Several people have asked to see a photo of our backyard prairie garden. Here you go.
At this time of year, the prairie garden is getting really shaggy looking. Early in the season, it’s a collection of distinct plants and clumps of plants, but right now it’s a kind of massive explosion of tall flower stems. I’ve also given up on pulling the bindweed that constantly infiltrates the prairie because it’s too interwoven among the tall plants to remove it without pulling the stems it has a hold on. Whatever. Pollinators feed on bindweed too…
On Tuesday, I took a half hour break from writing to check out the pollinator scene in the garden. There was no shortage of insects milling around on the flowers. The challenge was to find the ones who would stick around long enough to be photographed. Here is a selection of images from that my mid-morning hiatus.
I tried to share your page on Facebook, and got this message:
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I am with you on bindweed. However don’t despair. Cut it off at ground level so it won’t make deeper roots or worse, seed pods.
A bit surprised to see so many big trees around your prairie garden but of course trees also play major parts in the environment :-)
Well, I cut trees out of our actual prairies, but I don’t mind some shade around my house in town! Plus, my neighbors would probably object if I started cutting down their trees…
Curious if any neighbors have asked about converting some of their lawn after seeing your wildflower gardens.
I can’t think of anyone who has asked for advice, but we sure get a lot of comments from passers by and there are several people who frequently drive or walk slowly down the alley just to check out the latest action…
That’s a good start!
I suspect most prairie gardens are shaggy this time of year. My little prairie garden has been taken over by brown-eyed Susan and of course Canada goldenrod (I have been trying to pull up the latter over the years).. I like the brown-eyed Susan which are blooming in mass right now but they are very aggressive and seem to be shading out a lot of the shorter plants and grasses. I have thus pulled a lot of them out. I also have a type of very tall wild sunflower that grows in the more shady areas of the yard flower/shrub border and is very aggressive as well, I;m not sure what kind. sometimes it’s leaves turn brown and dry up before it blooms. Any suggestions/observations?
Linda – deciding what to include/allow in a prairie garden is a definite challenge. I’ve gotten rid of most rhizomatous plants (which spread by long underground stems), including Canada goldenrod but lots of others. They just tend to take up too much space in a small garden. I like to go with more bunchy plants, but even so, it takes a lot of work to decide how much to allow each species to expand. Species like black-eyed Susan can spread, but at least they’re doing it by seed and I can remove the small seedlings each spring if/when there are too many. That’s a lot easier than trying to knock back shoots arising from underground rhizomes because those stems just keep popping back up all season long. There’s not a right or wrong way to do any of this, though – just make a garden that you get happiness from. Enjoy!