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 business, they’ve been round far longer than they’ve been making headlines.

Simply ask at the moment’s visitor, Neil Diboll, who has operated Prairie Nursery in Wisconsin for 42 years, since lengthy earlier than phrases like “pollinator backyard” have been modern. He’ll share a few of his favourite species chances are 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 printed “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 e book.

Learn alongside as you hearken 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 e book, Neil; it’s so severe, but additionally accessible. I don’t know when you might 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 current “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 after I was engaged on a e book referred to as “The Pure Habitat Backyard” with Ken Druse, and we came around you and find out about all issues prairie from you. And again then, natives, you jogged my memory after we labored on the current Occasions piece, have been extra more likely to be thought-about weeds than modern [laughter]. Sure?

Neil: Oh, sure, sure. Let’s simply say we have been a bit of forward of the curve on this. So there was some fairly onerous years attempting 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, however it feels one way or the other to me—I assume as a result of I get quite a lot 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 shoppers. And I do know you assume training is likely one of the most essential components, 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 should 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 moderately than recreating nature in our personal picture, if you’ll, we’re utilizing nature’s ideas to create a mannequin of nature. So moderately than a homocentric backyard, it’s a extra of a nature-centric mannequin. And that basically helps to tell gardeners so far as how you can use these vegetation and how you can use them to create low-maintenance, high-quality habitat.

Margaret: And simply to that time that you just’re making, I imply, after we long-time gardeners, even skilled, professional 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 [laughter]. You already know what I imply? We knew how you can handle them, we knew what they wanted. We knew when to chop them again. We type of knew the routine. They have been the acquainted palette. And these aren’t essentially.

And as you’re stating, we’re not simply plunking issues down, “Ooh, look, that’ll look fairly over right here, and it will look fairly over there,” we’re creating communities. And that’s an entire completely different mindset. So I get quite a lot of questions from people who find themselves thrown off by, effectively, how do I make this all work? It’s a bit of 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 severe 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 moderately 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 moderately than spraying every part 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 every part up, they’re going to eat my vegetation, and that’s why half the rationale why these vegetation are there, not only for me, however for all of us.

Margaret: Proper. Perfectionism just isn’t the aim [laughter]. And a static image, as I mentioned, I’ve hostas they usually’re nonetheless in the identical place the place I put them, as I mentioned, 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 possibly we must always inform the distinction between what’s a meadow versus a prairie planting as a result of that’s form of scorching 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 might be extra predominant within the Jap a part of the US, often 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. They usually discovered these huge 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 while you have a look at the best way the phrases, the phrases are used now, meadow often 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 ft tall relying upon the constituents. So it’s nonetheless usually a taller plant group and typical of the Midwest moderately than the East.

Margaret: So I hear from individuals who transitioned an space to a meadow or a prairie, often, once more, I’m within the East, so I hear from particularly quite a lot of Easterners they usually 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 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 without end, and it’s evolving, proper? So uh-oh, succession [laughter].

Neil: Precisely, yeah. And let’s have a look at the 2 other ways you need to use these vegetation. You possibly can create a prairie backyard with transplants, the place you possibly can choose long-lived vegetation if you need it to be extra static. And that’s why in our e book, we listed plants expectations. We don’t have any annuals in there, however we have now just a few 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 liked that Neil, I liked it. I imply, I’ve by no means seen the life expectancy listed in any e book about vegetation. And while 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: Properly, I feel that is actually essential for gardeners, in order that they know what they’re getting. As you level out, what occurred to my Rudbeckia hirta? Properly, 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 essential for folks to know ecological succession, whereby while you seed onto open floor, often 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 every part mowed again, often to about 6 inches within the first rising season.

After which you may have 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 every part’s going in response to plan.

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

So it’s type of disappointing typically while you see a few of your favourite vegetation possibly going by the wayside. However with disturbance… and that is actually essential, and disturbance is available in many kinds. There’s ripping the bottom up, there’s animal exercise, however the one we often 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 may have open soil the place a few of these different species that might be shorter-lived, can recede and proceed to keep up as a lot variety as potential. So burning is basically an essential facet of this. In fact, lots of people can’t burn or don’t wish to burn. It’s truly very simple to burn when you arrange your panorama appropriately. And it’s actually quite a lot of enjoyable as .

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

Properly, I like that you just mentioned that we may use a few of these vegetation as form of specimens. Let’s imagine, “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 while you use seeds, it’s going to be an evolutionary course of. However after all, we wish 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 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 exquisite grasses, so there’s just a few species that will fall by the wayside over an prolonged time period.

Margaret: And also you simply mentioned grasses. And that’s an essential element as a result of simply selecting an entire lot of flowers, quite a lot 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 have been vegetation which might 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 achieved, however it’s a bit of trickier for a variety 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 vastly 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 vegetation do the give you the results you want. 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 greatest as potential.

And in addition, when you’re going to burn a prairie, flower sticks, previous flower sticks don’t burn. You want what we name nice gasoline—grass—with the intention to carry a hearth. So when you don’t have grass in your prairie, it principally received’t burn. And then you definately lose that nice administration choice for holding it very contemporary and new and looking out good and holding out weeds and timber and shrubs, as a result of fireplace is basically one of the simplest ways to maintain out invaders, most invaders. And individuals are scared of fireplace. Properly, truly on our web site, I’ve an article beneath assets and guides, it’s referred to as “The way to Burn Your Prairie Safely,” and there’s so many tips about how to do that.

So I imply, it’s nearly inconceivable to lose it when you do it proper. And one actually easy trick is simply earlier than you burn it, simply reduce every part down and all of the gasoline 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 best way, outdoors my window—though I’ve closed the window, the home wren is insistent on being on this program at the moment, 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.] Somewhat bossy creature. Yeah. So we have 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 lots is when weeds do come by means of, particularly within the early years that I don’t need, ought to I pull them out as a result of then that 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 bit 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: Perhaps, yeah.

Neil: O.Ok. Properly, when you have a look at it, you must have a look at it strategically, and you should know your weeds. In actual fact, after I first began doing this again in 1977, I used to be taking a look at plantings that somebody had achieved on the college the place I went to high school, and it was a really new planting so all I discovered have been weeds. So I needed to study my weeds first, which truly was very useful.

As a result of when you have a look at weeds, you have a look at them because the species that may trigger issues in a grassland, you may have annuals, which present up principally within the first 12 months and the second 12 months as effectively. Then you may have biennials. Now we’re speaking about herbaceous vegetation, annuals and biennials. After which you may have perennial grasses, and you’ve got perennial rhizomatous grasses and perennial non-rhizomatous grasses. Then you may have perennial broadleaf weeds, and people are additionally divided into rhizomatous and non-rhizomatous, with the rhizomatous species being the actual drawback youngsters, these are those that creep in every single place. 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 a bit of trick. When you’ve got a long-term drawback with the seed financial institution, you possibly can kill every part 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 will probably 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 vegetation into that contemporary soil, assuming that it doesn’t have some other problematic weeds. So this works on a small space, it’s not going to work on a bigger space.

However when you may have an issue website 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 fine, clear topsoil over that, that won’t have weed seeds. However when you have a look at this, you should 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 while 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 maintain every part 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 drawback weeds with biennials like burdock, candy clovers, wild parsnip, quite a lot 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.Ok.

Neil: And kills the vegetation apart from Queen Anne’s lace, which is an indeterminate bloomer and would require fixed reducing 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 may have a method. Yeah.

Neil: Precisely. And that info is within the e book, “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 vegetation and what to do. However once more, you must know who you’re up towards and know how you 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 though 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 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 Jap half or two-thirds of the nation, which is I assume roughly talking, quite a lot 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 just 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 have been planting purple coneflower within the nineteenth century, after we have been plowing up the prairies. In order that plant’s been fashionable for a very long time, simply not right here. However let’s have a look at another vegetation that maybe are a bit of extra muted or are good companions for among the showier vegetation.

And I actually like quite a lot 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 ft tall. It has lovely whorled leaves up the stem and these pure white spires of flowers, completely beautiful plant, and it’ll develop in clay. It’s going to develop in moist soil. It doesn’t like dry soil. It’s going to develop in full solar, and it’ll develop partly shade. So it’s a reasonably versatile plant, so long as you give it a great backyard soil or perhaps a barely damp soil.

One other nice plant is the rattlesnake grasp, Eryngium yuccifolium [below], beautiful foliage, excellent flowers, which can bloom for a reasonably prolonged time period. Only a actually attention-grabbing, odd-looking plant, however it has actual character, and it blooms concurrently 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 completely different colours. White is the second commonest colour of prairie flowers.

Margaret: I didn’t know that.

Neil: Yeah, it’s wonderful. 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 mentioned, “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 obtained that concept for the film? From nature. So he says, “My prairie is my pesticide.” And so quite a lot 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 variety, the extra layers of the meals chain are being supported, the extra assist there’s at each stage for any chance.

Neil: Oh, yeah. So true.

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

Neil: So when you plant a prairie combine with 20, 25, 30 species, you promote them, get one hundred pc. Mom nature’s fairly tough. However I imply, when you get 70, 80 % of that and also you get a large variety 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 individuals are so terrified 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 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 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 charge, one other sensible choice are the mountain mints, genus Pycnanthemum. These are simply pollinator havens, and we couldn’t give these away 20 years in the past. Out of the blue, they’re tremendous fashionable due to the curiosity in pollinators. And so Pycnanthemum is within the mint household, and it’s wonderful 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, they usually’re fairly adaptable species.

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

Neil: That’s an awesome 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 a minimum of a half a day of solar, however it stays very low. It has lovely 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 lovely whitish-green leaves, they usually 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 wish to have a very good-draining soil. However when you may have these spots which might be actual scorching spots, like up towards the south aspect of a home that get simply burned up, it is 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 wish 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 widespread identify?

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

Margaret: Wild petunia, O.Ok.

Neil: Humilis: low-growing, humble, low-growing. This can be a actually lovely 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 ft 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 tough soils, too, very dry soils. And the Ruellia can also be tolerant of scorching, dry circumstances. So these are actually good decisions if you need some low-growing vegetation, particularly in robust, scorching conditions.

Margaret: Properly, I’ll embody some hyperlinks to a few of the academic stuff in your web site, as a result of as you mentioned at first, training’s been a very essential 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 all the time study lots from you, Neil, even after I’m not at your home and also you’re not setting your entrance garden on fireplace to terrify me [laughter].

Neil: Properly, it’s been some time. Margaret. Subsequent spring it is best to come, and we’ll do an anniversary prairie fireplace.

Margaret: O.Ok. Extra trauma [laughter]. Properly, thanks a lot. Thanks for making time at the moment.

Neil: It’s my pleasure, Margaret.

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

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

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

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