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


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

Simply ask at this time’s visitor, Neil Diboll, who has operated Prairie Nursery in Wisconsin for 42 years, since lengthy earlier than phrases like “pollinator backyard” had been modern. He’ll share a few of his favourite species it’s possible you’ll not know, and in addition 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 example.

Neil has been president and consulting ecologist for Prairie Nursery in Westfield, Wisc., since 1982. Final yr, 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 crops 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 duplicate of the guide.

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 crops, with neil diboll

 

 

Margaret Roach: I really like the guide, Neil; it’s so severe, but additionally accessible. I don’t know for those who will be each issues on the similar time, however in some way it’s. So congratulations on that.

Neil Diboll: Thanks.

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

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

Margaret: Yeah, we’ve come a great distance, nevertheless it feels in some way to me—I suppose as a result of I get plenty of reader and listener questions—it feels to me like within the mainstream horticulture market, the analysis and improvement and advertising and marketing efforts have been actually to invent flashy new types of natives and promote, promote, promote them possibly greater than to coach the purchasers. And I do know you assume training is likely one of the most necessary elements, and I completely agree, listening to what persons are confounded by.

Neil: Yeah, training is super-important, particularly when 40 years in the past we had a product that no one 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 crops correctly, it is advisable be sure that they perceive them and the way they work together with one another.

So gardening with native prairie crops, 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 relatively than recreating nature in our personal picture, if you’ll, we’re utilizing nature’s rules to create a mannequin of nature. So relatively than a homocentric backyard, it’s a extra of a nature-centric mannequin. And that actually helps to tell gardeners so far as methods to use these crops and methods to 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’d purchase our hostas and our astilbe and our this and that. I simply talked about some shade crops, however I may point out solar crops, too. We put them down and 30 years later, they’re basically in the identical place that they was once [laughter]. You understand what I imply? We knew methods to handle them, we knew what they wanted. We knew when to chop them again. We type 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 totally different mindset. So I get plenty of questions from people who find themselves thrown off by, nicely, how do I make this all work? It’s just a little complicated.

Neil: And it helps to know your crops, and lots of gardeners know their crops phenomenally nicely, however they’re simply totally different crops. And so what we’re seeing now’s that severe gardeners are attending to know native crops and making use of ecological rules in how they design with them, how they handle them, and so forth.

Particularly past simply the usage of the crops as one thing aesthetic for human beings, however relatively 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 relatively than spraying all the things 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 crops, 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 type the inspiration of the meals chain that feed all the things up, they’re going to eat my crops, and that’s why half the explanation why these crops are there, not only for me, however for all of us.

Margaret: Proper. Perfectionism is just not 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 basically, they’re larger, however they’re nonetheless there. However with let’s say… and possibly we must always inform the distinction between what’s a meadow versus a prairie planting as a result of that’s type 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 considered as a extra cool-season grass, with grasses that come up early in spring, with numerous wildflowers which can be extra predominant within the Japanese a part of the USA, 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 huge meadows with these tall grasses, and the phrase they used to explain them was prairie, which in fact is the French phrase for meadow. However whenever you take 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 continues to be 1 to five toes tall relying upon the constituents. So it’s nonetheless typically a taller plant group and typical of the Midwest relatively 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 plenty 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 yr, I don’t see my black-eyed Susans. There’s no extra black-eyed Susans. And I liked 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 endlessly, and it’s evolving, proper? So uh-oh, succession [laughter].

Neil: Precisely, yeah. And let’s take a look at the 2 alternative ways you need to use these crops. You possibly can create a prairie backyard with transplants, the place you possibly can choose long-lived crops if you would like it to be extra static. And that’s why in our guide, we listed flowers expectations. We don’t have any annuals in there, however we have now a number of biennials, in fact, 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 crops that dwell 20, 30, 40, 50 years and longer.

Margaret: I liked that Neil, I liked it. I imply, I’ve by no means seen the life expectancy listed in any guide about crops. And whenever 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 understand 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 necessary for gardeners, in order 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 yr, and it would cling on for one more couple of years, however by the fifth or sixth yr, it’s just about gone due to, as you identified, ecological succession.

And that is actually necessary for folks to grasp ecological succession, whereby whenever you seed onto open floor, normally the primary yr it’s all weeds, which you didn’t plant. They’re simply dormant seeds within the soil, and also you management them by conserving all the things mowed again, normally to about 6 inches within the first rising season.

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

After which what’s attention-grabbing is the precise range of complete variety of prairie crops normally peaks round yr 12 or 15. After which it begins to drop barely because the early successional and mid-successional perennials give strategy to these longer-lived crops that dwell 10 to 20-plus years.

So it’s type of disappointing generally whenever you see a few of your favourite crops possibly going by the wayside. However with disturbance… and that is actually necessary, and disturbance is available in many types. 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 type of set succession again and maintain what we name gap-phase succession the place you could have open soil the place a few of these different species that may be shorter-lived, can recede and proceed to keep up as a lot range as potential. So burning is basically an necessary facet of this. In fact, lots of people can’t burn or don’t wish to burn. It’s truly very simple to burn for those who arrange your panorama accurately. And it’s actually plenty of enjoyable as you recognize.

Margaret: There’s an entire part in your guide about it, and after I first met you, you couldn’t wait to convey 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 wished to indicate us a managed burn. And so once more, you instruct methods to do it within the guide.

Effectively, I really like that you simply stated that we may use a few of these crops as type of specimens. Lets say, “I’m going to make a mattress of those prairie crops, not a group.” So we may try 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 whenever you use seeds, it’s going to be an evolutionary course of. However in fact, we wish to have these early-successional, mid-successional species. So we have now curiosity in yr 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, and on, nevertheless it type of reaches extra of a stasis after about 15 years or so. But it surely’s not unhealthy. You continue to have plenty of flowers and delightful grasses, so there’s just a few species which will fall by the wayside over an prolonged time period.

Margaret: And also you simply stated grasses. And that’s an necessary element as a result of simply selecting an entire lot of flowers, plenty of forbs, is just not going to do it, is just not going to carry all of it collectively and create that group, as a result of these had been crops 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 people who have tried to plant simply wildflowers. And it may be finished, nevertheless it’s just a little trickier for quite a lot of causes. Primary, it’s the fibrous roots of the grasses that assist to discourage weeds, as a result of they don’t permit any open soil on the floor of the bottom. And in order that’s the place most weeds get established. There are all the time going to be weeds that may blow in and trigger issues, however you’ll tremendously scale back that hazard by having enough amount of grass in your meadow or backyard. In order that they’re actually type of your weeders. Like I say, make the crops do the be just right for you. I don’t wish 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 enough grass in it to maintain weeds out as finest as potential.

And in addition, for those who’re going to burn a prairie, flower sticks, outdated flower sticks don’t burn. You want what we name nice gas—grass—as a way to carry a hearth. So for those who don’t have grass in your prairie, it mainly gained’t burn. And then you definitely lose that nice administration choice for conserving it very contemporary and new and searching good and conserving out weeds and bushes and shrubs, as a result of fireplace is basically the easiest way to maintain out invaders, most invaders. And persons are scared of fireside. Effectively, truly on our web site, I’ve an article underneath assets and guides, it’s referred to as “Tips on how to Burn Your Prairie Safely,” and there’s so many recommendations on how to do that.

So I imply, it’s nearly inconceivable to lose it for those who do it proper. And one actually easy trick is simply earlier than you burn it, simply reduce all the things down and all of the gas is on the bottom. As a substitute 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, outdoors my window—despite the fact that I’ve closed the window, the home wren is insistent on being on this program at this time, so you possibly can hear him screaming.

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

Margaret: [Laughter.] Slightly bossy creature. Yeah. So we had been speaking about making this residing 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 lots is when weeds do come via, 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 house within the soil? Ought to I pull them out and attempt to do the least opening of soil potential or put one thing on it, like a chunk of cardboard or no matter? Is there any weeding recommendation in any respect for these type 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, for those who take a look at it, you must take a look at it strategically, and it is advisable know your weeds. The truth is, after I first began doing this again in 1977, I used to be plantings that somebody had finished on the college the place I went to high school, and it was a really new planting so all I discovered had been weeds. So I needed to study my weeds first, which truly was very helpful.

As a result of for those who take a look at weeds, you take a look at them because the species that may trigger issues in a grassland, you could have annuals, which present up principally within the first yr and the second yr as nicely. Then you could have biennials. Now we’re speaking about herbaceous crops, annuals and biennials. After which you could have perennial grasses, and you’ve got perennial rhizomatous grasses and perennial non-rhizomatous grasses. Then you could have perennial broadleaf weeds, and people are additionally divided into rhizomatous and non-rhizomatous, with the rhizomatous species being the actual drawback kids, these are those that creep far and wide. Issues like Canada thistle and subject bindweed and horse nettle. These are actual, actual issues, and also you wish to get them out as quickly as you presumably can. Crown vetch, oh, what a horrible plant.

Margaret: We’ve 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 tough upon getting a longtime inhabitants of it.

Or what you are able to do is you possibly can kill all of it off. After which right here’s just a little trick. In case you have a long-term drawback with the seed financial institution, you possibly can kill all the things off with whichever technique you wish 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 may well creep in. After which you possibly can put 3 inches of contemporary, clear, topsoil over that which can bury the weed seed financial institution, after which you possibly can seed or plant your crops 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 could have an issue web site with a longterm historical past of actually nasty, thuggish weeds, that is the way you overcome them, by fully eliminating the weeds after which placing 3 inches of excellent, clear topsoil over that, that won’t have weed seeds. However for those who take a look at this, it is advisable know who you’re up towards. So so far as pulling weeds within the first yr of a seeded prairie, you by no means pull weeds, as a result of whenever you pull the weeds, you undoubtedly, invariably convey up clumps of soil and there go your prairie seedlings with it. And also you may as nicely go in there and spray it with Roundup. That’s why we maintain all the things 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 yr.

Within the second yr, if we have now drawback weeds with biennials like burdock, candy clovers, wild parsnip, plenty of these guys can actually be an issue. So proper after they end blooming, we reduce them all the way down to 12 inches, which then stops the seed formation course of.

Margaret: Proper, O.Okay.

Neil: And kills the crops apart from Queen Anne’s lace, which is an indeterminate bloomer and would require fixed slicing again of the flowers. Then within the third yr…

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

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

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

Neil: Yeah, precisely.

Margaret: So after we did the Instances story, we talked about how despite the fact that everybody just about 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 bought in catalogs promoting in California, for goodness sake. However there’s so many all over the place it appears [laughter]. However there’s so many nice prairie natives for the Japanese half or two-thirds of the nation, which is I suppose roughly talking, plenty of them are your specialties, that folks don’t know but. And I believed it might be enjoyable to simply 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 persons 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 well-liked for a very long time, simply not right here. However let’s take a look at another crops that maybe are just a little extra muted or are good companions for among the showier crops.

And I actually like plenty of the white-flowered crops, and white-flowered crops additionally significantly good for bees and parasitoid wasps, which assist to regulate 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 beautiful plant, and it’ll develop in clay. It is going to develop in moist soil. It doesn’t like dry soil. It is going to develop in full solar, and it’ll develop partially shade. So it’s a reasonably versatile plant, so long as you give it backyard soil or perhaps a barely damp soil.

One other nice plant is the rattlesnake grasp, Eryngium yuccifolium [below], attractive foliage, excellent flowers, which can bloom for a reasonably prolonged time period. Only a actually attention-grabbing, odd-looking plant, nevertheless 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 attention-grabbing. Individuals consider prairies, oh, it’s all filled with yellow flowers, however truly there’s plenty of totally different colours. White is the second commonest shade 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 shopper 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 mainly eats it from the within out and emerges like “Alien.” So the place do you assume they received that concept for the film? From nature. So he says, “My prairie is my pesticide.” And so plenty of natural gardeners will use these crops 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 for those who plant a prairie combine with 20, 25, 30 species, you promote them, get one hundred pc. Mom nature’s fairly tough. However I imply, for those who get 70, 80 % 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 many butterflies come. And naturally the bees, the wasps and everyone.

And persons are so afraid 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 may assault you in case you are not bothering them. Hornets gained’t trouble you. Mud daubers gained’t trouble you, cicada killers gained’t trouble you until you trouble them. However the yellow jacket, they’d simply as quickly sting as take a look at you. However they often 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 fee, 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. Immediately, they’re tremendous well-liked due to the curiosity in pollinators. And so Pycnanthemum is within the mint household, and it’s superb at what number of totally different species it attracts.

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

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

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

Neil: That’s a terrific plant for a dry, sandy soil. In case you have a patio with sand in between the stones, it’ll develop in there. It stays actually low. It likes a minimum of a half a day of solar, nevertheless it stays very low. It has stunning silvery leaves.

And it truly is dioecious: It has separate female and male crops. It’s arduous to inform the distinction until 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, nevertheless it doesn’t like clay. So that you wish to have a extremely good-draining soil. However when you could have 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 crops that attain taller heights as nicely for these sorts of troublesome conditions.

Margaret: The final one I wish to ask you about is there’s a petunia, nevertheless 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 widespread identify?

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

Margaret: Wild petunia, O.Okay.

Neil: Humilis: low-growing, humble, low-growing. It is 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 type 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 tough soils, too, very dry soils. And the Ruellia can be tolerant of sizzling, dry situations. So these are actually good selections if you would like some low-growing crops, particularly in robust, sizzling conditions.

Margaret: Effectively, I’ll embody some hyperlinks to a few of the tutorial stuff in your web site, as a result of as you stated firstly, training’s been a extremely necessary a part of working with a product that folks didn’t actually, and nonetheless don’t absolutely, find out about, and are simply studying about. I all the time study lots from you, Neil, even after I’m not at your own home and also you’re not setting your entrance garden on fireplace to terrify me [laughter].

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

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

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 photographs 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 must do to enter is reply this query within the feedback field beneath:

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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 yr in March 2024. It’s produced at Robin Hood Radio, the smallest NPR station within the nation. Pay attention domestically within the Hudson Valley (NY)-Berkshires (MA)-Litchfield Hills (CT) Mondays at 8:30 AM Japanese, 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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