The first full week of May is always National Wildflower Week, a time when most of the country is ablaze with springtime blossoms in a riot of yellows, pinks, reds, blues, purples, and whites. The week-long celebration was started by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas (temporarily closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic).
Johnson once said that wildflowers “give us a sense of where we are in this great land of ours.” Celebrate—and offer your local pollinators a treat—by planting native wildflowers unique to the Upper Midwest and your soil conditions. The Wildflower Center provides a list of commercially available native plant species here. The website Minnesota Wildflowers offers wildflower options by color as you begin planning your wildflower garden, or think about adding native wildflowers to your existing garden.
Heidi’s Growhaus and Lifestyle Gardens is located in Corcoran, with one of owner Heidi Heiland’s favorites being Liatris, also known as blazingstar and gayfeather. Pair this dramatic wildflower, which blooms from the bottom up, with the orange blooms of Asclepias tuberosa or butterfly milkweed from Morning Sky Greenery, a woman-owned native-plant nursery in Morris, MN.
Mother Earth Gardens in Minneapolis always offers an array of native wildflowers, with (among other options) bright-yellow coreopsis to liven up the purple and orange palette of your blazingstar and butterfly milkweed.
Prairie Restorations in Princeton has long been providing homeowners with everything they need to grow native wildflowers, from individual plants for home gardens to guidance and services for an entire yard of wildflowers. Download the wildflower catalogue and get ready to indulge in wildflower beauties from asters to “zizis” (Golden Alexanders), majestic compass plant to delicate lilies, and eye-catching blue wild indigo to purple prairie clover.
As Lady Bird Johnson also said, “Where flowers bloom so does hope.”
Photos courtesy Adobe Stock