A larkspur meadow

A colorful backyard

You don't need wildflowers to create a backyard meadow--just flowers with an old-fashioned, country garden look, like larkspurs. In the planting bed pictured here, these candles of bloom in shades of pink and blue combine with linaria, tall-stemmed snapdragons, and sweet Williams. Pansies fringe the bed.

Plant larkspur in fall for bloom in cool spring months. You can buy it in cell-packs at nurseries. For a mass planting, grow plants from seed--it's much less expensive. Sow seed in a sunny location in soil well amended with organic matter like compost. Heavy, slow-draining soils are not good for larkspurs. Cover seed with 1/8 inch of soil. For the biggest flowers, thin seedlings to avoid crowding.