The gargantuan pin oak tree in my front yard is surrounded by a large mulch ring. When I first moved in, the yard was in very poor shape and a tangled pack of weeds surrounded the tree. I cleaned out the weed bed initially myself, contracting a severe case of poison something-or-other in the process. About four years ago I had someone do the annual clean-up, dig an edge, then put plastic and mulch down. At that time the ring unfortunately became larger and somewhat uneven, but it looks better than weeds and I've just sprayed and mulched it every year.
This year, I didn't spray in time so I had a lot of plant-sized weeds to pull. Once that 3-hour job was done, I decided to do something different this year. I decided to plant seeds and see if a wildflower garden would grow. (The canopy of the pin oak was raised a couple of years ago, so the area now gets enough sun.) But before I prepared the soil and did the planting, there was a wayward pansy to rescue:
The plant had cropped up as a welcome volunteer among the weeds, and I gave it a new home:
Then I combed through the soil (which is really broken-down mulch) to remove as many weed roots as I could. I took six packets of wildflower seeds and mixed them all together:
The wildflowers include: baby’s breath, cornflower, flax, coreopsis, larkspur, poppies, black-eyed Susans, shasta daisy, cosmos, forget-me-nots, marigolds, zinnias, sweet alyssum, asters, sweet william, coneflowers, candytuft, and foxgloves. I planted the seeds, watered them diligently morning and evening, and prayed for germination. Three days later the first seedling appeared, and two days after that there was widespread germination:
Yahoo! I can't wait to see how this "Garden on a Whim" (AKA "The Surprise Garden") develops!