We waited and waited, impatiently expecting a vast sea of bright colors.DudPrairie003 Then later we more modestly hoped for a lake of limned vegetation. But we would settle for just a puddle of pastels since it is the first year. Oh, surely at least a few drops of hue?

Indeed that last, as the mid-August picture at left shows, is our meager reward for all our tilling and sowing and mulching. Having succeeded at this sort of project once before, we have no idea what went wrong this time. Reputable seed source? Check. Directions followed? Check. Results? Piddly squared. The few plants we added have done adequately but of the seeds sown only a few have made an appearance and that a cameo. The remainder of the occupants consists of volunteers of morning glory, buckwheat, Queen Anne’s lace, and many of the weeds we had tried to cleared away.

In a thousand square feet we find one, count it, one lance coreopsis. Clicking and zooming on the earlier picture will show it as the only bright color in the area. LanceCoreopsis005
Unseen among the green is a small, pale blue Ohio spiderwort. Just one. It is rather pretty. Would that there were more. OhioSpiderwort 007
And three hyssop. They may be lavender hyssop from the seed mix or they may be some other hyssop volunteering from around the corner. We shall give the seed mix the benefit of the doubt. MaybeHyssop 006

So three kinds of plants; five specimens in toto. Where is the nodding pink onion, butterflyweed, sky blue aster, smooth aster, new jersey tea, canada milk vetch, white prairie clover, purple prairie clover, shootingstar, pale purple coneflower, purple coneflower, rattlesnake master, roundhead bushclover, rough blazingstar, prairie blazingstar, wild quinine, smooth penstemon, great solomon’s seal, black eyed susan, brown eyed susan, or stiff goldenrod?

Meanwhile the plants not from seed are likewise few but that is to be expected as we planted but a few plants and not handfuls of seed.


In the left corner is the Russian sage we planted. It is blooming nicely but the bright blue is hard to see from a distance. Perhaps when it is larger?

In the right corner the shrubby St. John’s wort has provided a less orange kind of yellow but is not blooming now.


Most popular with the bees (see picture) have been the two calamints, gifts from a friend, which we planted on either side of the large rain gauge midway along the front edge.

Almost as popular is the one of two mountain mint (not shown), which troubled itself to bloom. The other is doing less well but has not died.

Overall a disappointment. We shall not be reseeding this area but will add plants directly. There is butterfly weed and coneflower available in other beds for transplanting. And Native Plant Nursery can supply many of the others. We shall yet have a feast for our eyes and for our bees.