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


INTEREST AND AWARENESS round native vegetation has been trending lately, and it makes them really feel virtually new. However in fact 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 right this moment’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 chances are 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, for 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 printed “The Gardener’s Information to Prairie Crops” (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 duplicate of the ebook.

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 really like the ebook, Neil; it’s so critical, but additionally accessible. I don’t know if you happen to will be each issues on the identical time, however by some means 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 once I was engaged on a ebook referred to as “The Pure Habitat Backyard” with Ken Druse, and we came visiting you and study all issues prairie from you. And again then, natives, you jogged my memory once we labored on the current Instances 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 exhausting years making an attempt to persuade individuals to make use of natives once they weren’t accustomed to realizing something about them.

Margaret: Yeah, we’ve come a good distance, nevertheless it feels by some means to me—I assume as a result of I get a whole 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 suppose schooling is without doubt one of the most essential components, and I completely agree, listening to what persons are confounded by.

Neil: Yeah, schooling 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 individuals to make use of your product correctly, to make use of these vegetation correctly, you must be sure they perceive them and the way they work together with one another.

So gardening with native prairie vegetation, individuals 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 really 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 basically helps to tell gardeners so far as tips on how to use these vegetation and tips on how to use them to create low-maintenance, high-quality habitat.

Margaret: And simply to that time that you simply’re making, I imply, once 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 vegetation, however I may point out solar vegetation, too. We put them down and 30 years later, they’re basically in the identical place that they was [laughter]. You already know what I imply? We knew tips on how 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 stating, we’re not simply plunking issues down, “Ooh, look, that’ll look fairly over right here, and this may look fairly over there,” we’re creating communities. And that’s a complete totally different mindset. So I get a whole lot of questions from people who find themselves thrown off by, nicely, 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 nicely, however they’re simply totally different vegetation. And so what we’re seeing now’s that critical gardeners are attending to know native vegetation and making use of ecological rules in how they design with them, how they handle them, and so on.

Particularly past simply the usage of the vegetation 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 pieces to maintain the bugs off, we really 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 type the inspiration of the meals chain that feed all the pieces 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 will not be the aim [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 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 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 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 Japanese a part of the USA, normally a decrease profile. And a prairie is absolutely 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 best way the phrases, the phrases are used now, meadow normally refers to a lower-growing profile, wildflower, meadow. And you may have a brief prairie, however a brief prairie continues 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 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 a whole lot 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 perpetually, 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 should utilize these vegetation. You possibly can create a prairie backyard with transplants, the place you may choose long-lived vegetation if you’d like it to be extra static. And that’s why in our ebook, we listed flora expectations. We don’t have any annuals in there, however we’ve a couple 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 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 ebook about vegetation. 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 already know what I imply? That’s a keeper that’s staying round. It settles down, and it’s there.

Neil: Properly, I believe that is actually essential for gardeners, so 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 yr, and it’d cling on for an additional 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 essential for individuals to know 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 pieces mowed again, normally to about 6 inches within the first rising season.

After which you may have biennials that present up in a second yr, just like the black-eyed Susan and weedy biennials. And oftentimes you’ll need to 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 pieces’s going in line with plan.

After which what’s fascinating is the precise variety of whole variety of prairie vegetation normally peaks round yr 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 whenever 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 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 may have open soil the place a few of these different species that will be shorter-lived, can recede and proceed to keep up as a lot variety as attainable. So burning is absolutely an essential facet of this. In fact, lots of people can’t burn or don’t need to burn. It’s really very straightforward to burn if you happen to arrange your panorama accurately. And it’s actually a whole lot of enjoyable as you understand.

Margaret: There’s a complete part in your ebook about it, and once I first met you, you couldn’t wait to convey me and Ken Druse to your house the place you had been making a prairie. You had a younger prairie backyard in your entrance yard, I believe, and also you wished to indicate us a managed burn. And so once more, you instruct tips on how to do it within the ebook.

Properly, I really like that you simply stated that we may use a few of these vegetation as type of specimens. Lets say, “I’m going to make a mattress of those prairie vegetation, 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 need to have these early-successional, mid-successional species. So we’ve 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. However it’s not unhealthy. You continue to have numerous 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 stated grasses. And that’s an essential element as a result of simply selecting a complete lot of flowers, a whole lot of forbs, will not be going to do it, will not be going to carry all of it collectively and create that group, as a result of these had 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 those who have tried to plant simply wildflowers. And it may be accomplished, nevertheless it’s a bit trickier for plenty 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 at all times going to be weeds that may blow in and trigger issues, however you’ll drastically cut 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 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 enough grass in it to maintain weeds out as greatest as attainable.

And in addition, if you happen to’re going to burn a prairie, flower sticks, outdated flower sticks don’t burn. You want what we name high-quality gasoline—grass—with a purpose to carry a fireplace. So if you happen to don’t have grass in your prairie, it principally gained’t burn. And then you definitely lose that nice administration choice for conserving it very recent and new and looking out good and conserving out weeds and timber and shrubs, as a result of fireplace is absolutely one of the best ways to maintain out invaders, most invaders. And persons are scared of fireside. Properly, really on our web site, I’ve an article below 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 virtually unimaginable to lose it if you happen to do it proper. And one actually easy trick is simply earlier than you burn it, simply reduce all the pieces down and all of the gasoline is on the bottom. As a substitute of getting large 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, exterior my window—despite the fact that I’ve closed the window, the home wren is insistent on being on this program right this moment, so you may hear him screaming.

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

Margaret: [Laughter.] Just a little 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 by way 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 attainable 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.Ok. Properly, if you happen to take a look at it, you must take a look at it strategically, and you must know your weeds. In reality, once I first began doing this again in 1977, I used to be plantings that somebody had accomplished 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 be taught my weeds first, which really was very useful.

As a result of if you happen to take a look at weeds, you take 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 yr and the second yr as nicely. 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 true drawback kids, these are those that creep all over. 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 probably can. Crown vetch, oh, what a horrible plant.

Margaret: We’ve got 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 after you have a longtime inhabitants of it.

Or what you are able to do is you may kill all of it off. After which right here’s a bit trick. When you have a long-term drawback with the seed financial institution, you may kill all the pieces off with whichever methodology 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 may put 3 inches of recent, clear, topsoil over that which can bury the weed seed financial institution, after which you may seed or plant your vegetation into that recent 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 may have 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 if you happen to take a look at this, you must 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 would possibly as nicely go in there and spray it with Roundup. That’s why we maintain all the pieces 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’ve drawback weeds with biennials like burdock, candy clovers, wild parsnip, a whole lot of these guys can actually be an issue. So proper after they end blooming, we reduce them right down to 12 inches, which then stops the seed formation course of.

Margaret: Proper, O.Ok.

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

Neil: Precisely. And that data is within the ebook, “The Gardener’s Information to Prairie Crops.” It’s additionally on our web site. So there’s numerous assets right here the place individuals can get to know these vegetation and what to do. However once more, you must know who you’re up towards and know tips on how to strategically management them.

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

Neil: Yeah, precisely.

Margaret: So once 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 in all places it appears [laughter]. However there’s so many nice prairie natives for the Japanese half or two-thirds of the nation, which is I assume roughly talking, a whole lot of them are your specialties, that folks don’t know but. And I believed it will 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 neglect that the English had been planting purple coneflower within the nineteenth century, once we had been plowing up the prairies. In order that plant’s been in style for a very long time, simply not right here. However let’s take a look at another vegetation that maybe are a bit extra muted or are good companions for a few of the showier vegetation.

And I actually like a whole lot of the white-flowered vegetation, and white-flowered vegetation 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 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 a superb 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 fascinating, 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 fascinating. Folks consider prairies, oh, it’s all filled with yellow flowers, however really there’s numerous totally different colours. White is the second commonest coloration of prairie flowers.

Margaret: I didn’t know that.

Neil: Yeah, it’s wonderful. And so rattlesnake grasp is also pollinated virtually solely 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 suppose they obtained that concept for the film? From nature. So he says, “My prairie is my pesticide.” And so a whole lot of natural gardeners will use these vegetation to draw parasitic wasps to maintain, hopefully, in lots of instances, 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 may be at each stage for any risk.

Neil: Oh, yeah. So true.

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

Neil: So if you happen to plant a prairie combine with 20, 25, 30 species, you promote them, get one hundred pc. Mom nature’s fairly tough. However I imply, if you happen to 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 all people.

And persons are so afraid of wasps, however most wasps, they don’t hassle you. The one wasps you actually have to fret about are yellow jackets. These are the one ones that may assault you if you’re not bothering them. Hornets gained’t hassle you. Mud daubers gained’t hassle you, cicada killers gained’t hassle you until you hassle them. However the yellow jacket, they’d simply as quickly sting as take 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 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. Instantly, they’re tremendous in style due to the curiosity in pollinators. And so Pycnanthemum is within the mint household, and it’s wonderful at what number of totally different species it attracts.

Margaret: And there’s a number of totally different mountain mints, I believe. 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 folks ask me about lots, and I believe we talked about possibly one or two decisions within the Instances story, individuals need issues which might 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 decisions possibly, however there are some. I believe Antennaria, pussytoes is that one [below]?

Neil: That’s a fantastic plant for a dry, sandy soil. When you have 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, nevertheless it stays very low. It has stunning silvery leaves.

And it really is dioecious: It has separate female and male vegetation. It’s exhausting to inform the distinction until you rise up shut and private. However it 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 straightforward 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 need to have a extremely good-draining soil. However when you may have these spots which might be actual sizzling spots, like up towards the south facet 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 nicely for these sorts of troublesome conditions.

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

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.Ok.

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 really 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 sizzling, dry circumstances. So these are actually good decisions if you’d like some low-growing vegetation, particularly in robust, sizzling conditions.

Margaret: Properly, I’ll embrace some hyperlinks to a few of the tutorial stuff in your web site, as a result of as you stated in the beginning, schooling’s been a extremely essential a part of working with a product that folks didn’t actually, and nonetheless don’t absolutely, learn about, and are simply studying about. I at all times be taught lots from you, Neil, even once 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 you must come, and we’ll do an anniversary prairie fireplace.

Margaret: O.Ok. Extra trauma [laughter]. Properly, thanks a lot. Thanks for making time right this 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 photographs from Prairie Nursery, used with permission.)

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