Saturday, September 20, 2008


Wildflowers of the Mountain Southwest Anywhere you walk, bike or drive this month, the roadsides and fields are filled with wildflowers. More so than usual, as the rains in August seemed to be just what these hardy wildflowers needed. For the first time in years, I travel with a flower identification book.

I used to think I knew most of the blooming plants (weeds to many), but this summer some have come up that I had to search to identify. Around our house are dozens of sacred datura (jimson weed) still blooming, Indian Paintbrush have just gone to seed, mullein spikes are yellow with small trumpet-shaped blooms and asters are clouds of lavender everywhere. Small-leaved glove-mallow flourish between the chamisa bushes. Even White horse-nettle has invaded my gardens. I have learned to live with these colorful “wildflowers”, even turning a part of my yard into a wild garden.

National Audubon Society first field guide. WildflowersMy philosophy on most colorful weeds is that if they had the ability to take root in my garden, I can live with them. As an artist, the colorful banks of flowers are inspiring. I think this is what Monet would have done if he had lived in the Southwest, created gardens from the hardy wild plants rather than pull and trim and make a formal garden.

Check out the Library’s wildflower identification books, we have many that can help you identify your “weeds.”

by PCH @ Main

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