I don’t even want to know how much chemical fertilizer, pesticide, fuel for hot houses and refrigerated air transport goes into “saying it with flowers.”
My favorite option these days is just walking around my land, which is a constant profusion of flowering plants. When I have a minute, I grab the camera.
How lucky we humans are to have color vision!
Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckiea hirta
They are biennial, which means they live for two years. The first year, they grow a flat rosette of leaves spread out on the ground, but the second year, they erupt in a bouquet. Butterflies and other insects feed on their nectar while they bloom from June to October. I’ve seen warnings to gardeners that they can get pushy and need to be controlled, but out in nature, they seem to find their place in the melee.
The USDA includes bergamot in its list of Weeds of the U.S., but it is also a favorite among butterfly gardeners. I’ve certainly seen the Monarchs preferring it.
It’s a member of the mint family. In simpler times, its leaves were used for medicine, and are evidently edible. It’s definitely a feast for the eyes.
Our prairie is brilliant sea of coneflower at this moment. I love the casual way they wear their petals. I can visualize a jar of these brightening a pioneer woman’s kitchen. Just a few years of burning our remnant prairie, and they have made an amazing comeback.
I haven’t taken time to plant many flowers around the barn yet, but what I’ve got is a great greeting as we drive up.