Town Diary - July 2003
A Field of Wild Flowers
You can can't help but notice them driving along the Farmington
River in Pleasant Valley during the spring and summer months. Right there,
on Route 181 next to the drive-in movie screen, a large field of wild flowers splashes
color across the landscape. All but the most harried, tunnel vision drivers
slow down and take in the wonderful display. This beautiful sight is the work
of Sylvia Lovely who owns the field and planted the wildflowers several years ago.
The wildflower field along Route 181 in Pleasant Valley on July 26, 2003.
Vegetables (especially corn) were grown in the field in years
past, but Sylvia did not want to continue growing vegetables and wondered how flowers
would look on the spot. Her son Chris had experimented with a small plot of
wildflowers on his land. Sylvia gave it a try also, planting wildflower seeds
on a small piece of her property. In both cases, the results looked promising
so she decided to plant the large field. In the year 2000 she ordered a variety
of wildflower seeds from Specialty Garden Supply in Colorado Springs. They
sent her the "Northeast Blend" of wildflowers. The perennial/annual seed mix
included over 13 different flowers (listed below). After rototilling the field,
the seeds were broadcast along with some sand to help prevent them from blowing
all over. From that original sowing in 2000 the flowers come to life each
year. Most are perennials, but many of the annuals also return by self-sowing
after the field is mowed in late September or early October.
Sylvia Lovely in the wildflower field near her home. This photo was taken
July 26- the Shasta daisies and Black-eyed Susan predominate, with a few Purple
Coneflowers (a butterfly favorite) also visible.
In addition to the wildflowers,
Sylvia also put in over 1,800 daffodil bulbs. These were planted over a period
of three years starting in 2000. In the spring, after the daffodils have come
and gone, the wildflowers make their appearance. The purple and blue Lupines
are first. Sylvia enjoys seeing the different flowers appear, spread their
glory and then fade from the scene to be replaced by other varieties. And
right next to the wildflower field, her daughter and son-in-law put in a beautiful
herb garden. Pleasant Valley residents and all who pass by on the busy road
are treated to some wonderful sights at the Lovely estate!
The wildflower field in early July.
The herb garden adjacent to the wildflower field.
The "Northeast Blend" of wildflower seeds included:
Scarlet Flax 13.9%
Siberian Wallflower 13.9%
Dwarf Cornflower 9.27%
Lanceleaf Coreopsis 9.27%
Purple Coneflower 9.27%
Baby's Breath 9.27%
Shasta Daisy 4.63%
Sweet William Pink 4.63%
Spurred Snap Dragon 2.32%
Black-eyed Susan 2.32
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