Going wild in the garden with wildflowers

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Last summer, at the annual Garden Writers Association conference, I was quite taken by a flower arrangement at one of the booths. I struck up a conversation with the talented creator of the bouquet, Miriam Goldberger, who also happens to be a fellow garden writer and the co-owner (with her husband) of Wildflower Farm in Southern Ontario. At the time, Miriam told me about a new aspect to her business where brides would come to her farm and she would help them design their wedding bouquets using the wildflowers picked on her property. 

Miriam's stunning bouquet at last year's Garden Writers Association conference held in Quebec City.

Miriam’s stunning bouquet at last year’s Garden Writers Association conference held in Quebec City.

I thought to myself: “What an ingenious way to introduce people to wildflowers.” That’s the moment when I started looking forward to reading Miriam’s book. Fast forward to this spring, when Taming Wildflowers officially launched. I managed to get my hands on a copy and immediately started flipping through the pages of flower porn – er, photography. I think too often people equate wildflowers with weeds, but some of the tried and true favourites you see at the nursery may surprise you – they are wildflowers, from echinacea to tickseed to black-eyed Susans. Miriam walks the reader through what wildflowers are and their importance to pollinators and our eco-system before listing off her favourite wildflowers by season. Then, at the back of the book, she provides more insight into that “DIY Wildflower Wedding Experience” I mentioned earlier. There are also wildflower and garden design ideas, and, of course plenty of growing advice.


The lovely Taming Wildflowers book cover!

Miriam’s enthusiasm about wildflowers is contagious and it’s clear that she’s the go-to expert on the subject. When I wrote a recent post on planting milkweed, I knew where to turn. I was also inspired to grow a few wildflowers from seed, including bergamot (aka beebalm). And I knew what type of milkweed to purchase, so I’ll be consulting the book for planting tips when it’s delivered to my house!

What’s your favourite wildflower?


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8 Responses to Going wild in the garden with wildflowers

  1. Carole Coates says:

    My life-long favorite flower has been the simple daisy. The summer day when we first drove in to our new forever homeplace, I was stunned to see acres full of wild daisies! My heart almost stopped. But I also love our Turk’s cap lilies, trillium, milkweed, wild columbine, black-eyed susans, violets, hoary mountain mint and the hundreds of other wildflowers that grow here. We are so lucky!

    • savvygardening says:

      Daisies to me are such a simple, happy flower! I’ve ordered milkweed for the monarchs this year, Carol! I’m really looking forward to it. ~ Tara

  2. ana says:

    another daisy lover here! i’ll be checking out the book, thanks for the suggestion. and as i’ve been doing more research into wildflowers and native species, i’m becoming more and more unhappy with all the species present in our yard right now — periwinkle and ivy that has been growing for decades (before we even moved in)…invasive and intrusive, and not easy to remove. though the garlic mustard is an easy pull. oh well… live, garden and learn i suppose 🙂 thanks for sharing!

    • savvygardening says:

      I can sympathize, Ana… I have goutweed and vinca which were there when I moved in. And the garlic mustard is popping up everywhere! Have you tried making pesto with it?

    • ana says:

      i’ve never tried that but i read that all parts are edible and high in vitamins. there’s certainly enough of it to make pesto! i may try that…

    • savvygardening says:

      I keep meaning to try it, too! 🙂

  3. Nugget says:

    In addition to daisies & black-eyed susans already mentioned, I love coneflowers, catmint, coreopsis & meadow sage – mostly purples and blues with a punch of yellow!

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