IN THE FIELD: Weeds and Wildflowers

Growing flowers and plants where I live can be a challenge. The soil is filled with pebbles, stones, rocks and boulders. Thousands of years ago, glaciers left all the good stuff in the valleys below and deposited all the rocks here on top of the ridge.

Our neighbor across the street has been trying for several years to get control of what grows on the embankment between the road and woods on his property. Grass doesn’t last as it is either eroded away or becomes overgrown with weeds.

Last year our neighbor got fed up and rented an oversized rototiller to tackle the persistent weed growth on his hillside. I’m surprised he has any control left of his arms the way the tiller was bouncing all over the place.

A few days later, the truck from the soil company paid him a visit and dropped off a huge load of fresh topsoil. Mr. Neighbor then went to work spreading the soil. He figured the planting of three or four five-pound bags of wildflower seeds would crowd out any weeds attempting to grow there.

All that work paid off. This year there are very few weeds except for some clover and a few others that somehow made it through the onslaught of the rototiller. The hillside has filled in nicely and already, daises are starting to bloom. There are quite a few other plants that haven’t sent up flower stems or buds yet, but it should be a colorful hillside this summer. The best part is we get to see most of it from our front windows. And when I need some photos of wildflowers, I only have to walk a few hundred feet to get to them.

I took this hand held photo on the way back from our morning walk with the dogs. I have no idea what it is, but I will post a photo of it when it opens. Any ideas?

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  1. May 4, 2012 at 8:57 am

    You know better than to ask me what a plant is! lol It reminds me of a thistle but will like to see what it turns into. You are so good with lighting.

    • May 5, 2012 at 11:22 am

      LOL I know what you mean…I used to work in a garden center/nursery and I still have problems remembering plant names…duh. Thanks for the compliment!

  2. May 4, 2012 at 9:13 am

    They are wild flowers… I think and also has thorns especially when they dry… I remember in dried and still they are being nice with their brown and dried thorns… I hope I talk about the same flower but I don’t know the name… Thank you dear David, it was so nice as always, with my love, nia

    • May 5, 2012 at 11:24 am

      I will keep an eye out for the blossoms so we can identify it!

  3. May 4, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Great shot, but I at a loss as to what it is! 🙂

    • May 5, 2012 at 11:26 am

      Thanks Ted, we have gotten some clues from other comments as to the name of the mystery plant.

  4. May 4, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Not sure what it is, but a pretty picture. When you get right down to it, wildflowers are weeds, too. But they are weeds with blossoms. 🙂

    • May 5, 2012 at 11:27 am

      Very true Bob, in fact most flowers folks plant were all cultivated from wildflowers/weeds!

  5. May 4, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Yellow Starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) I think I confused… what I remembered should be this one and it is yellow… not red… Sorry dear David. Love, nia

    • May 5, 2012 at 11:27 am

      I’m not sure either but we have gotten a good clue from Fergie!

  6. May 4, 2012 at 11:27 am

    The light hitting the bloom is lovely-whatever it is.Some weeds are pretty hardy though.

    • May 5, 2012 at 11:29 am

      That would be the early morning light…it was about 9:30 or so. Some weeds are down right impossible to control. Our hill in the back yard is a perfect example!

  7. May 4, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Thank you dear David, especially for your nice words on my emotional post yesterday. You are so nice. Love, nia

    • May 5, 2012 at 11:30 am

      You are quite welcome Nia. You are a special lady!

  8. May 4, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Looks like Sweet William. That’s how my Sweet Williams look before they bloom, and I grow quite a few of them, in different colors. In your photo, I can see a couple of pink buds forming. They are very pretty when they bloom. I have to scatter seeds every year if I don’t want to skip a year of blooms. For me, they have always bloomed the second year of planting and then they are done. I live in the mountains among a lot of deer, and this is one of the few deer resistant plants that I don’t have to plant inside a deer fence.
    When you see it in bloom, you should be able to tell for sure if it’s a Sweet William.

  9. May 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Love the lighting in this shot but I have no idea what it is although I feel as though I have come across it before.

    • May 5, 2012 at 11:34 am

      Thanks MD, I think Fergie is correct. I never saw them that tall before. My Mom’s were usually about 4 inches or so…these are about 12+.

  10. May 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Its leaves remind me of a willow herb of some type but I’m not sure.

    • May 5, 2012 at 11:37 am

      I think we have the name of it now. Fergie says it’s a Sweet William and I am thinking she is correct. I never saw the flower buds of this plant before but have seen the flowers in gardens.

  11. May 4, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    I agree with Fergiemoto – it could well be Sweet William – but I don’t know much about North American plants! Beautiful photo. Sounds like you will have plenty of inspiration this spring!

    • May 5, 2012 at 11:38 am

      I think you guys are correct also. I was out there this morning and things are starting to bloom!

  12. May 4, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Wonderful, David! I have no clue what it is either, I guess we have to wait until it blooms.

    • May 5, 2012 at 11:40 am

      Thanks Gracie, It started to open last night and it appears to be exactly what Fergie said it was! I’ll get a few shots when it is fully open. Oh yeah, there are plenty more of these plants in nice groupings!

  13. May 5, 2012 at 12:58 am

    It looks as though your neighbor did a very nice thing for you!

    • May 5, 2012 at 11:42 am

      Ya know…I think it was so thoughtful of him to provide me with all these photo ops! Plus it will be nice to look at from the front windows!

  14. May 5, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Looks like Sweet William! When it blooms be sure to get close for a smell, it is a heaven scent! Great image!

    • May 6, 2012 at 10:28 am

      I think all you folks are right on the money! The blooms haven’t opened much this weekend…it’s been overcast, but I will be sure to give them a whiff when they do!!

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