Mississippi Wildflowers in England

Can’t get away from Mississippi ditchbank weeds – even in England (where they seem to be better appreciated)!

All Mississippi natives in English garden – plus a rustic fence to make it work!

But truth is, just as we yearn for stuff from afar, Southeastern U.S. native flowers are wildly popular in most upscale English gardens – used “as if they are normal plants” – with the best being those accessorized with natural or rustic elements.

Without getting into “what’s that flower?” – there are dozens of garden-worthy natives – I am simply posting a few photos of how our roadside, meadow, and woodland “weeds” can look when used in glorious garden combinations… scroll over them for englargements.

In August 2021 my sweetheart and I were fortunate to visit the Royal Horticulture Society’s newly-opened Bridgewater Botanical Garden near Manchester, where I photographed several large plantings of summer-blooming perennials which – to my pleasant surprise – turned out to be over 85% Mississippi native wildflowers!

Here are just three examples of how the same scene can look, summer and winter. Scroll each one to see the difference six months can make! (Tap the photo and scroll left or right.)

“Long Border” with mostly Mississippi native plants
Formal border with Mississippi natives
Finally… doesn’t it seem odd that I had to go to England to see a garden center display of summer color… that features only plants native to the U.S.?

BONUS: At the new RHS Bridgewater “stumpery” I came across one of the most fantastic accessories ever – an almost-lifesize Ent, shepherd of the forest (remember them, from The Lord of the Rings?).

Ent at RHS Bridgewater stumpery

For more on stumperies, go to my extensive blog on them: https://wordpress.com/post/felderrushing.blog/1091

6 Replies to “Mississippi Wildflowers in England”

  1. I love your Mississippi Wildflowers in England post. There was a time I didn’t appreciate their beauty of weeds and wildflowers. When we moved from Missouri to Winterville, Mississippi, in 1961 the land dad bought was covered with Johnson grass. So much my mom cried and cried thinking we’d never get it under control to have any kind of crop. Anyway, dad was a great farmer and once the Johnson grass was gone, it was gone, except for the ditches. Years later in 2013, when we lost our oldest brother, Tommy, his wife and children requested that Johnson grass and cattails be included in the funeral bouquet at the alter of his funeral. It was huge and breathtakingly beautiful. Our mom and grandmother couldn’t believe it and were almost speechless. My mom ended up thinking it was appropriate since all Tommy ever wanted as a child was to farm, which he did. Grandmother was put off by it and didn’t mind letting everybody know. Through the years since I’ve looked at Johnson grass and cattails a different way. I love them and always smile upon seeing them. Just thought I’d share this with you.

    Hope you are happy and well. Oh yea, my brother Tony, TJ, loves your radio program. He really gets a kick out of talking to you from time to time.

    Sent from my iPad

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    1. thank you sandra! what a wonderful story about your dad and brother – and granny’s displeasure at y’all using “weeds” in floral arrangements at the funeral (how Delta is THAT?)

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  2. I sure do remember “The Lord of the Rings.” Yes, an ent. Also, enjoyed learning how the flowers are native to Mississippi. I have many of them in my own garden, and cattails are common here in wet areas. And the those little stars—asters—shine everywhere in the fall.

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    1. thanks laurie! it’s amazing what gardeners can do with materials at hand… i had to point out that once the wildflowers are harnessed into garden designs they are no longer wildflowers, but “‘cultivated native plants.” cheers, from the misty moors of lancashire…

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