Photo courtesy of Lucille Khornak Photography
The Hamptons is known for its dazzling array of wildflowers. Sunflowers, cornflowers, cosmos, black eyed susans, daisies, primrose, milkweed, and so many more are scattered throughout the gardens and meadows on Long Island's crowning glory, the east end. The farm stands in the Hamptons offer fresh cut flowers and startup seeds to get your own collection of these gorgeous flowers. Wildflowers are some of the best flowers to use in landscaping, since once they've taken a good hold into the ground they're self-sustaining. By getting in touch with our natural surroundings, wildflowers can help reduce erosion because they're supposed to be in the landscape, using their networks of roots to lock in the soil. By being an non-invasive, native plant, choosing them over more exotic species is a great way to help replenish the environment of what it has lost due to commercial building and over-fertilizing. They're ideal for even the most novice of gardeners because they don't need pesticides, fertilizer, frequent watering, or even pruning – just plant 'em and go. No grooming required of these little gems. Wildflowers are very hardy plants, surviving stiffing hot summers and deep freeze winters to return year after year, no different than the plants you see growing in the most bizarre of places, from highway dividers to cramped alleyways in the busiest parts of the Hamptons.
Your kids will love participating in planting and (minimally) taking care of the flowers. Make it a family outing, spotting what wildflowers you all love. Go to your local nursery or even a park that has trails dotted with flower patches, and pick up seeds to scatter in your yard. There's just something about your children bringing you fresh-plucked flowers from your own garden, to place in a teacup or a small bottle as a symbol of love and bonding. At the end of the season, take care to clip some sprigs off your favorites to press between the pages of an old book, drying and preserving them for memories and as rustic and charming decorations. And every year the flowers return, new ones will mix in with the old as if by magic. No two years are the same with how the flowers appear, and that's what makes wildflowers so special and perfect to have in your landscape.