In my late teens and well into my twenties I loved to pick wildflower bouquets.  Noticing a field with daisies, or black-eyed Susans, or yarrow or asters, I would stop my car or my bike and wade into the tall grasses and flowers.  I sometimes thought about the people who owned the fields where I picked flowers, but I was living mostly in the country, and there were pastures everywhere, often no where near a house, and I couldn’t imagine any one would mind me taking home a free bouquet.  When Eric and I got married, our bouquets were made with wildflowers.

In June, 1981, Eric and our good friend Anne and I bought the house where I still live.  The house is surrounded by fields and hay meadows and pastures.  The day we moved in I walked into the small field on the south side of the house and looked at the flowers — daisies, vetch, clover, Indian paintbrushes, wild multiflora roses.  They were all blooming among the tall grasses with their full seed heads, nodding back and forth in the wind.  I sat down in the field, happy and overcome with the thought that I now had my own wildflowers to pick. It felt remarkable that I didn’t have to stop at the side of the road any more and pick someone else’s flowers.

Since then I’ve mostly created bouquets for my house from the flowers I grow in my garden — columbine and iris early in the season, then peonies and on to salvia and zinnias and cosmos and rudbekia.  But I still love a field in June, with its wild array of ever-changing flowers and its splashes of color — all, in many senses, for free.


About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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2 Responses to Wildflowers

  1. I am the same way Grace. Love my planted garden but my heart belongs to the wildflowers.

  2. Grace Mattern says:

    And they’re so abundant and beautiful this time of year.

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