• Where the Wild Flowers Are

    by  • July 15, 2007 • Summer

    Notes on first planting Western Wildflower Mix in North Fork, CA (near Yosemite) Zone 7, 3000 ft. 

    Rudbeckia, Black-eyed Susans

    Rudbeckia, Black-eyed Sus

    Western wildflower mix in June 2006

    Western wildflower mix in June 2006

    Here is what I planted in order, from most to least, of how many bloomed and how long they stayed in the garden:
    Still appear plentifully in the garden
    Chrysanthemum maximum Shasta-Daisy
    Coreopsis lanceolata — Lance Leaf Coreopsis or Tickseed
    Rudbeckia hirta Black-Eyed-Susan
    Eschscholzia californica California Poppy
    Linum perenne lewisii Wild Blue Flax
    Oenothera elata hookeri Hooker’s Evening Primrose
    Nemophila maculata Five Spot
    Nemophila menziesii Baby Blue Eyes 

    Rusty Plains Coreopsis and Rudbeckia

    Rusty Plains Coreopsis and Rudbeckia

    Appearing in a few places after
    Centaurea cyanus
    — Bachelor Buttons, Cornflower
    Delphinium ajacis (Consolida ambigua) Rocket Larkspur
    Coreopsis tinctoria — Plains Coreopsis
    Clarkia amoena — Farewell to Spring
    Linum grandiflorum var. rubrum — Scarlet Flax
    Erysimum cheiri Wallflower

    Did not reseed
    Silene armeria
    Sweet William Catchfly
    Papaver rhoeas Corn Poppy
    Lupinus succulentus Arroyo, Hollowleaf or Succulent Lupine
    Linaria maroccana Toadflax or Baby Snapdragons
    Dimorphotheca aurantiaca African-Daisy

    Never appeared
    Phacelia campanularia
    California Bluebells
    Gaillardia pulchella — Indian Blanket

    The second year, without sowing any further seeds, the Rudbeckia dominated and then the third year the Shasta daisies were the major flower still reseeding.

    Beautiful blue flax acts like a perennial now

    Beautiful blue flax acts like a perennial now

    I decided to switch to native CA wildflower seeds as I’ve become more aware of the suitability of CA seeds for my area, although I was very happy with Wildflower Farms seeds , the result and especially their service.

    I can’t stress enough the necessity for following the excellent instructions for preparing the ground for these seeds given by Wildflower Farms and Judith Larner Lowry on her site. The image of you tossing seeds out in a field or throwing ‘seed-bombs’ just isn’t realistic.


    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.