This is what I get to see every morning when I drive the Red Dirt kids to school. The road to and from my log house is a gray oil and chip ribbon running north and south. It was once gravel which was more asthetically pleasing, but my throat, tongue and eyes were always coated with red dust and now appreciate the asphalt. Alongside the road grow numerous flowers which change throughout the seasons.
We’re in late spring, and the spiderwort is blooming heavily now, with the most intense blue I’ve ever seen. I know it’s called common, but it doesn’t seem very common to me. While coming home from church, even HH stopped the car to look.
Later, I sweet talked him into taking me in the jeep on a photog safari. If a few of the photos look a little blurred, it’s because he narrated my picture taking along the way a la Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom which we watched every Friday night during our respective childhoods. I tried very hard not to laugh, and I finally had to stomp my foot and tell him to stop it.
These prairie plants exist at the edge of the deciduous forest, their delicate beauty emerges from the sandy soil and just as quickly they fade away. When I’m this close taking macro images of them, I’m always thinking of the Bible verse,
“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these.” Luke 12:27
In my mind, I always see Jesus standing on the side of a mountain filled with wildflowers as he said this. I find great comfort when I consider the lilies even when they aren’t lilies at all.
Special thanks goes to Van Vies, who is a docent with the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. His Oklahoma Prairie Country website has a flower identification page which I found very helpful for some of the flowers I didn’t know offhand. Because winter vetch is not a native wildflower, but instead an European import used as a cover crop, it was not listed on Mr. Vies’s site. I found it’s identification elsewhere. It has escaped from the fields and now occupies the hedgerows too.
So, back to the question with which we first began. Wildflowers or roadside weeds. I believe that if you look closely as you drive by, you’ll find the answer. What do you think?
Esther Mongtgomery says
They are flowers which happen to be growing wild.
Near where I live, there used to be little houses, long demolished, which would have had cottage gardens. The lines between where the gardens were and the hedgerows and banks have become blurred over the years so ‘domestic’ plants (including apple trees!) and naturally occurring ones are growing happily muddled up together.
Flowers are flowers are flowers!
Esther Mongtgomery´s last blog post..LOW-TECH PERFECTION
Esther, I think so too. However, I don’t like all of them for my garden because they will overwhelm my other plants. Still, I grow many of the natives and their hybridized cousins in my garden.~~Dee
Mountain Mama says
Hello! I was surfing the net for Red Day Lily’s and found your blog. I’m so glad I did because I love it.
It’s always fun to meet another Sister Of The Spade, especially one who shares my Christian beliefs.
I would like to know where you get your Daylily’s. I have an orange one and a yellow one and found they do well here in the Pacific Northwest. I’m in North West Washington. I have a problem with slugs and deer and for some reason they don’t seem fond of the Daylily’s.
I would like to add you to my blogroll if you don’t mind.
Thanks for sharing all the wonderful pictures and info.
Mountain Mama´s last blog post..
Hi Mountain Mama, thanks for stopping by. Sister of the spade, I like that. Where do I get my daylilies? Well, the best place for me is the Lily Auction. I’ve bought a bunch from there. I also buy from Rainbow Reflections Daylilies in Oklahoma. Hope this helps.~~Dee
Honey-bunny, your photographs are stunning! I’m grateful for the screen on this laptop, too, which displays them. 🙂 Thanks for the name of the larkspur. I’ve always enjoyed them at our OK home, and guess what– we have some here in AL, too!
CurtissAnn´s last blog post..The Winner is…and the Great Pantyhose Poll
They say a weed is just a flower growing in the wrong place. I really enjoyed this post – and it helped me identify some of the flowers I didn’t know the names of. Last year I saw some chickory by the side of the road and had to have a little for myself. I pulled over, parked the car and started to pull some out. My kids yelled at me – they were so embarrassed!
Jen´s last blog post..Congratulations, Sahmeer!
Jen, I think we just need to look closely to see the beauty, but I get that some are considered weeds in the garden. I love your story of grabbing the chicory.~~Dee
Lisa at Greenbow says
Definitely wildflowers. Some are even in my garden.
PS – I agree with Kim #10!
I really enjoy the color that vetch brings to our hillsides in the springtime – it is a nice contrast to the orange CA poppies….even if it is a tad bit invasive.
Katie´s last blog post..Dirty Feet + 3 Trips to OSH (Sheet Mulch Project #3)
Most of them I call wildflowers. However, the vetch…We had an old German neighbor once and he always said “vetch is a veed…get RID of it!”
MamaK´s last blog post..End of Year Activities-Part 3
Lost In The Flowers says
You know what they say – “One woman’s weeds are another one’s wildflowers.”
I must say you have captured some stunning ditch dwellers there.
Lost In The Flowers´s last blog post..Warning: Knockout Rose Virus Looms
Those are lovely by any name.
Leslie´s last blog post..Wisteria Revisited
I had a similar post in mind, isn’t that funny? I’m with you, they are wildflowers unless they are growing in the lawn unwanted. Then they become weeds!
RobinL´s last blog post..Wait, there’s more…
Brenda Kula says
A flower is a flower is a flower. If it blooms, to me it is a flower.
Brenda Kula´s last blog post..What The Critters Are Up To
Hi Dee, well they are wildflowers of course. At least all the ones you have shown us. I had to guffaw at you stomping your foot, sometimes we have to let them know we mean business! That last photo is perfection. The quote is a favorite here too. The beauty of nature never fails to humble me.
Frances´s last blog post..Viola Beauty Pageant 2009
Carol, May Dreams Gardens says
Most affirmatively wildflowers, each and every one carefully placed there for our enjoyment.
Very thought-provoking post
Carol, May Dreams Gardens´s last blog post..False Pelargoniums
Wildflowers, definitely wildflowers. I see no weeds there.
Kim´s last blog post..It WAS The Day
As the old saying goes “it’s all in the eye of the beholder” (or the gardener).
MY wife and I always want to stop and dig things up along the highway. There’s some cool purple thing blooming now, and some grass with fluffy little seed heads. They might be foreign invasives for all I know–or at least too much so for my garden.
Well they say a weed is just a wildflower growing where you don’t want it. So my spiderwort, growing in the former alleyway is a wildflower there. But growing in the middle of my daylily it’s a weed! Lovely photos Dee. I really miss seeing wildflowers on the side of the road (they’re not common here).
Jean´s last blog post..Gardening to the Max
nola at the alamo says
Wildflowers have always been a fav of mine; I love seeing roadsides and meadows covered with them. I could drive the country roads all spring long just to see the variety of flowers in bloom.
I have a spiderwort in my yard! Didn’t know what it was, or where it came from, but it popped up beside the downspout and when I saw the bright blue, I knew it was a keeper!
nola at the alamo´s last blog post..Memorial Day
I was just thinking that our wildflowers deserved some attention right now. Great post.
Colleen Vanderlinden says
Definitely wildflowers! Thanks for sharing all of the great photos with us!
Yolanda Elizabet says
They are flowers to me Dee, and gorgeous ones at that where ever they grow. I love wildflowers, they are my favourites!
The wildflowers in your neck of the woods are very different from mine but all are beautiful.
Cindy, MCOK says
Wildflowers each and every one of them, and aren’t they a blessing? I’m working as a hostess for a builder in a nearby subdivision and each week I smile as I see the wildflowers planted along the drainage ditch on Baker Road. There were winecups blooming in an empty lot near the model home up until recently. I had to resist the temptation to walk out into the field in my business attire!
Even in the garden I consider them wildflowers, not weeds. Spiderwort is one of my favorite early spring flowers, in fact.
Pam/Digging´s last blog post..Garden curiosities