Three Wild Things*


Wildflowers look best in the wild, like along a roadside near a creek out in the country. This patch of still blooming goldenrod, Solidago ssp. with the odd ironweed, Vernonia ssp. sticking up is a fine example of nature’s method of mass planting.


Wildflowers look best in the wild, like in a wild ridgetop garden on a North Carolina mountaintop. This scene of blue Aster cordifolius, (I am not recognizing the renaming of Asters), washing in waves under brilliant fall foliage is another example of Nature helping along the cultivated. This garden belongs to Bulbarella and The Contractor of Outside Clyde**.


Wildflowers look best in the wild, but sometimes gardeners want them in their own back yards. This mullein, Verbascum bombyciferum jumped into the gas guzzler as we drove under a railroad bridge. It seems happy to be in the Gravel Garden and might make seeds next year when it blooms. We hope.

*This post is a combination of Wildflower Wednesday, hosted by Gail of Clay And Limestone on the fourth Wednesday of each month and Three Things Thursday hosted by Cindy of From My Corner Of Katy each Thursday. I am a little early, but Cindy is very lenient, thank goodness.

**Bulbarella and The Contractor are the parents and neighbors of Christopher of Outside Clyde, living on a piece of heaven near Asheville, North Carolina, which is also near Clyde, North Carolina. The heron is not real, but certainly looks at home there in the tree stump.

Frances

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25 Responses to Three Wild Things*

  1. Carol says:

    Beautiful pictures of wildflowers, Frances. Lucky you, getting to see the gardens of Outside Clyde!

    Thanks Carol. I was lucky to see such beauty and fine folks. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  2. Randy says:

    Frances,
    Funny you took the mullein! We had two plants along our fence last year, I think the birds brought them here. Jealous that you got to visit Outside Clyde and at the real good time of year to do so. Have you seen the amazing waterlilies on my recent posting?

    Hi Randy, thanks for dropping by. We had a time getting the Verbascum, cars kept coming! But it popped right out of the ground and was happily introduced here into the gravel garden where it will be right at home. Outside Clyde is like nothing else, talk about wildflowers in their native habitat, by the millions! I will skip over to see your waterlilies soon! πŸ™‚
    Frances

  3. Sylvia (England) says:

    Lovely pictures Frances. I don’t recongise the new aster names either – I can’t remember them or pronounce them. I think it was Carol of May Dreams Gardens who used the term Ex-aster, that will do for me!

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

    Hi Sylvia, thanks. I agree with you Asters, or ex-asters (they are still asters to me!) are way better names. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  4. I’ll know better what’s left of fall and wildflowers when the sun comes up. The actual rain portion of this front wasn’t as bad as the pre-winds. I can’t fuss though it is Oct 27th, no freeze, no snow and you and the Financier saw fall and ex-Asters way late in the season.

    Hi Christopher, thanks again for that wonderful hospitality. If you had the wind and rain that we did, many leaves and sticks have fallen and the plants are bowed down to the ground. But we needed the rain so no complaints here. Our weather was glorious to visit your mountain, it looked like fall personified. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  5. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Lovely wildflower photos Frances. I hope the mullein grows for you. I have tried it before but I think I was too good to it so it didn’t thrive. Happy WW.

    Thanks Lisa. So far so good on the Mullein. We have learned from past mistakes that transplants need lots of water to settle in, even if they are xerics. The gravel garden is similar to where it was growing, so if we hold our mouth just right…. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  6. gail says:

    Dear Frances, You’ve captured two of my favorite wildflowers in magnificent glory…The little pop of purple ironweed in the sea of golden yellow is near perfection! Two other things! I must find a spot for a gravel bed and you are the best! So glad you joined the Wildflower Wednesday celebration! xxoogail

    Dear Gail, thanks. I thought of you when driving by that field of goldenrod. All the rest had dried up and turned brown, but this one patch was still brilliantly yellow, the soil was low and moist. If only we had that kind of moistness, or a patch of it in our gardens, the things we could grow. The gravel garden is so much fun, do try to find a spot for one. You might have to cut down some trees though. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  7. gardeningasylum says:

    Frances, That opening shot is stunningly beautiful! It’s amazing how often the random scatterings made by nature are lovelier than any planned gardening space.

    Hi Cyndy, thanks. It was much prettier in real life too, my photo doesn’t do it justice, as is always the case. A sea of yellow with some reds of sumac that are barely visible in the image and the purple blotches. It was amazing.
    Frances

  8. commonweeder says:

    Mother Nature does a great job with her mass plantings. The blue vernonia amid the goldenrod is just perfect. No wildflowers left in Heath at this time of year, alas.

    Hi Pat, thanks for visiting. You are so right, we create mere shadows of what Nature designs. The Vernonia was just the touch in that sea of yellow. There was red from the sumacs too that didn’t show up well in the shot. It was a vision, just along the side of a highway. Sorry you have no wildflowers. I would think those white asters could grow anywhere. They take several hard frosts here and still stand up and flower. I know you are so much colder though. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  9. Rose says:

    What a gorgeous shot of the goldenrod! I agree with Cyndy that Mother Nature often does a much better job with her gardens than our cultivated ones. I find that wildflowers/weeds grow just fine here if I leave them alone, but once I try to plant one in my garden, it shrivels and dies. Thanks for explaining the heron–I was wondering how it got into the woods:)

    Hi Rose, thanks. We can only learn from the designs of nature, always humbled by her plantings. Everywhere we look it is beautiful, without the hand of man trying to help. Like the building of a road that lets us get closer, moving dirt that brings up dormant seeds that bloom with such beauty. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  10. Mary says:

    I love your goldenrod meadow. It doesn’t grow much at all in Central Florida, where I live.
    Now the blue heron would be from my neck of the woods. He would be lost, where he to find himself in your neck of the woods this time of year. πŸ™‚

    -Mary

    Hi Mary, thanks and welcome. It was a beautiful spot along a country road. Maybe the heron is a reminder of Florida, their winter home place. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  11. Janet says:

    I love the meadow of Golden Rod, it is so bright and cheery. I have a Mullien growing along the driveway….have watched it since July. Not sure if it is in enough sun to bloom–or if I missed it.

    Hi Janet, thanks. The field of goldenrod was so bright and colorful, I was so glad it had not been mowed yet by the highway department! Mullein is a biennial, blooming the second year, so maybe yours will bloom for you next year. Save seeds! πŸ™‚
    Frances

  12. Eileen says:

    I love that top meadow photo, so peaceful.

    Eileen

    Thanks Eileen, it was beautiful. My photo does not do it justice.
    Frances

  13. I like some of them in my garden, but ah! in the wild they really shine. Okay, I’m glad you don’t like the renaming of asters. For Pete’s sake, it’s hard enough to write the botanical name and try to pronounce it, but Symphyotrichum really? I’m with you. Let’s just call them asters. :))

    Hi Dee, thanks. Such a scene cannot be recreated in a garden, but it is something we can aspire to. I agree about the asters, and not all of them had the name changed. It is just too confusing. I can’t ID most of the wild ones here anyway. They are simply white asters. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  14. joey says:

    Wildflowers look best in the wild and also cherished in a vase. Though now gone, we too are blessed with fields of goldenrod, an awesome sight. Thank you, dear Frances.

    Hi Joey, thanks. Most of the goldenrod had already bloomed and faded due to our drought at that time. To see the moist field of them all blooming together was a vision of nature at its best. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  15. Siria says:

    Hi Frances! Your photographs are gorgeous as ever. I love that field of goldenrod! So sorry I missed you up at Outside Clyde. Christopher had invited my husband and I over to meet you, but that was the day we were driving to Clemson to see our daughter. I hope to catch you up there on a future visit!

    Hi Siria, thanks. I too am sorry to have missed you, we were looking forward to meeting you both. There will be another time when we are both up there. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  16. Sweetbay says:

    That’s the prettiest field of goldenrod I’ve ever seen. How tall is it? It seems much of wild goldenrod attains ridiculous heights and then fall over.

    I can’t get over all of those blue asters. They look amazing.

    Hi Sweetbay, thanks. It is the best mass of goldenrod I had ever seen as well, all open together with few other plants in the mix. This field was below the roadway where I was standing but I would estimate it at around five feet tall. It was growing so thickly that it held itself upright, plus no rain to beat it down. Ours sometimes get too tall when we don’t remember to chop it in May to about a foot high. My shot of the asters is not good, it was an ocean of light purply blue, just wonderful! πŸ™‚
    Frances

  17. Ellada says:

    The first picture is fantastic.

    Hi Ellada, thanks so much. Nature is the best gardener. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  18. TC Conner says:

    It’s a wonder they’ve not declared solidago an invasive natural wildflower. We’ve fields of it up here! And I have trouble keeping it out of the flower beds.

    Hi TC, nice to see you here. The goldenrod is a spreader, it is true. Maybe you should give it some space of its own in your garden, for it is the most visited, at the top of the list for pollinators. We keep it in check with pulling out the unwanteds and cutting it down to a foot high in May to make for a shorter, bushier plant.
    Frances

  19. Lola says:

    Hi Frances,
    Love that first pic. It’s postcard quality. It’s hard to capture when it’s so very pretty but you have done that completely.
    So glad the weather held while up on the mountain.

    Hi Lola, thanks, you are too sweet. We were lucky with the weather on the mountain, in a couple of days it changed dramatically. It was glorious us there and our hosts were quite gracious, as always. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  20. patientgardener says:

    Wild flowers do definitely look better in the wild, nature is so much better at planting schemes than we are.

    Hi Helen, thanks for stopping by. Yes, I agree. Nothing we can put together rivals what nature plants. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  21. I burst out laughing, oh fellow conspirator, when I read that you’re not recognizing the reorganizing of the asters. Me neither. It’s all a con game by the taxonomists. Who may well change the names back in a year or two. But whatever we call them…they’re gorgeous.

    HA Jodi, thanks! We must take a stand against this tyranny! Asters they are, now and forever! πŸ™‚
    Frances

  22. I feel like I could walk right into the first photo, and keep walking, and maybe lay down some! So lovely, thanks for the daydream!!

    Hi Melanie, thanks. I might have walked into this scene, if it were not for a fear of snakes! πŸ™‚
    Frances

  23. Donna says:

    I too like wild flowers wild. Nature is such a good colorist. The blue asters are my favorite, wild and not.

    Hi Donna, thanks. The mountaintop of blue asters was so much more brilliant than my photo shows, but you get the idea. πŸ™‚
    Frances

  24. Hi Frances,
    How’ve you been? I don’t think I’ve been here for awhile. I enjoyed your wildflower post. I’m glad we still have places where wildflowers can do there thing.

    I’m not trying to keep up with the new name for asters, either. I can’t even remember the names of the varieties of many of the plants I have.

    Hi Sue, I am fine, thanks for visiting. I hope you too are well and enjoying this lovely fall season. The wild places are treasures, one of the reasons I love rural Tennessee. There are still many untouched spots close by. As the those crazy name changes, well, don’t get me started!
    Frances

  25. Cindy, MCOK says:

    Frances, I’m glad you joined in 3-4-Th. A cloud of blue asters on a North Carolina hillside is a beautiful sight!

    Hi Cindy, thanks. It was my pleasure. I don’t post on Thursdays so it will always be early or late, but I know you don’t mind. The mountain was amazing, hope you can see for yourself someday. πŸ™‚
    Frances

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