Three Specific Garden Patches You May Want To Plant This Year

If you're planning your garden for the rest of this year, wildflowers are a suitable choice for beds, accents, and otherwise unused corners. The flowers add lots of color and don't take up a lot of water. However, as pretty as random seed mixes can be, they can become fairly uninteresting if you use the same ones year after year. This year, try planting some wildflower patches with specific themes. Here are three variations of seed mixes that you might want to plant now.

Pollinator Gardens

Get wildflower seed mixes that were created for specific pollinators. Bees and butterflies could all use a hand in getting more food, and the pollinators can transfer pollen as they go from flower to flower. Hang birdfeeders near the garden so that birds can pick up a few seeds from the plants after they've gone to seed. Pollinator gardens help keep the local bee and butterfly scenes active and healthy, which is badly needed given the decimation of bee colonies and butterfly species.

Native Grass Meadows

For a twist on the regular wildflower seed mix, try planting a native grass seed mix. These are not lawns but groups of seeds that produce long stalks, often with colored tops that provide visual interest beyond summer. For example, Big Bluestem turns a nice coppery or maroon color in fall. The grasses remain nice and green in summer, again using little water. The tall, wavy plants look as if they ripple in the wind, and the shapes of the grass stalks provides a nice twist in a flower garden.

Pantone Plantings

If art is what you're after -- not just random color, but a celebration of those colors deemed the most fashionable that year -- try planting a wildflower seed mix that matches the Pantone palette for the year. Each year, the color-matching company nominates one or two colors as the colors of the year, and you can track this by finding monochrome seed mixes that match the colors as closely as possible. For example, in 2016, a shade of blue known as Serenity is one of two colors of the year. This is a light blue that you'll find in forget-me-nots, bellflowers, and more, and you can find commercial wildflower seed mixes that stick to seeds that will produce certain hues.

If you want to find out more about the varieties of wildflower seed mixes that are available, talk to seed companies and look in specialized seed catalogs. Get seed mixes that are certified weed-free for the best results.