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Getting to know the natives ... in your garden.

It's as true in gardening as it is in travel: if you want to experience the character of a place, get to know the natives.

For an easy introduction, start with annual wildflowers native to your area. Here we show five Western ones that are easy to grow but not widely known or typically sold on seed racks. Specialty nurseries listed at far right offer these as well as dozens more.

You can sow wildflowers in natural-looking drifts (see owl's clover above) or in more formal borders (see yellow tidytips). With a little watering, flowers can flourish from early spring into June.

Order seeds and prepare soil now; sow now or, if you can't water, soon after the first heavy rains. For best results, loosen soil, clear weeds, and protect seeds from birds, but don't add fertilizer or rich organic amendments; wildflowers grow best in lean soil. If you can, water during any long, dry periods, especially until seedlings are well rooted.

Specialty sources expand your choices

These mail-order seed companies emphasize Western wildflowers and feature tips for beginners: Larner Seeds, Box 407, Bolinas, Calif. 94924 (catalog $1.50); Moon Mountain Wildflowers, Box 34, Morro Bay, Calif. 93443 (catalog $2); Plants of the Southwest, 930 Baca St., Santa Fe 87501 (catalog $1.50).
COPYRIGHT 1990 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Bibliography
Date:Nov 1, 1990
Words:213
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