Saturday, February 16, 2008

In the Dead of Winter, Wildflowers

If growing perennials from seed is something you would like to try, consider buying some wildflower seeds this winter from the New England Wildflower Society. They are available now and orders must be received by March 15th. Prices may seem a little high if you do not take into consideration that these are native, wild-collected wildflower seeds. All proceeds benefit the society.

The catalogue offers over 200 native flowering plants, shrubs, and small trees. Growing from seed may be the only way to get many of the varieties they offer and while growing perennials from seed can be difficult, these wildflowers could be an extroadinary addition to your garden.

This seaside goldenrod, Solidago sempervirens,  I yanked out of a crack in the asphalt on a rotting pier in Red Hook where I had my studio. There it barely grew twelve inches each year. In my garden, it grows to five feet. There are so many varieties of goldenrod and many are native to New England or the mid-atlantic region, this one included. It has excellent foliage that looks much less weedy than the other goldenrods you may be familiar with. However, in my garden, it suffers from some late season, bright orange rust that never does more harm than wilt the lower leaves. If you want this plant, but don't have any asphalt around from which to yank it or maybe would prefer to not yank it, you can grow it from seed.


  1. I love goldenrods.

    Thanks for the tip about the seed source. I'm looking for sources for ecotypes local to or near NYC and Brooklyn, Including Long Island, Any recommendations?

  2. I love goldenrods, too. They remind me of the field flowers my mother would pick for bouquets where I grew up (Maine). I acquired a four inch specimen last fall that I am hoping will grow into a five foot giant, adding to my late summer blooms. I only grow in containers, since there is no available dirt in the ground and I am curious to see how it fares.


If I do not respond to your comment right away, it is only because I am busy pulling out buckthorn, creeping charlie, and garlic mustard...