Our Trip to Wildseed Farms May 28, 2011
They say this is the largest wildflower farm in the entire country, and it is a mecca for garden-lovers. There are acres of wildflowers blooming at any given time: poppies, sunflowers, roses, purple coneflowers, too many to list!
As you stroll along the trails, the hundreds of butterflies accenting the masses of color make a pretty spectacular sight. The farm sells all kinds of plants and everything garden-related: pottery, sculpture, tools, outdoor decor and bird-feeders. If you’re inspired by the flowers, there are seeds from these fields for sale, as well as regional seed mixes.
All that sightseeing can work up an appetite, so there’s a Brew-bonnet Biergarten on hand, offering snacks, sandwiches, peach ice cream, and of course, beer. There are several shops on the premises. The one above was filled with local products, like Texas wine, olive oil, jams and jellies, honey, salsas and more. The huge shop below offered garden products, plus soaps, candles, all kinds of home decor.
They’ve replaced the Butterfly Haus with a butterfly garden, an area specially planted with flowers that attract the beautiful fluttering insects. There are tips on starting your own butterfly garden at home.Wayout West Austin
Wildseed Farms InterviewApril 19, 2012
Lauren Osborn of KCWX talks to John Thomas of Wildseed Farms about all the beautiful flowers they grow there in the hill country, and how you can grow some of your own!YouTube
Planting WildflowersMarch 23, 2011
Wildflowers are becoming an increasingly popular landscape alternative in this region ... they add color and natural beauty to any area. Unlike European-style formal gardens with straight lines, square corners and manicured edges, low maintenance wildflower gardens require little water or mowing once established.
But that doesn't mean wildflowers are easily grown from seed. Indeed, while some species require little more effort than casting seeds on the soil, most require specific soil and temperature conditions, a certain degree of ongoing attention and, most of all, patience. Wildseed Farms in Fredricksburg has a Web site that ranks the most popular species with an average "planting success" rate, using a scale of 10-100 percent. Species with a lower percentage ratio may require more time and attention, but they will be well worth your effort. Additional information about the temperament of each species is also included at the site.
Unlike ornamental flower or vegetable seeds, most of wildflower seeds have not been genetically altered to achieve specific traits such as rapid germination, height, color or adaptation to specific soil types or climates. As wildflower enthusiasts, we want to produce in two to three years a display of color to match what has taken Mother Nature hundreds of years to achieve. Nature plays an important role in the success or failure of all wildflower plantings.
Adverse weather conditions such as drought, hail or excessive rainfall may seriously affect your success. If you want things like Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes in your landscape in the spring, you need to plant seeds in October and November. Many species will quickly germinate after planting in order to allow the seedling enough time to establish a healthy root system before going dormant for the winter. Some seeds may not germinate if the ground temperature is below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Those will remain dormant until early spring and will begin to emerge under more favorable conditions. Keep in mind the two main keys to success when sowing wildflowers: the seeds need to be in contact with soil, and you've got to keep a handle on weeds.GardenLine