At first glance the idea of creating a wilderness in a tidy city garden would appear to be an impossibility. How can an area be both wild and tidy at the same time? In fact it is perfectly possible if you adopt certain strategies such as choosing the correct types of plants and the way in which they are arranged as Benjamin Vogt explains in his article which I found on the Houzz website.
You don?t need to live in the wide, open expanse of the country to have a wildflower garden at home. From choosing resilient plants to layering your plantings, you can echo the feeling of wildness in an attractive, tidy city garden. The following strategies will help you turn a smaller outdoor space into a wildflower and wildlife haven, while working within the constraints of an urban environment.1. Use resilient plants. Plants face a host of challenges in the city, such as proximity to sidewalks and streets, hot, polluted air and low-quality soils. Additionally, the occasional passerby might snip a bloom to take home, or a neighborhood pet might use the flower bed as a restroom.
You can alleviate those issues a bit by using adaptable plants ? natives are often a good choice ? that can tolerate a variety of site conditions. These plants should be better equipped to withstand the rigors of urban runoff and soil and air pollution with more gusto than others.Some native wildflowers that are especially well-equipped to handle urban conditions include:
- Red columbine (Aquilegia canadensis, USDA zones 3 to 7;)
- Yarrow (Achillea millefolium, zones 3 to 9)
- Butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa, zones 3 to 10)
- Aster (Symphyotrichum spp., zones 3 to 8)
- Blue wild indigo (Baptisia australis, zones 3 to 9)
- Purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea, zones 3 to 9)
- Coneflower (Echinacea spp., zones 3 to 9)