Growing Wild

I am pleased to announce that we have gone green. Or organic. Or wild. I am not a professional gardener, so I am not sure of the precise term.

What I mean is that we have converted the big flower garden in our backyard to a wildflower garden.

For years, we tried to maintain a conventional flower garden, but we found it too expensive to keep buying new flowering plants. It seems that most of what we planted died and had to be replaced.

This was especially true of flowers labeled “annual,” which we took to mean that, once planted, they would regrow every year (since “annual” means “every year”). But this was not the case. These flowers would do alright the first year—especially if we poured some water on them from time to time. This seemed to help them grow for some reason, even though there are no nutrients in water. But, in subsequent years, they would not regrow. It became too expensive to keep buying new plants every year.

Next we tried to turn the garden into a rock garden. We scattered pebbles and even good-sized stones throughout the garden. These didn’t die, but they grew very, very slowly. In fact, the growth was imperceptible. After several years, none had grown into rocks.

So we bought a book called An Amateur’s Guide to Wildflowers. Now, whenever a plant starts growing naturally in our garden, we pull out the Guide and try to identify it. We then put a stake into the soil beside it, identifying the species. The wildflower garden is doing extremely well. We already have flourishing beds of taraxacum officinale (dandelion), ambrosia artemisiifolia (ragweed), sonchus oleraceus (sowthistle), digitaria sanguinalis (crabgrass), rhus radicans (poison ivy), and amaranthus retroflexus (pigweed).

About jrcoggins

James R. Coggins is a professional writer and editor based in British Columbia, Canada. He wrote his first novel in high school, but, fortunately for his later reputation as a writer, it was never published. He briefly served as a Christian magazine editor (for just over 20 years). He has written everything from scholarly and encyclopedia articles to jokes in Reader’s Digest (the jokes paid better). His six and a half published books include four John Smyth murder mysteries and one other, stand-alone novel. In his spare time, he operates Mill Lake Books, a small publishing imprint. His website is
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2 Responses to Growing Wild

  1. Sounds like my kind of garden! Except for the poison ivy.


  2. Made me smile. I too have these same “flowers” growing in my perennial beds. I’ve not yet reached your organic, wild state of gardening, but as I age and become less able to cultivate it will get there.


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