Native Maryland wildflowers cover our farm and give our bees the nectar needed to produce two types of our Eastern Shore Honey. Wildflowers cover around 60 acres of our land, and we continually add more plants to expand our fields. To share this colorful paradise with you, we’re publishing our Eastern Shore Life series over the coming weeks.
Eastern Shore Wildflowers Galore
Indigenous wildflowers are the primary food source for our hives of bees and the wild pollinators on the farm. Over the years, we’ve gradually added native Maryland Wildflowers to our land to increase the biodiversity of the area.
Vervain plants grow tall and proud, producing little bundles of bright purple flowers that float over the grasses in our fields.
Bee balm, daisies, rudbeckia, and milkweeds are just some of the plants on the farm. These give a blanket of color from early spring until mid-fall and provide all of the food our bees need to make our Spring and Autumn Honey. Some plants, like these coneflowers, will produce seed heads that last through the winter as bird food.
Here, a pokeweed plant grows in a section of our meadow. Pokeweed is a dangerously poisonous plant to humans, but the berries provide a large source of food for birds and small animals like mice. The plants are very colorful, with bright magenta stems and spires of green berries that will turn a dark purple-black come late summer.
Bee balm has spread like wildfire in our fields. Our plants have lavender flowers, although you can find varieties with blooms in shades of red, pink, and purple. Bee balm has fragrant leaves and can be used in teas, like its herbal relative mint.
Growing Your Own Wildflowers
It is really a breeze to grow wildflowers. They require no fertilizers or pesticides, and thrive on neglect-after all, ours evolved to survive the conditions of North America. Wherever you live, make sure you water your plants once a week until they establish themselves. Although they are hardy, newly planted flowers can dry out in the heat of their first summer. To find which native wildflowers will grow best in your region, visit American Meadows for more information on planting, growing, and tending to your garden.