The wildflower meadow is surrounded by live oaks in the front yard and consists of bluebonnets, indian blanket, and other flowers. The inspiration came after Andrew toured the meadow at Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center.
The first step of creating the wildflower meadow was to clear out the junipers and open up the live oaks. Junipers often grow under oaks because birds eat the seeds and then excrete them while sitting on the oak branches. Junipers grow quickly and can outcompete oaks for water and light, especially when fires are suppressed which would otherwise clear them out.
Clearing out the front yard junipers is an ongoing process that was started in June 2022. By the fall, sufficient trees were cleared to sow the wildflower meadow.
Wildflowers should be sowed in the September/October timeframe. We used Lady Bird’s Legacy wildflower mix from Native American Seed.
The sowing date was scheduled for October 16, 2022 in anticipation of a rain the next day. It happened to coincide with a Cabin build week and the two residents who were staying at Montanoso that weekend offered to help with the sowing process.
We mixed the seeds with four parts sand and added a bit of water as Andrew had read online. However that concoction didn’t easily flow through the seed dispenser. Eventually we gave up and spread the seeds with our hands or by flinging them from a garden trowel. Problem solving was part of the fun.
We had our first blooms in spring 2023. The bluebonnets didn't really take the first year, we only got a handful of stunted flowers in March and April that didn't even make it to seed. However the indian blanket and lemon mint flowers came in well through April and May.
The flowers are clustered in a lower area of the meadow. It's unclear whether they were washed down by rain, we didn't seed them evenly, or if there was something different about the soil there. We may need to reseed uphill in a few years.