A Walk on the Wildflowers Side
Who made wildflower such a dirty word? Perhaps it’s because most people see them as weeds rather than legitimate greenery. Maybe we’re all just forgetting that before they were tamed by patient human hands, every exotic flower that graces our gardens was once as wild as the wind.
Wildflower is defined as “a flower of an uncultivated variety or a flower growing freely without human intervention.” They are also known as indigenous or native species. Before we paved paradise and put up a parking lot, entire meadows of nothing but wildflowers stretched out like an ocean.
Despite our negative opinions of them, wildflowers serve a vital purpose to the ecosystem. Just like the well-loved flowers in your own garden, wildflowers are an important food source for native pollinators like bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. Wildflowers help preserve and anchor topsoil, defending that precious layer of rich dirt from the ever-present danger of erosion, and their hardiness means that they can survive in conditions that would wither their more delicate domesticated counterparts. Perhaps more than anything it’s the tenacity of wildflowers that gives them such a sour reputation. But a wildflower’s impressive will to live should be praised not scorned. Doesn’t it stir your heart to see a wild bloom poking proudly through the cracks in a sidewalk? There is something truly heartening about that little defiance which reminds us that at the end of the day nothing we humans do can outlast the enduring strength of nature.
Wildflowers are adaptable, tenacious, beautiful and free. I can see no better compliment than to be compared to a wildflower.