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Is it Possible for me to Have a Wildflower Meadow?

 
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I don't have a lawn, I have what I call a rock meadow.

Is it possible for me to have a wildflower meadow?



Over the last few years, I have sown various wildflower seeds in several different areas.

Some years, mother nature turns on her charms and grants me many wildflowers.  This year, she must have gone on vacation as we had no wildflowers.

The reason I call this my rock meadow is that it has a lot of rocks. My other challenge is the rocks that are too big to remove. The rocks don't show up too well in the pictures because of the tall grass, they are big!



The plants will need to be drought resistant, deer resistant, tall, and can compete with grasses and croton.

I there any way I can turn this into a wildflower meadow?



This is our water hole aka a tank or a pond.

As you can see my soil is mostly caliche so it is alkaline



This is one of my trees, we have lots of junipers, live oaks, and various other oaks.

 
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This is laid out very well, thanks for the detailed description and pictures....  While you do have some grass growing, creating a relatively meadow-like effect, it also looks like your location probably gets less than 20 inches of rainfall a year?  In arid locations where that's the case, a traditional meadow can be almost impossible to achieve.

By traditional meadow I mean one where flowering perennials as well as grasses come back year after year, and are a constant presence throughout the growing season. In more arid climates, many perennial species are only able to flower when the conditions warrant, which usually means shortly after good spring rains. Also, sometimes dry-tolerant plants don't even appear each year.  In an ecosystem that can support a true meadow, the flowering forbs and grasses are present every year regardless of weather or other environmental factors.

That said, what you've been doing – scattering in seeds, is a good technique to see what you can get to grow. However, in dry ecosystems, only flowering perennials that are truly adapted those conditions tend to survive... and those are the same species that also typically appear in passing and don't stick around.  

Did this help answer your question?  Let me know if I missed anything or if you have any other questions!  
 
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I feel your pain Anne! I have random summers- wet, dry, in between. I am still trying to find what perennials (ideally flowering) will grow consistently. Clover and dandelion do fine, for the most part. I too scatter various wildflower seeds, hoping some will catch and thrive. This year is turning wet, so I’m trying to get wild roses established. My experience is that once they are well rooted, they do great in almost any scenario.
 
Anne Miller
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Owen, thank you for the detailed answer.  I now have a better understanding of what is going on with my meadow.
That area had some mealy blue sage that bloomed in October the year we moved here.  It has slowly increased every year since then.

Most of the seeds I have sown have been blanket flower which appears after the spring rains.

I also have tried a wildflower mix.  Like you mentioned I may be seeing a few in early spring.


Julie, thank for sharing your experiences.  I have found some of that to be true, too.
 
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Knowing nothing about the land in your part of the world, I can only suggest that you plant native species and give them an extra boost. Maybe amend a small patch, water it (not too much) and give your favorite natives a chance to catch hold. Maybe they will build a fertile or even a water-harboring spot and take hold and spread.

This post reminds me of the homestead
Featured in Gaia’s Garden, where the family carefully directed their water and created an amazing, lush, shady, beautiful homestead right in the middle of the desert!
 
Anne Miller
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Thanks, Anne for the suggestions.

I have about given up on the meadow and decided to let Mother Nature provide whatever she will.

I do have other native species that I have planted in my butterfly garden:



I have Blue Sage.




I call these Blanket Flowers though they may be called something else.




I have Autumn Sage, these are on my fence line with Turk's Cap, honeysuckle, and blackberries.  


I have lots of these that Mother Nature planted along my driveway:



Mexican Hat.
 
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Keep scattering seed and watching the landscape.  Wildflowers from seed can take years to grow into something you recognize.  I don't know how long ago you started,  but it might be that you have some successes out there that are just waiting for the perfect wet spring to bloom.
 
Anne Miller
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Thanks, Mk

Most of the seeds I have scattered are the blanket flowers.  I am happy to see one every year and hope that next year I will have two.

We have been here since 2013 so every year I happily throw out several handfuls in different locations.

Mealy blue sage was here when we moved here and has continued to live in the same spot.  The plants were multiplying until last year's drought took a toll on the 6 plants so I am back to one plant now.
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