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It's summertime, the Fourth of July. The sun is out and all across America, people are enjoying the day out in the backyard. The living is easy this time of year, and I have the perfect garden for the occasion. My red, white and blue Americana wildflower garden.

Since the garden is a mix of three kinds of wildflowers, it doesn't take an expert gardener to put it together. First, I start with the blue. For this, I use the bachelor's button, or cornflower. This plant will reach 16 to 35 inches with gray-green branched stems. It produces a flower about the size of a quarter, with a deep blue color that fades within a few days. Imagine the deepest blue sky, on the most perfect day of the year, and you get just a hint of what they mean by 'cornflower blue'.

The cornflower seed is hardy and easy to plant. Simply sprinkle them evenly across the garden. There's no need to be too particular when planting, as long as you use plenty of seeds. When the summer is over, be sure to collect seeds from the dead flower heads, and you'll have all the seeds you'll need for the following summer. Finally, take a rake and quickly run it across the soil, shaking it back and forth a few times. 

For red, I use the Oriental Poppy. These delicate wildflowers will grow up in among the cornflowers, with giant red flowers atop a thin stem. The paper-thin red flowers provide amazing contrast with the smaller blue cornflower. Trust me, the combination of these two colors on a warm summer day is unbeatable. 

When the poppy dies, it leaves behind a pod which will slowly dry out. This is where you'll get plenty of seeds for next year. Planting is easy, just squeeze the dried pod and the tiny seeds will fall out. The wind will blow them around. Be sure to cover the whole garden, and that's about all there is to it.

For white I use the ox-eye daisy. What could be more Americana than a daisy? It rises up about 2 feet with a dark green stem. These flowers, like the other two, can be purchased in almost any store. And like the other two, planting is as easy as spreading the seeds around and brushing up the soil a bit.

When all three flowers are in bloom, and the wind is gently blowing, it's summertime in America. And the best part - the garden should naturally re-seed itself for next year. All you really need to do is pull up the dead plants, shake the seeds out of them, and wait until next year.








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