Landscaping with Wildflowers

There’s nothing quite as nostalgic as wildflowers. They’re the perfect way to give your garden a natural feel while adding color and variety to your yard. Here’s our guide to get you thinking about how to bring the beauty of wildflowers to your own home.

Meadow vs. Rock Garden

First, ask yourself what style garden you want to create. The two prettiest options for a wildflower patch are a meadow-style area and a rock garden. Either way, you’ll get that relaxed feeling of being up in the mountains, away from it all.

Creating a miniature meadow is perfect if you want a variety of wildflowers, so find a quality seed mix. You can also create your own mix to get exactly the variety and colors you want. That said, there’s nothing quite like a patch of delicate red poppies or a bright array of black-eyed Susans. What flowers and how many is entirely up to you and your tastes.

A rock garden is ideal if you want to choose just one or two varieties. And with Utah’s geological variety, there’s no shortage of beautiful and interesting rocks to help you create a truly stunning garden. If you go that route, make sure you use drought-resistant plants if you go this route.

What Flowers to Choose


Annuals are great to get you started with wildflower gardening. That way if something goes wrong, you can clear it out and have a clean slate for next year. And if you plant annuals and perennials, the annuals will also give you results now while you wait for perennials to get established.


  • Annual poppy (Papaver somniferum)
  • Catchfly (Silene armeria)
  • Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
  • Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)
  • Corn marigold (Glebionis segetum)
  • Corncockle (Agrostemma githago)
  • Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)
  • Zinnia (Zinnia acerosa)


For a long-term plot, mix in some of these perennials that will keep giving year after year. The ones in our list are especially good for Utah because they’re all native to the southwest.


  • Aspen daisy (Erigeron speciosus)
  • Desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata)
  • Evening primrose (Oenothera caespitose)
  • Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)
  • Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) or Western sunflower (Helianthus anomalus)

What They Need

Wildflowers need prepared soil. A shallow till is all it takes, and be sure to remove any weeds and grasses from your plot. Simply spread and firm the seeds in. They should be very close to the surface, so no digging or covering. They also need good drainage, full sun, and twice-daily watering for the first two or three weeks. After that, you just water and weed as needed.

What You Get

In return, you get a dazzling display of nature’s own favorites. Wildflowers are also a great way to support the local ecosystems, including local wildlife and bees. Plus, if you choose native plants, they’re going to be better suited for the climate than other flowers. That’s important in a dry climate because it means they don’t use up too much water—which makes life easier for them and you.

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