Q: I have heard that there is a special blend of wildflower seeds that is grown in the median of the Georgia expressways. I would like to purchase some of these seeds. Can you tell me where to buy them?
A: The name wildflower implies that these plants will grow and flourish just about anywhere. Gardeners found out long ago, however, that a blend of wildflowers that prospered in California would languish in Connecticut. The reason is that wildflower blends contain seeds of plants which come back from their roots year after year (perennials) and plants which must re-seed themselves each year (annuals) in order to survive. Weather conditions in different parts of the country determine which blend of particular flowers can co-exist, without one plant dominating the others.
Several years ago, Will Corley, a researcher at the Griffin campus of the University of Georgia, began experimenting with different blends of wildflower seeds. After several seasons, he came up with a “Southeastern blend” which does well under our hot, dry summers. The Garden Club of Georgia now works with the Georgia Department of Transportation to purchase the seed for highway medians. Funding for the program comes from the sale of special wildflower license plates for your car.
Most garden centers carry a blend of wildflower seed appropriate for our region. Now is the best time to prepare and seed the spot where you want wildflowers next spring.