prairie and meadow plantings, succession and extra, with neil diboll

INTEREST AND AWARENESS round native vegetation has been trending in recent times, and it makes them really feel nearly new. However after all natives are the unique vegetation of an space, and even in sure specialty corners of the nursery trade, they’ve been round far longer than they’ve been making headlines.

Simply ask at present’s visitor, Neil Diboll, who has operated Prairie Nursery in Wisconsin for 42 years, since lengthy earlier than phrases like “pollinator backyard” had been trendy. He’ll share a few of his favourite species it’s possible you’ll not know, and likewise some recommendation on what to anticipate over time managing meadow- and prairie-style plantings, in case you’re amongst these gardeners contemplating transitioning a part of your garden, as an illustration.

Neil has been president and consulting ecologist for Prairie Nursery in Westfield, Wisc., since 1982. Final 12 months, in collaboration with backyard designer and horticulturist Hilary Cox, he revealed “The Gardener’s Information to Prairie Vegetation” (affiliate hyperlink), a complete information to utilizing prairie vegetation in gardens and bigger restorations. (Above, Culver’s root, Veronicastrum virginicum.)

Plus: Remark within the field close to the underside of the web page to enter to win a replica of the ebook.

Learn alongside as you take heed to the June 3, 2024 version of my public-radio present and podcast utilizing the participant beneath. You possibly can subscribe to all future editions on Apple Podcasts (iTunes) or Spotify (and browse my archive of podcasts right here).

speaking prairie vegetation, with neil diboll



Margaret Roach: I like the ebook, Neil; it’s so critical, but in addition accessible. I don’t know should you may be each issues on the similar time, however one way or the other it’s. So congratulations on that.

Neil Diboll: Thanks.

Margaret: So we did a latest “New York Occasions” backyard column collectively, however that wasn’t the primary time I met you. I met you 30-something years in the past once I was engaged on a ebook referred to as “The Pure Habitat Backyard” with Ken Druse, and we came around you and study all issues prairie from you. And again then, natives, you jogged my memory after we labored on the latest Occasions piece, had been extra more likely to be thought of weeds than trendy [laughter]. Sure?

Neil: Oh, sure, sure. Let’s simply say we had been a bit forward of the curve on this. So there was some fairly onerous years making an attempt to persuade folks to make use of natives after they weren’t accustomed to realizing something about them.

Margaret: Yeah, we’ve come a great distance, however it feels one way or the other to me—I assume as a result of I get loads of reader and listener questions—it feels to me like within the mainstream horticulture market, the analysis and improvement and advertising efforts have been actually to invent flashy new types of natives and promote, promote, promote them perhaps greater than to teach the purchasers. And I do know you assume training is likely one of the most vital elements, and I completely agree, listening to what individuals are confounded by.

Neil: Yeah, training is super-important, particularly when 40 years in the past we had a product that no person knew about, and so we needed to educate. And to ensure that folks to make use of your product correctly, to make use of these vegetation correctly, you might want to be sure that they perceive them and the way they work together with one another.

So gardening with native prairie vegetation, folks can create mini-ecosystems or plant communities, and that’s actually a radical idea as a result of now you’re not simply plunking in a plant like this or a plant like that, however you’re truly utilizing a local ecosystem as your mannequin for a backyard. And so somewhat than recreating nature in our personal picture, if you’ll, we’re utilizing nature’s ideas to create a mannequin of nature. So somewhat than a homocentric backyard, it’s a extra of a nature-centric mannequin. And that basically helps to tell gardeners so far as how one can use these vegetation and how one can use them to create low-maintenance, high-quality habitat.

Margaret: And simply to that time that you simply’re making, I imply, after we long-time gardeners, even skilled, knowledgeable gardeners, we might purchase our hostas and our astilbe and our this and that. I simply talked about some shade vegetation, however I may point out solar vegetation, too. We put them down and 30 years later, they’re primarily in the identical place that they was once [laughter]. You already know what I imply? We knew how one can handle them, we knew what they wanted. We knew when to chop them again. We sort of knew the routine. They had been the acquainted palette. And these will not be essentially.

And as you’re declaring, we’re not simply plunking issues down, “Ooh, look, that’ll look fairly over right here, and this can look fairly over there,” we’re creating communities. And that’s an entire completely different mindset. So I get loads of questions from people who find themselves thrown off by, effectively, how do I make this all work? It’s a bit complicated.

Neil: And it helps to know your vegetation, and plenty of gardeners know their vegetation phenomenally effectively, however they’re simply completely different vegetation. And so what we’re seeing now could be that critical gardeners are attending to know native vegetation and making use of ecological ideas in how they design with them, how they handle them, and so forth.

Particularly past simply the usage of the vegetation as one thing aesthetic for human beings, however somewhat as a habitat backyard, and what I name a three way partnership with nature, the place we meet nature midway. So we invite nature into our gardens. And somewhat than spraying the whole lot to maintain the bugs off, we truly invite the bugs. As a result of in my backyard or my meadows, if I don’t have holes within the leaves of my vegetation, I’m an utter failure as a gardener as a result of I’m not supporting pollinators, I’m not supporting birds. The bugs that kind the inspiration of the meals chain that feed the whole lot up, they’re going to eat my vegetation, and that’s why half the explanation why these vegetation are there, not only for me, however for all of us.

Margaret: Proper. Perfectionism just isn’t the objective [laughter]. And a static image, as I stated, I’ve hostas and so they’re nonetheless in the identical place the place I put them, as I stated, and I may have put them there 30 years in the past. And primarily, they’re greater, however they’re nonetheless there. However with let’s say… and perhaps we must always inform the distinction between what’s a meadow versus a prairie planting as a result of that’s kind of sizzling now, is to make a meadow or transition some garden to meadow or to prairie. What’s the distinction out of your ecologist’s standpoint?

Neil: Between meadow and prairie?

Margaret: Yeah.

Neil: Yeah. Usually within the lexicon, a meadow is seen as a extra cool-season grass, with grasses that come up early in spring, with numerous wildflowers which can be extra predominant within the Jap a part of the US, normally a decrease profile. And a prairie is basically the outline of the Midwestern tall-grass prairie, which was encountered by early French explorers within the seventeenth, 18th centuries. And so they discovered these large meadows with these tall grasses, and the phrase they used to explain them was prairie, which after all is the French phrase for meadow. However once you have a look at the way in which the phrases, the phrases are used now, meadow normally refers to a lower-growing profile, wildflower, meadow. And you’ll have a brief prairie, however a brief prairie remains to be 1 to five toes tall relying upon the constituents. So it’s nonetheless usually a taller plant group and typical of the Midwest somewhat than the East.

Margaret: So I hear from individuals who transitioned an space to a meadow or a prairie, normally, once more, I’m within the East, so I hear from particularly loads of Easterners and so they say, meadow, “I’ve a brand new meadow backyard or no matter.” “I’m managing my meadow.” And within the third 12 months, I don’t see my black-eyed Susans. There’s no extra black-eyed Susans. And I cherished my black-eyed Susans,” Rudbeckia hirta [above]. Some members of that group that they thought was going to remain static, keep like a postcard picture eternally, and it’s evolving, proper? So uh-oh, succession [laughter].

Neil: Precisely, yeah. And let’s have a look at the 2 alternative ways you need to use these vegetation. You possibly can create a prairie backyard with transplants, the place you’ll be able to choose long-lived vegetation if you’d like it to be extra static. And that’s why in our ebook, we listed plants expectations. We don’t have any annuals in there, however we have now a couple of biennials, after all, with a life expectancy of two years. After which short-lived perennials three to 5 years, after which mid-successional perennials 5 to 10 years, after which later successional perennials 10 to twenty, after which lastly the Methuselah vegetation that reside 20, 30, 40, 50 years and longer.

Margaret: I cherished that Neil, I cherished it. I imply, I’ve by no means seen the life expectancy listed in any ebook about vegetation. And once you did that, and it was like “Baptisia, 20-plus years,” and I used to be like, proper, that factor is anchored within the floor. You already know what I imply? That’s a keeper that’s staying round. It settles down, and it’s there.

Neil: Effectively, I feel that is actually vital for gardeners, so that they know what they’re getting. As you level out, what occurred to my Rudbeckia hirta? Effectively, it’s a biennial, and naturally you’re referring to a seed combine the place being a biennial, it’s simply fairly dominant in a second 12 months, and it’d cling on for one more couple of years, however by the fifth or sixth 12 months, it’s just about gone due to, as you identified, ecological succession.

And that is actually vital for folks to know ecological succession, whereby once you seed onto open floor, normally the primary 12 months it’s all weeds, which you didn’t plant. They’re simply dormant seeds within the soil, and also you management them by holding the whole lot mowed again, normally to about 6 inches within the first rising season.

After which you have got biennials that present up in a second 12 months, just like the black-eyed Susan and weedy biennials. And oftentimes you’ll should mow these within the second 12 months. After which the third 12 months, the extra quickly maturing perennials of the prairie flowers and grasses begin to present up. And by the fifth 12 months, it’s just about a prairie, if the whole lot’s going in line with plan.

After which what’s fascinating is the precise range of whole variety of prairie vegetation normally peaks round 12 months 12 or 15. After which it begins to drop barely because the early successional and mid-successional perennials give approach to these longer-lived vegetation that reside 10 to 20-plus years.

So it’s sort of disappointing generally once you see a few of your favourite vegetation perhaps going by the wayside. However with disturbance… and that is actually vital, and disturbance is available in many varieties. There’s ripping the bottom up, there’s animal exercise, however the one we normally use is managed burning.

With managed burning, you’ll be able to sort of set succession again and hold what we name gap-phase succession the place you have got open soil the place a few of these different species that will be shorter-lived, can recede and proceed to take care of as a lot range as doable. So burning is basically an vital side of this. After all, lots of people can’t burn or don’t need to burn. It’s truly very simple to burn should you arrange your panorama accurately. And it’s actually loads of enjoyable as you understand.

Margaret: There’s an entire part in your ebook about it, and once I first met you, you couldn’t wait to deliver me and Ken Druse to your private home the place you had been making a prairie. You had a younger prairie backyard in your entrance yard, I feel, and also you needed to point out us a managed burn. And so once more, you instruct how one can do it within the ebook.

Effectively, I like that you simply stated that we may use a few of these vegetation as kind of specimens. Lets say, “I’m going to make a mattress of those prairie vegetation, not a group.” So we may do this and management it extra, however when it’s extra like a meadow or a prairie, the succession goes to take maintain and so forth.

Neil: And once you use seeds, it’s going to be an evolutionary course of. However after all, we need to have these early-successional, mid-successional species. So we have now curiosity in 12 months 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, and on, however it sort of reaches extra of a stasis after about 15 years or so. But it surely’s not dangerous. You continue to have plenty of flowers and exquisite grasses, so there’s just a few species which will fall by the wayside over an prolonged time frame.

Margaret: And also you simply stated grasses. And that’s an vital element as a result of simply selecting an entire lot of flowers, loads of forbs, just isn’t going to do it, just isn’t going to carry all of it collectively and create that group, as a result of these had been vegetation which can be accustomed to having partnerships with grasses.

Neil: Sure. And prairies are grasslands, meadows are grasslands, and so you actually can’t have one with out the grass, and those that have tried to plant simply wildflowers. And it may be finished, however it’s a bit trickier for numerous causes. Primary, it’s the fibrous roots of the grasses that assist to discourage weeds, as a result of they don’t enable any open soil on the floor of the bottom. And in order that’s the place most weeds get established. There are at all times going to be weeds that may blow in and trigger issues, however you’ll tremendously cut back that hazard by having ample amount of grass in your meadow or backyard. So that they’re actually sort of your weeders. Like I say, make the vegetation do the give you the results you want. I don’t need to go on the market and weed. I’m going to design this backyard or design this prairie seed combine so it’s going to have ample grass in it to maintain weeds out as greatest as doable.

And likewise, should you’re going to burn a prairie, flower sticks, outdated flower sticks don’t burn. You want what we name high-quality gas—grass—as a way to carry a hearth. So should you don’t have grass in your prairie, it principally received’t burn. And you then lose that nice administration choice for holding it very contemporary and new and looking out good and holding out weeds and bushes and shrubs, as a result of hearth is basically one of the best ways to maintain out invaders, most invaders. And individuals are scared of fireside. Effectively, truly on our web site, I’ve an article underneath sources and guides, it’s referred to as “Easy methods to Burn Your Prairie Safely,” and there’s so many tips about how to do that.

So I imply, it’s nearly not possible to lose it should you do it proper. And one actually easy trick is simply earlier than you burn it, simply lower the whole lot down and all of the gas is on the bottom. As an alternative of getting huge flames, it’s simply creeping alongside the bottom. And so it’s so easy. It’s very easy.

Margaret: I’m sorry that the home wren, by the way in which, exterior my window—although I’ve closed the window, the home wren is insistent on being on this program at present, so you’ll be able to hear him screaming.

Neil: Oh, yeah, that’s good. It’s good to have a accomplice on the present.

Margaret: [Laughter.] Somewhat bossy creature. Yeah. So we had been speaking about making this dwelling mulch in a way by having the element of grasses with the wildflowers, the forbs, and that it makes it extra weed-resistant. The opposite query I get requested quite a bit is when weeds do come by, particularly within the early years that I don’t need, ought to I pull them out as a result of then which will open up one other area within the soil? Ought to I pull them out and attempt to do the least opening of soil doable or put one thing on it, like a chunk of cardboard or no matter? Is there any weeding recommendation in any respect for these sort of communities?

Neil: Yeah, as soon as once more, you’re speaking a couple of seeded meadow, seeded prairie, proper?

Margaret: Possibly, yeah.

Neil: O.Okay. Effectively, should you have a look at it, you need to have a look at it strategically, and you might want to know your weeds. In reality, once I first began doing this again in 1977, I used to be taking a look at plantings that somebody had finished on the college the place I went to highschool, and it was a really new planting so all I discovered had been weeds. So I needed to be taught my weeds first, which truly was very useful.

As a result of should you have a look at weeds, you have a look at them because the species that can trigger issues in a grassland, you have got annuals, which present up largely within the first 12 months and the second 12 months as effectively. Then you have got biennials. Now we’re speaking about herbaceous vegetation, annuals and biennials. After which you have got perennial grasses, and you’ve got perennial rhizomatous grasses and perennial non-rhizomatous grasses. Then you have got perennial broadleaf weeds, and people are additionally divided into rhizomatous and non-rhizomatous, with the rhizomatous species being the actual downside kids, these are those that creep in all places. Issues like Canada thistle and discipline bindweed and horse nettle. These are actual, actual issues, and also you need to get them out as quickly as you presumably can. Crown vetch, oh, what a horrible plant.

Margaret: We now have mugwort, and I do know your recommendation for mugwort.

Neil: Oh, mugwort is like, oh, good luck with that.

Margaret: Relocate. Relocate [laughter].

Neil: Yeah, relocate. Recalibrate, sure. It’s so troublesome upon getting a longtime inhabitants of it.

Or what you are able to do is you’ll be able to kill all of it off. After which right here’s a bit trick. When you’ve got a long-term downside with the seed financial institution, you’ll be able to kill the whole lot off with whichever technique you need to use, whether or not it’s smothering or repeated tilling or herbicide or no matter, till there’s completely none of that perennial weed left and none across the edges the place it might creep in. After which you’ll be able to put 3 inches of contemporary, clear, topsoil over that which is able to bury the weed seed financial institution, after which you’ll be able to seed or plant your vegetation into that contemporary soil, assuming that it doesn’t have another problematic weeds. So this works on a small space, it’s not going to work on a bigger space.

However when you have got an issue web site with a longterm historical past of actually nasty, thuggish weeds, that is the way you overcome them, by utterly eliminating the weeds after which placing 3 inches of excellent, clear topsoil over that, that won’t have weed seeds. However should you have a look at this, you might want to know who you’re up towards. So so far as pulling weeds within the first 12 months of a seeded prairie, you by no means pull weeds, as a result of once you pull the weeds, you undoubtedly, invariably deliver up clumps of soil and there go your prairie seedlings with it. And also you would possibly as effectively go in there and spray it with Roundup. That’s why we hold the whole lot mowed to six inches, as a result of few, if any of these prairie seedlings are going to develop greater than 6 inches within the first 12 months.

Within the second 12 months, if we have now downside weeds with biennials like burdock, candy clovers, wild parsnip, loads of these guys can actually be an issue. So proper after they end blooming, we lower them right down to 12 inches, which then stops the seed formation course of.

Margaret: Proper, O.Okay.

Neil: And kills the vegetation except for Queen Anne’s lace, which is an indeterminate bloomer and would require fixed chopping again of the flowers. Then within the third 12 months…

Margaret: I used to be going to say strategic relying on what plant you’re up towards, you have got a method. Yeah.

Neil: Precisely. And that info is within the ebook, “The Gardener’s Information to Prairie Vegetation.” It’s additionally on our web site. So there’s plenty of sources right here the place folks can get to know these vegetation and what to do. However once more, you need to know who you’re up towards and know how one can strategically management them.

Margaret: Proper, perceive its life historical past and so forth. Yeah.

Neil: Yeah, precisely.

Margaret: So after we did the Occasions story, we talked about how although everybody nearly coast to coast is aware of purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea, which by the way isn’t native coast to coast, however I even see it offered in catalogs promoting in California, for goodness sake. However there’s so many in every single place it appears [laughter]. However there’s so many nice prairie natives for the Jap half or two-thirds of the nation, which is I assume roughly talking, loads of them are your specialties, that individuals don’t know but. And I assumed it might be enjoyable to only take a couple of minutes to name out so we don’t run out of time. Take a couple of minutes to name out some that you simply want you knew higher, as a result of it’s not simply purple coneflower and Rudbeckia, proper? [Above, hybrid coneflowers combining genetics of Echinacea purpurea and E. pallida.]

Neil: Proper. And individuals are oriented towards the showy flowers. And let’s not overlook that the English had been planting purple coneflower within the nineteenth century, after we had been plowing up the prairies. In order that plant’s been common for a very long time, simply not right here. However let’s have a look at another vegetation that maybe are a bit extra muted or are good companions for among the showier vegetation.

And I actually like loads of the white-flowered vegetation, and white-flowered vegetation additionally notably good for bees and parasitoid wasps, which assist to manage pests in your backyard. Considered one of my favorites is Culver’s root, Veronicastrum virginicum [top of page]. It’s a stately, elegant plant. It’s about 5 toes tall. It has stunning whorled leaves up the stem and these pure white spires of flowers, completely pretty plant, and it’ll develop in clay. It should develop in moist soil. It doesn’t like dry soil. It should develop in full solar, and it’ll develop partially shade. So it’s a reasonably versatile plant, so long as you give it an excellent backyard soil or perhaps a barely damp soil.

One other nice plant is the rattlesnake grasp, Eryngium yuccifolium [below], beautiful foliage, excellent flowers, which is able to bloom for a reasonably prolonged time frame. Only a actually fascinating, odd-looking plant, however it has actual character, and it blooms similtaneously prairie blazingstar, Liatris pycnostachya. And you’ve got this lavender-white, great pastel mixture.

That is the place the whites are so great, and it’s fascinating. Individuals consider prairies, oh, it’s all filled with yellow flowers, however truly there’s plenty of completely different colours. White is the second most typical coloration of prairie flowers.

Margaret: I didn’t know that.

Neil: Yeah, it’s superb. And so rattlesnake grasp is also pollinated nearly completely by wasps, together with parasitic wasps. And I had a consumer who had horrible issues with tomato hornworm in his vegetable backyard. He planted a 1,000-square-foot prairie from us with a quarter-pound of prairie combine. And after the rattlesnake grasp began blooming, he stated, “I had no extra issues with tomato hornworms.”

And there’s a parasitic wasp that assaults the tomato hornworm by laying eggs on its again, which then burrow into the caterpillar, the caterpillar stage, and principally eats it from the within out and emerges like “Alien.” So the place do you assume they acquired that concept for the film? From nature. So he says, “My prairie is my pesticide.” And so loads of natural gardeners will use these vegetation to draw parasitic wasps to maintain, hopefully, in lots of circumstances, to maintain their pests down.

Margaret: And everyone knows… That’s one instance, and never simply with parasitic wasps, however the extra range, the extra layers of the meals chain are being supported, the extra assist there’s at each stage for any risk.

Neil: Oh, yeah. So true.

Margaret: Yeah. Meals and interventions each can be found.

Neil: So should you plant a prairie combine with 20, 25, 30 species, you promote them, get 100%. Mom nature’s fairly tough. However I imply, should you get 70, 80 p.c of that and also you get a large range of flowers, you’re not simply feeding bugs, you’re additionally feeding birds as a result of they eat the bugs, and plenty of butterflies come. And naturally the bees, the wasps and everyone.

And individuals are so fearful of wasps, however most wasps, they don’t trouble you. The one wasps you actually have to fret about are yellow jackets. These are the one ones that can assault you if you’re not bothering them. Hornets received’t trouble you. Mud daubers received’t trouble you, cicada killers received’t trouble you except you trouble them. However the yellow jacket, they’d simply as quickly sting as have a look at you. However they typically don’t come to the prairie as a result of they eat doughnuts and hamburgers and soda cans.

Margaret: They go to the mall [laughter].

Neil: They go to the picnic.

Margaret: They go to the mall.

Neil: That’s the place they go, they’re not coming to your prairie. So price, one other good selection are the mountain mints, genus Pycnanthemum. These are simply pollinator havens, and we couldn’t give these away 20 years in the past. Abruptly, they’re tremendous common due to the curiosity in pollinators. And so Pycnanthemum is within the mint household, and it’s superb at what number of completely different species it attracts.

Margaret: And there’s a number of completely different mountain mints, I feel. I don’t know what number of you carry.

Neil: There’s heaps. Pycnanthemum virginianum, Pycnanthemum tenuifolium, Pycnanthemum muticum [above]. All of those are actually good decisions for attracting pollinators, and so they’re fairly adaptable species.

Margaret: One of many issues that individuals ask me about quite a bit, and I feel we talked about perhaps one or two decisions within the Occasions story, folks need issues which can be low to the bottom, like groundcover-ish issues, as a result of that was what, after all, as gardeners, we had been all hooked on groundcovers, and there’s not as many decisions perhaps, however there are some. I feel Antennaria, pussytoes is that one [below]?

Neil: That’s an amazing plant for a dry, sandy soil. When you’ve got a patio with sand in between the stones, it’ll develop in there. It stays actually low. It likes at the very least a half a day of solar, however it stays very low. It has stunning silvery leaves.

And it truly is dioecious: It has separate female and male vegetation. It’s onerous to inform the distinction except you stand up shut and private. But it surely sends up these little flower stalks about 4 inches tall and these stunning whitish-green leaves, and so they particularly have these little white hairs to mirror solar as a result of they develop in very dry environments, the place it’s simple to get overheated.

So it’ll develop in super-, super-difficult websites like sandy hillsides and locations like that, or alongside sidewalks, however it doesn’t like clay. So that you need to have a extremely good-draining soil. However when you have got these spots which can be actual sizzling spots, like up towards the south aspect of a home that get simply burned up, this can be a nice low-growing plant. And there’s another actually great dry-tolerant prairie vegetation that attain taller heights as effectively for these sorts of troublesome conditions.

Margaret: The final one I need to ask you about is there’s a petunia, however it’s not a petunia. It’s a Ruellia, I feel.

Neil: Yeah.

Margaret: Yeah. Is it a prairie petunia? Is that what it’s referred to as? What’s its frequent identify?

Neil: Prairie petunia, wild petunia, Ruellia humilis [above].

Margaret: Wild petunia, O.Okay.

Neil: Humilis: low-growing, humble, low-growing. This can be a actually stunning plant with only a violet flower. And it has a single faucet root, after which it simply spreads out. It sends out these branches alongside the floor of the soil. It doesn’t get greater than a pair toes tall, so it’s one other actually good groundcover-ish plant. It doesn’t creep and kind a floor cowl just like the pussytoes, the place it truly creeps by rhizomes or the wild strawberry [Fragaria virginiana] is one other good one, which creeps by rhizomes and can develop in very troublesome soils, too, very dry soils. And the Ruellia can also be tolerant of sizzling, dry situations. So these are actually good decisions if you’d like some low-growing vegetation, particularly in robust, sizzling conditions.

Margaret: Effectively, I’ll embrace some hyperlinks to a few of the academic stuff in your web site, as a result of as you stated in the beginning, training’s been a extremely vital a part of working with a product that individuals didn’t actually, and nonetheless don’t absolutely, find out about, and are simply studying about. I at all times be taught quite a bit from you, Neil, even once I’m not at your own home and also you’re not setting your entrance garden on hearth to terrify me [laughter].

Neil: Effectively, it’s been some time. Margaret. Subsequent spring you must come, and we’ll do an anniversary prairie hearth.

Margaret: O.Okay. Extra trauma [laughter]. Effectively, thanks a lot. Thanks for making time at present.

Neil: It’s my pleasure, Margaret.

Margaret: Pull some extra invasives, I’m going to go do the identical. O.Okay.

Neil: All proper. It’s been great. Thanks a lot.

(All pictures from Prairie Nursery, used with permission.)

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I’LL BUY A COPY of “The Gardener’s Information to Prairie Vegetation,” by Neil Diboll and Hilary Cox, for one fortunate reader. All you need to do to enter is reply this query within the feedback field beneath:

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No reply, or feeling shy? Simply say one thing like “rely me in” and I’ll, however a reply is even higher. I’ll choose a random winner after entries shut at midnight Tuesday, June 11, 2024. Good luck to all.

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MY WEEKLY public-radio present, rated a “top-5 backyard podcast” by “The Guardian” newspaper within the UK, started its fifteenth 12 months in March 2024. It’s produced at Robin Hood Radio, the smallest NPR station within the nation. Pay attention regionally within the Hudson Valley (NY)-Berkshires (MA)-Litchfield Hills (CT) Mondays at 8:30 AM Jap, rerun at 8:30 Saturdays. Or play the June 3, 2024 present utilizing the participant close to the highest of this transcript. You possibly can subscribe to all future editions on iTunes/Apple Podcasts or Spotify (and browse my archive of podcasts right here).

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