Wildflower Meadows, Maryland
Oil on Panel
I came across this lovely wildflower meadows deep into the countryside of West Laurel, Maryland. Meadows are plant communities comprised mostly of herbaceous (non-woody) plants. The open, sunny areas attract an abundance of wildlife from small mammals and grassland birds to their predators like hawks and owls. These areas are important for nesting, food, shelter and even courtship displays. Despite their importance, the number of meadows around Maryland has declined. However, you can create meadow habitat in your backyard to help increase the survival of species which depend on this unique habitat.
Once established, meadows attract more wildlife and require less maintenance than lawns. In addition, meadows need less water and little to no fertilizer, saving you time and money as well as greening your landscape.
When selecting plants for your meadow, it is important to determine your goals for the area. Do you want to provide food for certain species of wildlife? Or would you prefer continuous color from the area? The more diverse your plantings are the greater chance you have for maximizing wildlife usage of your meadow. In addition, it is important to select plants which are not invasive. For a list of commonly planted invasive species, check out the “Bad Plants Planted by Good People” page or the recently revised Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas.