When I think of the American Goldfinch I instantly think of Coreopsis and when I think of Coreopsis I think of my other friends the grasshopper and the praying mantis. All one big happy family in my yard.
At my last house, I filled my front yard with Coreopsis or what a friend of mine calls tick seed. It is a very wild and unruly plant. I pretty much used it because for every one plant, you get 5 plants the next year. This made my front yard quite affordable.
But there wound up being another reason -the amazing amount of wildlife attracted to my flowerbeds right in the center of town. I found this photo too, to give you an idea of how “city like” my old front yard could be.
I thought this was hilarious. I opened my door and there seemed to be delivery men approaching…
So let’s just say the front yard could be rather boisterous and bustling…
After 4-5 years I had created a 20 foot border of Coreopsis, lavender, Ghalardia, daylillies, pretty much anything people were giving away. I’d call it a wildflower garden…. Wild being the definitive term.
What I remember so fondly was sitting out front with my little ones as they would catch over twenty grasshoppers at a time. Then they would count the praying mantises, sometimes ten, sometimes fifteen! Lot’s of snails on our old granite wall too.
But the best, was the goldfinches. If you stayed really quiet and really still they would come and eat the seed heads off the Coreopsis right in front of you. The birds were light enough to actually perch at the tops of the flowering plants.
We were in the center of this crazy village yet in our own little cocoon with the birds and the bees. Yep the bees were there too.
I know many of my friends wondered how I could live with my front steps being a town-bus stop. Coffee cups left out on my wall. Sometimes worse. For the most part I didn’t notice. I found myself surrounded by so much nature. I had a large lilac hedge and very old Japanese Quince bushes that the Baltimore Orioles adored. Life was pretty good.
Of course my kids got a little older and wanted to bike ride and play. At that point our little house in the center of town needed to go to another young kid-less couple who loved the idea of walking to the little shops in the village.
We are off the main road now. In a quiet place. Perfect for bike riding and playing, yet still close enough to walk into town. And I have inherited some new amazing gardens from the previous homeowner… All is good.
But when I think of my old house, I will always think of the Coreopsis and all the great treasures hiding in it.
One other funny little story. We had an aunt who came to visit at our old house. She disappeared for some time and then came running into the house. She was telling me I had to look at my front yard. She was sure I had some pet store birds loose in my garden. That cracked me up, I knew exactly what she was talking about. Most pet stores have beautiful finches for sale. I laughed and told her, these are the wild kind.
The Beautiful American Goldfinch.