My garden lacks sophistication. There’s little if any structure, the planting schemes are weak, it’s usually a mess, and I have plenty of weeds. To help get around these faults I’ve taken to accepting volunteer help in designing the beds and plantings. What this means is I avoid a lot of unnecessary work by letting things self sow and keeping most of these volunteer seedlings as “design elements” instead of admitting they’re unplanned weeds. Oxeye daisies are one of these and they do a great job filling every little gap anywhere they can. I don’t mind.
Between the daisies, fennel and verbena bonariensis I could keep this border filled all year without lifting a finger, but even I would have to admit it’s more of a highway wayside look than a garden. I’ll need to pull most of these this week as I work through the bed thinning overgrowth and then adding a few annuals and tropicals for summer color.
Daisies are even easier in the no-man’s land between the industrial park and our development. Rather than keeping a tame suburban lawn here I’ve opted for a meadow of rough wildflowers and waving grasses. The grasses are slowly establishing but the daisies filled in the first year.
Rather than beating this area into submission every week, I let it go until July or so and then give it a cut to spread seeds and wack back the less-preferred sumac and golden rod. With a mown path for more civilized access this is a popular area for the kids and their friends. Many bouquets find their way out of this weed patch and onto our kitchen windowsill, and the grasshoppers and bunnies are just as popular….. unfortunately they also eventually find their way out of the meadow.
To my surprise this meadow area is not as popular with the grownups. It’s become a tradition each spring to engage in the ‘cutting of the weeds’ argument and then take the day long vow of silence that follows. But for now the grass and daisies stay and the wildlife rejoices.
I, for one, think the meadow area looks grand. The mown path makes the meadow area look intentional, and all the wildlife (including bees, birds, and butterflies) would prefer the meadow to a scalped not-actually-a-lawn. Perhaps a handful of poppy seeds thrown in might add to the charm? They’re allegedly good self-seeders, although I’ll be darned if I can get them to grow in my garden.
Next year, mow a spiral into the meadow and watch the kids run through it until they get dizzy! Anyone who can’t enjoy that should just stay indoors, I say.
hah hah, I like your attitude! I’d love to do the spiral but I don’t think I have enough room….. lack of space is always the problem (unless you have too much, then time becomes the issue…)
I’ll try the poppies in some of the thin spots. I’ve actually started adding things intentionally this year, just butterfly weed to start, but it will be interesting to see what can handle the mix of neglect and random mowings.