Herbs and Wildflowers in Place of Lawns in Nepean, ON
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Paul Wilson
Posted on: August 17, 1998

From Nepean, ON (zone 4): About 5% of the creeping thyme seed has come up and we are now looking at weeds galore.

Would you suggest a wildflower garden instead? We are prepared to till it all and start over. Hopefully with more success.

Any suggestions, as we would like this to be a success? Hopefully flowers that will bloom throughout the spring, summer and fall year after year.

There are many herbs that would make a lovely addition to a wildflower garden, but only annuals will bloom all season long.

Good lawn herbs are creeping thyme (available as plants only – but fill in quickly), rupturewort and in protected areas, english (lawn) chamomile is lovely. [Your "creeping thyem" which you grew from seeds is what we call "wild thyme" in our catalogue; our "creeping thyme" is different and is not grown from seeds. --Ed.]

Perennials recommended as parts of a wildflower garden are: ox-eye daisy, golden marguerite, echinacea, hyssop, false indigo(slightly acid soil), blue flax, elecampane ‘Goliath’, crown vetch(will eventually take over), columbine, meadow clary, gloriosa daisy (lasts longer than black-eyed susan), bergamots (Monarda didyma wants moist soil), New England aster, anise hyssop, Goldstick tansy, speedwells, Russian sage, yarrows, common marjoram and blue vervain (damp soil) to name my favorites.

The biennials mullein, viper’s bugloss (unsightly in late summer – but you need the dead plants for seeding) would probably seed themselves sufficiently well to be able to compete for a while.

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