An Alternative Approach to Accent Plants
This spring I planted a meadow next to my house. I had no idea what I was doing. The last time I’d planted herbaceous plants in the ground was in grade school, in my parents vegetable garden. With that dim memory, I took out the grass, prepared the soil, spread the seeds around, and dusted with top dressing. I watered it now and then. And waited, wondering. The mix I’d been gifted didn’t list what plants it contained. A Russian roulette of flowers.
The first to open was a lavender thing. Even the plant apps didn’t know what it was (a friend later ID’d it as Hydrophyllum). Next, bachelor buttons opened. Then red clover. Now I see borage, some tiny poppies, and a frilly leaf that I hope is cosmos.
My micro-meadow planted from an unknown flower mix
Given that the plot is ten feet by five, this is a micro-meadow. The pollinators love it but I suspect the deer scoff at it as footnote to a real meadow.
Now I wonder why I didn’t spend more time considering native plants.
Which brings me to the point of this post, which is a rebellious idea that flies in the face of all respectable practices for accent plants, perfect for the busy person. Buy a native mix. From a particular environment, or region. Take a pot and sow your seeds. Check the package for the seed depth, usually it’s a light soil cover, 1/8” or 1/4”. Protect from birds, and wait.
Then, after your plants have risen, sharpen your scissors. With pruning, you can create balance. Try to make one plant dominant. Let it have a flow, right or left. (You may wish to encourage grass within your flowers, if after a true meadow feeling.)
This is an easy way to have fun with accent plants. I’d make several, as an idea as improvisational and cow-stupid as this will hit some odd notes.
If you prefer the snobby ways to make an accent plant, with ideas that might even make a deer proud, join us for Wild for Accents. This online course hits all the high (and low) points of accent plant design and styles (yes there are such things), as well as making and maintaining them. You must endure a couple cameos from Vivian, our mascot cat, on the videos. But if you have three hours free this Saturday morning, July 16th, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and I’ll send you some details~