• The midsummer meadow

    by  • July 22, 2011 • Meadow project

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    In early July, the meadow is at its peak and gives pleasure every day.  Here are some of the advantages and realities of growing your own!

    A CA Native seeded meadow is possible.
    It takes some weeding.
    The flowers are bright and grasses wave in the wind
    Bare spots happen.
    Seeds wash down hill sprout where they can.
    Seeds spread where they can and more flowers pop up.
    Meadows need little water and care if native seeds are used.
    Meadows can fit into a garden with perennials.
    Meadows are  enjoyable for months of the year.

    Meadow color

    Meadow color in summer

    2011-5-5 California native meadow in May, the ideal image in my head and now in reality!

    2011-5-5 California native meadow in May, the ideal image in my head and now in reality!

    July meadow

    July meadow

    Meadow in May, poppies, bird's eye gilia and tidytips mostly. Pacific fescue is blooming

    Meadow in May, poppies, bird’s eye gilia and tidytips mostly. Pacific fescue is blooming

    All the wild color make the Brodiaea look subdued.

    All the wild color make the Brodiaea look subdued.

    “Ah! How I long for the beautitude of a summer meadow-place
    That calls me ever forward and slightly to the left
    That begs of me to forget the stressful stresses of life.”

    Slim Walter DeTurtlevain, Very Bad Poetry

    Past the peak bloom-late July
    This late afternoon, while watering, I noticed the last strong rays of sun glinting on the seedheads of the meadow. In mid summer, the last of the  California poppies and Globe gilia have done and are forming seeds. A few Clarkia amoena hang in and the yarrow is at its peak. The vulpia grasses are golden brown as they’ve been all last month.

    A few Clarkia amoena hang in and the yarrow is at its peak. The vulpia grasses are golden brown as they’ve been all last month.

    Everything is drying quickly and I have a bit more mulch I’ll cover the bare ground with as the plants shrink and dry. I’ve been watering about every three days by hand, especially the new perennials around the edge.

    Slender single shoots of blue-grey Blue flax, Linium lewisi, can be spotted here and there, most still only 6-10 inches tall. I few oxeye daises are sprouting and just sitting. The others I have bloomed long ago.  These are behind the schedule, it seems.

    An Artemisia grows nice and tall, upper right,  even though it was transplanted last fall with the other ‘foundation plants’.

    Hopefully the Yarrow will form patches and act as a kind of ground cover…it looks very meadowy and next year the new plants should bloom with existing yarrow which bloomed along with the Globe gilia. That is something to look forward to.

    Some Heermann’s tarweed has snuck in and I’ve removed all but a few. They can stay to add color in October, but I’ll take them out before they go to seed.  It’s kind of fun to ‘manage’ the existing natives to my liking and make them behave a bit.  The tarweeds’ peak performance is in the Fall and will be everywhere except the close garden and I enjoy the fields of them where they are, if you know what I mean.

    One thing I enjoy about the meadow at this time is that it blends so well with the surrounding native vegetation already here. It may look the same, grassy and becoming golden, but I know there are more surprises to come in this part of my garden.

    You don’t have to understand Life’s nature,
    then it becomes a grand affair.
    Let every day just of itself occur
    like a child walks away from every hurt
    and happens upon the gift of many flowers.

    Rainer Maria Rilke (1898)

    ***

    The Meadow project, month by month
    What am I really doing in the garden in October?  Planning and removing weeds
    Do you dream of a natural and beautiful wildflower meadow?  Finding and sowing seeding
    Let’s check for progress on the meadow!  Weeding and watching the weather
    How to weed a meadow in the Sierra Foothills  More weeding…letting the sprouts thrive
    Let’s check on Fall and Winter projects!  Identifying seedlings
    The wildflower meadow in May   Small triumphs
    My California native meadow in June  Starting to bloom
    The midsummer meadow  The peak bloom
    Stomping down the Autumn meadow  Neatening up
    Native California meadow in the second year

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    About

    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.