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Taming Wildflowers: Bringing the Beauty and Splendor of Nature's Blooms into Your Own Backyard

Taming Wildflowers: Bringing the Beauty and Splendor of Nature's Blooms into Your Own Backyard

by Miriam Goldberger
Wildflowers are the jewels of spring and summer everywhere. Families drive miles to witness their beauty in wild landscapes. Now, gardeners are discovering that they can easily and successfully cultivate these hardy native wonders right at home, for year-after-year enjoyment. Wildflower farmer and floral designer Miriam Goldberger believes that wildflowers belong as


Wildflowers are the jewels of spring and summer everywhere. Families drive miles to witness their beauty in wild landscapes. Now, gardeners are discovering that they can easily and successfully cultivate these hardy native wonders right at home, for year-after-year enjoyment. Wildflower farmer and floral designer Miriam Goldberger believes that wildflowers belong as an essential part of North American gardens. Taming Wildflowers is the ultimate DIY book on wildflower gardening: part wildflower history (“How Wildflowers Changed the World”), part upbeat, informative how-to, and a little basic plant science, and an easy primer on designing with these wild and wondrous blooms. Her richly photographed book shows gardeners how wildflowers enhance the beauty and environmental health of their gardens by attracting birds, butterflies and other important pollinators; the simple steps in seed propagation (“Making Babies”); cutting garden must-haves (natives and non-natives); integrating wildflowers into the vegetable garden; harvesting fresh and everlasting wildflowers; drying; using floral design secrets to create long-lasting arrangements; and how to design a wildflower wedding. Features more than 60 of Miriam’s favorite wildflowers and 300 full-color photos.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Taming Wildflowers is an exciting read for gardeners who are passionate about flowers and want to explore the prospect of growing natives for use in cut arrangements. Philip Bauerle, The American Gardener
Mark Cullen
“I have known Miriam through her work in the business of wildflowers for about 20 years. I have grown to admire her passion for wildflowers and the depth of her knowledge of this fascinating topic. She has achieved a level of awareness about the benefits of native plants that is unprecedented.”
– Mark Cullen, Canada’s best known gardener; garden expert for Canada AM on CTV; columnist for the Toronto Star; author of 18 garden books
Parade Magazine online - Julie Bawden-Davis
When Mother Nature smiles and releases spring‘s welcome warmth, she invites the nation’s wildflowers to awaken. From coast to coast and up into Canada, these ethereal harbingers of spring unfurl their delicate, stunning blooms. In the gardens of early spring, you’ll see the likes of columbine later giving way to late spring and summer beauties like blanket flower, wild lupine, bergamot, and lavender hyssop.
It is with this colorful garden dance and the dancers in particular that Miriam Goldberger fell in love some 30 years ago. In her new book, Taming Wildflowers: Bringing the Beauty and Splendor of Nature’s Blooms Into Your Own Backyard, Goldberger shares her love story with wildflowers, as well as tons of information about planting and enjoying them.
“The book is truly an assimilation of 25 years of experimenting with all different kinds of wildflowers,” says Goldberger, who is also the president of Wildflower Farm, a North American wildflower seed grower that sells wildflower seed and mixes.
For Goldberger it all started with some zinnia seeds she bought at a grocery store and grew. Before long, she had rented a 100-acre flower farm. And then she and her fiancé, Paul, asked for contributions to a greenhouse fund in lieu of wedding gifts. Soon she was experimenting with perennial wildflowers and native grasses, many of which also flower. …
She emphasizes that when she speaks of wildflowers, she’s referring to perennial flowers that return year after year, not the annual mixes you’ll find, many of which won’t grow well, if at all, and may even contain invasive nonnative species.
The good news is that wildflowers are incredibly easy to grow once you get them started, providing that you choose the right wildflowers for your garden. It is also important to keep in mind that planting them is a long-term, permanent proposition. Many won’t flower their first season, but once they get going they’ll be with you—in bouquets and in the field—for years to come. ~ Julie Bawden-Davis
Piet Uodolf
“I will buy this book. Not only do I love wildflowers but it is also a beautiful book. I hope Taming Wildflowers will find its way into the world of garden and landscape designers.”
– Piet Oudolf, internationally acclaimed garden designer, nurseryman and author
The Columbus Dispatch - Cindy Decker
One thing is undeniable, wildflower proponent Miriam Goldberger says: We are starving our pollinators.

To aid pollinators — and ultimately the planet — Goldberger makes a strong case for planting native blooms in her new book, Taming Wildflowers (Ten Speed, $18.95).

“I love all flowers, but to me, wildflowers are the ultimate expression of floral perfection,” writes Goldberger, who co-owns a wildflower farm in Canada. “They are nature’s flawless plan for pollination, and they never fail to impress me with their flat-out beauty.”

Wildflowers have a host of other attributes as well: They help with erosion control, tolerate weather extremes, and attract birds and other animals. And they require little care.

Although a slim 194 pages, Taming Wildflowers is packed with information.

It covers basics — defining the difference between a wildflower and a weed, explaining the types of pollination, identifying pollinators. It even contains a section on designing arrangements with wildflowers, including bridal bouquets.

But the heart of the book is a list of 60 favorite wildflowers and grasses, many native to the United States.

“Over and over, my research led to the same conclusion: Perennial wildflowers and native grasses lived longer, needed minimal maintenance and were stunningly beautiful in both garden and vase,” Goldberger writes. “Then and there, this desperate and exhausted gardener began to grow wildflowers from seed. And I haven’t looked back.” ... Taming Wildflowers is a good resource for those of us who enjoy a riotous flower bed full of life.

Mark Richardson
“Miriam Goldberger has devoted a lifetime of work to propagating native plants and advocating for their widespread horticultural use. Through Wildflower Farm, she has not only made North American native plants widely available, but also educated gardeners about which plants grow best in which environments and why native plants are integral to the success of healthy ecosystems. Taming Wildflowers promises to build on her important legacy and continue to inspire others to share in her love of our native flora.”
– Mark Richardson, Director of Horticulture, New England Wild Flower Society
Damon Waitt
“The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes. We couldn’t ask for a better ambassador for that mission than Miriam Goldberger. Her new book, Taming Wildflowers, promises to inspire a new appreciation for the aesthetic value of wildflowers and native plants and the ecosystem services that they provide.”
– Damon Waitt, Senior Director and Botanist, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Knoxville Sentinel - Mary Beth Breckenridge
“Taming Wildflowers” by Miriam Goldberger (St. Lynn’s Press, $18.95)
Native plants are survivors. They can take just about anything nature dishes out, and they can do it without human help, thank you very much.
Yet so often, we tend to think of flowers that grow in the wild as less suitable for our gardens than plants bred for that purpose.
Miriam Goldberger thinks otherwise.
Goldberger, a flower farmer in Ontario, believes wildflowers belong in any garden or flower arrangement. She isn’t a purist — she even recommends some non-native annuals to add punch to a garden — but she does argue that wildflowers are beautiful in a cultivated setting and beneficial to wildlife and the earth.
Goldberger’s book includes growing information for specific wildflowers, divided by season, as well as guidance on starting wildflowers from seed and creating gardens of wildflowers. She also offers instructions for harvesting those flowers and using them in floral designs, even wedding bouquets and arrangements.
thethoroldedition.ca - Theresa Forte
"Reader friendly, colourful and inspiring, Taming Wildflowers published by St. Lynn’s Press, is more like spending an afternoon chatting with Goldberger on her beloved 100 acre Wildflower Farm, than reading a manual on native wildflower gardening. All of the facts and figures have been thoroughly researched and beautifully presented, but they are offered in such a readable fashion, that I finished the book cover to cover in one delicious sitting."
Chicago Tribune - Nina Koziol
"Taming Wildflowers" is a user-friendly guide to more than 60 plants, with details on how to grow them, a list of pollinators they attract, how to arrange them for fresh bouquets or dry them as everlastings and much more.

Product Details

St. Lynn's Press
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8.10(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

The author has been a full-time wildflower farmer for 25 years. She and her husband own the sustainable horticulture enterprise known as Wildflower Farm, outside of Toronto, Canada’s oldest and largest wildflower seed company. Boasting a multi-acre Native Botanical Garden and meadow demonstration areas, it produces wildflower and native grass seeds for private and public gardens and meadows throughout North America.  Over 40,000 homeowners are growing Wildflower Farm seeds, with over 250,000 plants. The farm's website http://wildflowerfarm.com receives 224,000 unique visitors each year. The author is also a floral designer, teaching wildflower wedding workshops at the farm.

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