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Little House on the Praire-style garden

by Timber Press on October 28, 2010

in Design, Gardening

Our new book Prairie-Style Gardens has an intriguing subtitle: Capturing the Essence of the American Prairie Wherever You Live. Who wouldn’t want to do that? When I think of the prairie, my mind runs to wide expanses of space, big blue sky, and wildflowers. And I would love to capture even a bit of that and infuse it into my inner-city yard.

Lucky for me, Lynn M. Steiner shows gardeners how to do just that. She includes plant selections (including plants for season-long interest, plants for sunny areas, plants for rain gardens, plant for shady areas, and plants that attract wildlife), tips on incorporating prairie plants into a traditional garden, and maintenance ideas. The bulk of the book is an A-to-Z section of plant profiles. Here’s a list of just a few of the included plants:

  • Allium cernuum (nodding onion)
  • Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem)
  • Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow)
  • Dalea purpurea (purple prairie clover)
  • Echinacea purpurea (eastern purple coneflower)
  • Helenium autumnale (autumn sneezeweed)
  • Koeleria macrantha (prairie junegrass)
  • Monarda fistulosa (wild bergamot)
  • Pulsatilla patens (pasque flower)
  • Rudbeckia hirta (black-eyed susan)

This past summer I planted a few Echinaceas and Rudbeckias and hope to add more next spring, along with a few other plants from this list. (I hope Dalea purpurea grows well in Portland).

But what I really want to know is what prairie plant was Laura Ingalls Wilder’s favorite, because who can talk about the prairie without remembering  Little House on the Prairie? And while we’re at it, I wonder what everyone’s favorite enemy Nellie Olson would prefer?

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