My native flower and local weeds garden

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    Photo selected by Iowa Public radio for online article:

    Part of my plot of garden is dedicated to preserving patches of local weeds and growing native wildflower seeds I ordered from this nonprofit foundation in southern California dedicated to saving native California species. Two new flowers appeared today and yesterday, a deep blue from this one plant that looks like a violet and Calif. Poppies. Yes, my poppies finally decided to show up. I now refuse to "weed out" milkweed, which are sought out by beautiful monarch butterflies. Their seeds arrive by wind. The local weeds, the ones always in the back yard are the brushy grasses, fiddlenecks and fillary. They produce an unpleasant gangly green tangle that just begs to be weeded, but inside the foot-tall jungles they create are tons of tiny insects that attract the desired yard birds. Below them, there thrives earthworms. We fought over removing them and I won a small remnant patch. The bird activity went down a lot. I was surprised by how much it did. Those grasses sure provided them with a lot of food (insects).

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