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Wildflowers flourish under nature's care.

Byline: Paul Rogers

COLUMN: Your gardening answers

Nature's own garden surrounds us. She has planted it with a varied mixture of wildflowers. How many of them do you recognize? Have you ever wondered how her plants can grow without being weeded, fertilized, watered, staked and tied? How can this be?

Look about you at the brown-eyed Susan, oxeye daisy, Queen Anne's lace, feverfew, devil's paintbrush, New England asters and dozens of kinds of goldenrod seemingly growing without a care in field and meadow. They reappear each year despite heat or cold, drought or flood.

Some of the plants look a bit like select garden flowers, as indeed they should, for garden plants of gloriosa daisy, Mount Shasta daisy and several of the Michaelmas asters have been derived from the plants of the field. Already in England and soon to be seen in this country are numerous hybrids and selections of goldenrod (solidago). Once gardeners in the U.S. progress beyond the mistaken idea that goldenrod causes hay fever, we will, like the English, appreciate these fountains of golden flowers.

Except for goldenrod and the New York and New England asters, most of the plants that we observe growing in meadow, field and waste areas are immigrants that have made a place for themselves in the New World. They have established themselves by aggressively carving a place in our ecology.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Sep 10, 2009
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