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Fear Not the Flowers

November 6, 2009

Taking a look at the countryside in North Florida this fall I was reminded of a word I came across recently – anthrophia, or fear of flowers. If this describes you then driving along parts of I-10 or secondary roads in this part of the state during the fall could be a problem. The flowers along the road and in many fields have been spectacular. My problem is not so much that I fear the flowers but that I fear growing them.

I know we are fortunate to have an abundance of native wildflowers and plants in Florida. We have a  co-op of farmers who grow Florida native wildflower seed and a speciality tag for our own state wildflower. We have native nurseries throughout the state to assist people like me who are  reluctant or not informed enough when it comes to gardening with natives.

Blazing Star

Once established, natives need less water, will reseed, and will attract wildlife and butterflies.  Another plus is that they are already acclimated to Florida’s not-so-kind weather.  So with all of these solid arguments for growing natives, why  fear growing my own wildflowers? Truth be told, I do grow native wildflowers and some plants, but my true fear is that one day I will run out of space for all of the plants I want to use.  The choices and possibilities are endless: coreopsis, passion vine, purple love grass, rayless sunflower, blanketflower, blazing star, black-eyed Susan and the list goes on.   I will keep planting natives until space no longer permits and the fear is gone.

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