En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - July 18, 2012

From: Tallahassee, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources, Seeds and Seeding, Herbs/Forbs, Wildflowers
Title: Garden planning for wedding in Tallahassee
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I would love your advice on creating a Wildflower Garden Plan. Earlier this spring in Tallahassee (North Florida). I sowed Wildflowers for the first time to see what would bloom in early May. In doing so I came to the conclusion that I need to form a better Wildflower Garden Plan. My goal is to create a beautiful entrance for my daughters future wedding site with Wildflowers in front of and on both sides of the horse pasture's entrance/gate. The wedding date is May 11, 2013. I am traveling to Austin, TX in August and would like to purchase Wildflower seeds. I would greatly appreciate any tips or advice you may have for different Colors combinations; different heighths; and blooming potential. Thankyou, Mother of the Bride

ANSWER:

We are frequently asked this sort of question; however, you are ahead of the curve in that you gave yourself nearly a year. Some of our questions are asked a month or so before the wedding. To repeat the main reaction to those questions, this is not a "throw out a bunch of seeds" proposition. Below we list some of the important tasks you will need to do and how to find information on doing them.

1. Read our How-To Article on Meadow Gardening, because hopefully that is what you already have on the portion of the property you are planning for your wedding. You can enhance it by putting out some wildflower seeds, but don't try planting any that don't belong there, because you will be wasting your time. We are delighted you are coming to the Wildflower Center in August, but we only sell plants at our semi-annual Plant Sales in April and October and they are all native to Central Texas. The only seeds we sell, in our Gift Shop, are for Texas native wildflowers and Habiturf grasses.  We recommend planting seeds at about the same time plants are dropping their seeds naturally, which is usually Fall. Be sure and read the instructions in the Meadow Gardening article about dropping the seed. 

2. To find appropriate plants native to Florida, go to our Native Plant Database and, using the Combination Search, select on Florida, herbs (herbaceous blooming plants) for Habit, annual for Duration, and May for bloom time. When we did this, we found 93 possibilities, and have selected an even dozen for you to consider:

Aphanostephus skirrhobasis (Lazy daisy)

Castilleja coccinea (Scarlet paintbrush)

Coreopsis tinctoria var. tinctoria (Golden tickseed)

Dracopis amplexicaulis (Clasping coneflower)

Erigeron strigosus (Prairie fleabane)

Euphorbia cyathophora (Wild poinsettia)

Gaillardia pulchella (Firewheel)

Monarda citriodora (Lemon beebalm)

Phlox drummondii (Annual phlox)

Salvia coccinea (Scarlet sage)

Scutellaria drummondii (Drummond's skullcap)

Viola sororia (Missouri violet)

3. Follow the plant links to our page on that individual plant to learn its growing conditions, size and so forth. Note that the only seeds you will likely get flowers from next May will be annuals. Perennials and biennials don't bloom until their second year. Those on our list are all annuals that could give you some results by next May, and perhaps continue to propagate themselves to grace the area for a long time to come.

4. Find sources for the seeds you need. We Googled "native wildflowers of Florida" and these are some of the sites that looked like they will help you: 

Florida Wildflower Foundation

Florida Native Plants Nursery

Florida-Friendly Plant Database

Plant Real Florida

5. Check on light requirements; most wildflowers need full sun (6 hours or more of sun a day) to bloom well.

6. Because we do respond to so many questions on this subject, we are going to link you to some previous Mr. Smarty Plants questions and answers that deal with some of the main issues. Follow the links below to previous questions on the subject of preparing an outside space for a wedding. They are from different areas and deal with different situations and plants, but they are all things you need to think about:

Clearing a space for an outdoor wedding

Backyard wedding

Farm for wedding

 

From the Image Gallery


Lazy daisy
Aphanostephus skirrhobasis

Scarlet paintbrush
Castilleja coccinea

Golden tickseed
Coreopsis tinctoria var. tinctoria

Clasping coneflower
Dracopis amplexicaulis

Prairie fleabane
Erigeron strigosus

Wild poinsettia
Euphorbia cyathophora

Firewheel
Gaillardia pulchella

Lemon beebalm
Monarda citriodora

Annual phlox
Phlox drummondii

Scarlet sage
Salvia coccinea

Drummond's skullcap
Scutellaria drummondii

Missouri violet
Viola sororia

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Monocarpic plants for Indiana
October 06, 2005 - We were in Hawaii this summer and became acquainted with the Silversword. This plant (according to what we were told) blooms only once in it's lifetime (of 50-70 years). Are you aware of any other pl...
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for gravesite in Maryland
March 13, 2013 - I know this is very unusual question but here I go. I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and I am looking for a low ground cover for my grandparents grave. The soil is very sandy and I am looking...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control in West Union IA
June 22, 2010 - Erosion control and native grasses/plants for steep, shady slope in northeast Iowa. We are building a house in northeast Iowa (near West Union in Fayette County). The road that was graded to the ho...
view the full question and answer

Die-off of Texas bluebells
June 04, 2008 - I live in southeast Travis County east of IH35 in the Blackland Prairie. We have a gorgeous stand of Texas bluebells. Last year, the bluebells would look fine, then they would turn brown and die for...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for grass under non-native weeping willow from Yorba Linda CA
April 24, 2012 - What would be a good replacement for the grass currently growing under a weeping willow? Something requiring low maintenance, the problem is with mowing over and around the roots.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center