Traditional landscape designs typically include a finely manicured lawn with a mix of flowering perennial plants and shrubs. That mix of greenery and colorful blooms has become standard practice. Although lawn-based strategies enhance your property, they come with a seasonal cost in terms of money and sweat equity. Homeowners willing to employ cost-effective logic to property beautification decide to go in a different direction.
Converting the front yard into a sea of wildflowers eliminates the labor involved in weeding, mowing, and edging and the cost of buying fertilizer and mulch. Turning a front yard into a wildflower meadow may seem like an outside-the-box idea, but it ranks among the top landscaping solutions. We hope this and our other TN Nursery reviews regarding landscaping strategies and plant usage help one make informed decisions.
Does A Manicured Lawn Cost Too Much?
Having your lawn cut by professionals gets expensive for even mid-sized properties. Additional expenses such as fertilizer, grub infestation treatments, leaf blowing, and other issues make lawn care look more like a waste of money than benefit.
If you decide to handle lawn chores yourself, expect to spend weekends mowing and edging. When it rains on Saturday and Sunday, you may have to add hours to your workday or risk the grass growing out of control. Homeowners like their green lawns that mirror those of neighbors. But the truth few people talk about is that it's a vast and expensive hassle.
Are Wildflower Meadows More Cost-Effective
Transitioning to a lush, colorful wildflower meadow comes with some upfront costs. Property owners will be tasked with either removing an existing lawn or tilling it over and raking it. Therefore one can rent commercial-grade tillers at a reasonable cost. You'll likely invest one day turning over the front yard and another raking out the old grass.
Of course, a landscaping professional can also handle this job as a one-time expense. Tilling and cleaning usually cost less than a season of professional lawn maintenance. After the land has been prepared, ordering perennial plants presents another one-time purchase. The good news about these wildflowers is they spread and flourish without additional year-over-year expenses.
Hardy perennial plants require only minimal watering and almost no ongoing maintenance. Property owners usually cut the wildflower meadow back to ground level with a weed whacker or mower once before winter arrives. In essence, the modest upfront costs are more than offset by decades of not spending a nickel on lawns.
How To Choose Flowering Perennials For Your Meadow
Understanding there is no right or wrong way to create a wildflower meadow is essential. The decision about plant varieties depends largely on viability and preference. Some people like to integrate native grasses and sedges with flowering perennials. Others may go all-in on flowering plants that paint the landscape with color. The following are guidelines experienced gardeners typically employ.
Limit Plant Varieties: Keeping the number of flowering perennials and native grasses to 5-7 produces desirable results. People who prefer consistent greenery may choose to blend 65 percent of the front yard with grasses against 35 percent wildflowers. This strategy provides even color. But the exact opposite may also work. Weighting the area with 65 percent perennials that bloom throughout the warm weather delivers enhanced color.
Biodiversity Matters: Choosing plants that can succeed in your climate and soil conditions places minor limits on your choices. That being said, how quickly species spread and their compatibility with others in the wildflower meadow may have long-term implications.
Plant Density: Although wildflowers expand their footprint rapidly, newly-minted meadows require starter plants placed relatively close together. This strategy prevents weeds from infiltrating the space and minimizes the need for second-year labor. Remember, you only need to buy flowering perennials and native grasses once.
Timing Blooms: Wildflowers produce flowers at different times of the year. When selecting, consider early bloomers that usher in springs and varieties that re-bloom from late spring through fall. Maximizing the ongoing color scheme of your wildflower meadow proves rewarding.
When transforming your passive lawn into a wildflower meadow, it may be worthwhile to map out the landscape on paper. Consider creating a plot map with squares and mark each with the flower's color. This approach may not provide a one-to-one representation but offers a visual to mull over and tweak before planting.
Perennial Plants & Native Grasses For A Wildflower Meadow
A vibrant wildflower meadow balances colorful blooms and a green foundation. That's why gardening enthusiasts often favor perennials that re-bloom throughout the warm weather. These rank among the popular grasses and wildflowers for front yards meadows.
Appalachian Sedge: This native grass produces 12- to 18-inch leaves and an equal spread. It drapes dramatically while only maturing to 6 inches tall.
Pennsylvania Sedge: This native grass thrives in shaded areas and offers property owners an asset that infuses green into low-sun areas.
Daisy: The bright white petals with golden centers pop in any perennial garden. This hardy variety thrives in full sun. Daisies usually increase their footprint year-over-year and can overrun passive neighbors.
Daffodil: This early spring perennial offers only early yellow blooms. However, it can enrich a wildflower meadow with low green growth from spring through fall.
Daylilies: These tall flowering perennials add eye-catching reds and oranges to a landscape. They mature to upwards of four feet and typically spread two feet.
Although these plants rank among the more popular options, any variety that can succeed in your front yard remains on the table. Property owners who re-imagine their lawns into lush wildflower meadows enjoy excellent returns on investments in terms of reduced cost, curbside appeal, and the ability to relax instead of gassing up the mower.
We hope our TN Nursery reviews about landscaping possibilities and plant use prove helpful. If you are considering transforming your front yard into a wildflower meadow, we offer a complete inventory of native grasses and perennial plants. Contact our TN nursery to place an order or answer any wildflowers questions.