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July 2003 - Posts

  • A Field of Wild Flowers

     

    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%
        Gaillardia  9.27%
        Baby's Breath  9.27%
        Lupine  9.27%
        Shasta Daisy  4.63%
        Sweet William Pink  4.63%
        Spurred Snap Dragon  2.32%
        Black-eyed Susan  2.32 %
        Catchfly  1.53%
        Miscellaneous   1.15%


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