduced from other lands, and later over a period of time the geographical and weather conditions make them take on certain local features, like difference in size, color or texture.
I have had a weakness for these wild beauties and have tried to grow them in pots with not much success.i am told that they grow well, when planted in the ground, where there is an abundance of sunshine and where there is no water stagnation..
There are different types of wild flowers namely ' The Annual wildflowers' , which have a long blooming season of nearly two months or more.But they have a short life cycle, and the new plants generally grow from the seeds that scatter when the flowers dry out.
' The Perennials' are a gardeners delight, as they are long lasting plants, flowering every year once or twice a year and the plants last for 6-7 years.The new plants can be grown through seeds.
They need an abundance of sun , but not much water.
Nowadays a wide variety of wild flowers are used for landscaping and as fillers , while planning a rock garden , or simply grown for their wild beauty.
Some of the more common flowering plants that are widely known are Buttercups, Forget me not, Trout lily, Hepatica,Wild rose, Blue bell
primroses, wood roses, poppies ....
The eye catching cactus blooms , also come under the category of wild flowers.Some of them are so very vibrantly coloured and attractive.
One can go on about these beauties.It has been told that Wildflowers are an easy way to explore nature..cultivating wildflower meadows has become very popular among gardeners and in home and cottage gardens, although it requires some time and patience before they establish well and grow.But once having done that it is very easy to maintain them as their requirements are very few, including watering.
Finally I remembered this poem about wildflowers that I had in my collection ..
With petals as delicate
And soft as silk
And blue as the sky They sway gently in the breeze
And blue as the sky
They sway gently in the breeze
As bees hover close by.