This is the second full growing season for the wildflower meadow. I had imagined it as a swoosh of native grasses studded with flowers. Instead I have a 5 to 6 foot high, solid wall of blooming forbs. I'm not complaining mind you but I'm still trying to revise my expectations. The bees, butterflies and birds give it top marks. Here's what it looked like last year and the year before.
I live and garden in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
In 2000 I bought a house on a very ordinary .4 acre subdivision lot. It was a demonstration project for landscaping mistakes that had had 30+ years to mature. I spent two years ripping out overgrown evergreens and since then have been replanting with flowering, fruiting things, many of them east coast native plants.
My interest in planting for wildlife began as an attempt to create an enriched environment for the cats but has developed into a belief that plants in the landscape should earn their keep by providing food or shelter for someone, man or beast.
These are several of the things that inspired me to reduce the size of my lawn and give more space to native trees and shrubs: