As some of you might remember, I ripped out our front lawn last summer. Over many weeks I replaced it first with a layer of cardboard and covered that with a three inch layer of compost. Almost 1900 square feet of dirt broke down over the fall and winter into spring.
Knowing that I can hardly plant the entire area in just one year, I put out seeds of poppies (Papaver), California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) and other local wildflowers over one part of the dirt. Other parts I started to plant in late fall with drought tolerant, native plants. I mixed in some native shrubs, grasses and lavender. And then I just let it rest over the winter.
Soon after the winter rains had started the first seedlings appeared. The only ones I recognized were the California poppies, but I wasn’t sure about many of the other ones. I even wondered whether some of them were actually weeds instead of wildflowers (which sometimes can be the same anyway). Since I didn’t know for sure I decided to just wait it out and see what would emerge out of those seedlings.
What I finally got is almost a meadow – a beautiful meadow of orange, pink, red, white, lavender and blue flowers. The California poppies dominate by far; I call them the happy flowers. The loveliest surprise, however, have been the papaver poppies. They came along fierce and strong in beautiful colors, some of them bicolor. I discover new ones on a daily basis, and their exquisite beauty makes my heart sing. The flowers don’t last very long, a few days at the most, but their beauty isn’t gone since the flowers are followed by their gorgeous unique seedpods.
Hopefully they will reseed and show their beauty again next year.