It is often in August that the earth’s flowers are singing their loudest. Cosmos, zinnias, self-seeding annuals and native perennials have taken this long to reach their full potential and offer their nectar as a sweet treat to the flocks of bees and butterflies that are drawn to them.
The meadow is like that. Flowers and grasses intermingle in an open expanse and August finds it quiet, calming, but buzzing with activity. What if we could experience the joy of meadows close to home? What if we each planted a mini meadow - a little patch of colorful flowers in our yards?
A mini meadow does not require much: a patch of earth and a handful of annual and perennial seeds. It does not have to be, and should not be, manicured, but rather a loose, informal style as found in nature. A mini meadow could be as small as a container on your deck, or as large as your entire backyard. It is not time-consuming because once established, they require little maintenance.
MINI MEADOW BASICS
WHAT TO DO NOW
Late summer is not the time to plant except for perennial transplants. However, it is the time to plan and prep for next year’s mini meadow.
PLANTS TO CONSIDER
Annuals: Bachelor Buttons, Borage, Calendula, California poppies, Cosmos, Feverfew, Sunflowers, Zinnias
Perennials: Black-eyed Susans, Butterfly weed, Coneflowers, Coreopsis, New England Asters, Liatris, Vernonia
Grasses: Prairie Dropseed, Little Bluestem, Switchgrass
The best part of mini meadows is what they teach us: to loosen our grip of order and control in the landscape, to embrace nature’s free spirit of intermingling plants, and to do our part on our own bit of earth. They also offer this:
In the meadow I found my place, In serenity and silence of grace
My spirit calm, I linger in the breeze Under the rays of sun, I found peace. - Alexis Kho
Mini Meadows by Mike Lizotte is the best book out there on the subject. His detailed lists and the beautiful photography by Rob Cardillo will inspire you to create your own mini meadow.
Tracy Hankwitz is a Horticulture Adjunct at Gateway Technical College and owns Bella Botanica, LLC in an old church located at 1787 Walworth Street, Springfield, WI. You can learn more at www.bellabotanicaboutique.com.
Hi, I'm Tracy - horticulturist, beauty-seeker, Word-lover, and blessed to be the owner of Bella Botanica. I also love to write about plants, gardening, and about my faith journey. Thanks for reading!