Marc’s powerpoint presentation for La. Native Plant Society meeting Jan 26 2017
click on the url below
Marc’s powerpoint presentation for La. Native Plant Society meeting Jan 26 2017
click on the url below
Its not very often that I’ve received a note from someone from Tasmania (never, actually). I did a month or so ago, from Sara Proud, project developer/coordinator for the Museum of the Old and New (MONA) in Berriedale, Tasmania, who introduced me to Maria Lisogorskaya and Paloma Strelitz of Assemble studio, London, UK so that we could meet and discuss their awesome design project.
Last Tuesday we met in New Orleans Ninth Ward and I was given an intro to The School Project on site. From there we made our way to City Park where we toured my prairie garden at Scout Island and then off for a flash-tour of the Botanical Garden to see cool plants.
It was a great day spent talking plants and gardening ideas. Thanks Prisca Weems of the City of New Orleans’ Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Sustainability for recommending me as a horticultural consultant. Its so fun seeing my home city through the eyes of others. Go Team School!!
Dr. Vidrine’s grassy garden – Eunice, Louisiana – in full November plummage
colors and textures – in tones un-noticeable from the ground
seed and stuff
Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, Mississippi volunteer prairie planting crew – reporting for duty! Dr. Kevin McKone (third from left) spearheaded the planting of seed at the Oswalt Nature Trail on campus last week. This is the second planting – inspired by Brady Dunaway – a student who has a passion for natural areas vegetation. Thanks for your interest and for your seed purchase!
Dr. Mac Vidrine with a handful of Mamou seed – a gift to me from his garden.
seed head of Andropogon Moorei – one of the fluffier inflorescenses of the many Bluestem grass types, at the Covington, La. Nature Trail park.
above – full bags of seed of La. endemics Rudbeckia grandiflora (top) and Rudbeckia texana var. nitida – I have some seed cleaning to do…… 🙂
seed (fruit) of the locally familiar Mirliton (Chayote Squash), a tropical vine commonly grown in New Orleans and traditional food for Thanksgiving dinner – this heirloom variety is called Ishrael Thibodeaux – unusual for its white color – its normally green.
Pinkish plumes of inflorescence at the Lamar Advertising company headquarters on Corporate Blvd in Baton Rouge. design by Spackman-Mossop-Michaels and Pastorek Habitats from 2009
That’s a wrap!
Project designs that are wrapping up –
Just finished the Mirabeau Water Garden design, New Orleans, a 25 acre park designed for the general public – a public park – featuring and focused on a 12-acre grassland landscape – a stormwater retention basin. Thanks to Waggoner and Ball Architects and Jeff Carbo Landscape Architects but especially to Shannon Blakeman and Amy Carter for their assistance in bringing this project design to fruition. Again, an amazing garden that will further protect on of the lowest lying neighborhoods in the Crescent City from flooding by diverting rain water from mechanical pumps used to keep the City “high and dry”.
Done also is the Baton Rouge Riverfront Project garden re-design, gardens focused on native grasses and wildflowers via local genetic seed and by propagation of plugs, small plants grown especially for the garden.
Ornate Bella Moth – photo by Charles Allen
ever see this pretty thing? Many hundreds of them at the farm every year this time of the year due to their liking of Crotolaria species – their host plant. As you walk through the seed fields, they flutter about by the hundreds – getting out of the way, basically – little pink dashes of life.
Got a call and was talking plants with a legendary (unnamed) landscape architect last week and he/ she mentioned a project they had planted where Little Bluestem grass was used – non-local-gene Bluestem grass plants – and so in curiosity, I ducked in on my travels to see it. Pretty sad story. This is why local genetics matter, folks. Some northern and western “genetic sisters” of our locally native plants have genes hate our extremely long, hot, humid and very wet central Gulf coastal summer weather. The contractor lost about 90% of the planting and the 10% that survived are looking a little green around the gills if you know what I mean. ouch!
Dicanthelium/ Panicum laxiflorus at the Seed Farm in Pearl River CountyMississippi
Dr. Charles Allen has said for years said that Dicanthelium laxiflorus is a good candidate for native turfgrass and you can see by the photo, why. This is a native grass that gets no taller than a freshly mowed lawn and stays that way year-round. Hopefully someone will harness this idea one day and we’ll have panic grass lawn instead of Bermuda – wouldn’t that be nice. 🙂
above – the fire-managed south savanna at Crosby Arboretum, Pearl River County, Mississippi from above. The brightly colored square is the new Quaking Bog exhibit – not sure if it actually quakes yet or not. Design by the late Ed Blake. I spent 20 years assisting with burns here, first with Senior Curator Bob Brzuszek and then with Facilities/ Burn Manager Terry Johnson. Crosby is a great model for design using natural principals and practices – combining art, architecture, and biological sciences.
above, the Pond Journey trail with its featured Faye Jones pavillion at Crosby Arbo – November 16, 2017.
prairie – a different kind of fall color
Been rediscovering Celosia. A hundred years ago I used to grow Celosia as an ornamental garden plant. easy easy easy. Last year at the Hammond AgCenter field day I was absolutely mesmerized by the number of bees hovering and gleaning about the Ball Seed Celosia exclusive – Intenz Lipstick Celosia. So amazing and fun to see! I didn’t get Intenz but I did get Cramer’s Amazon Giant Celosia seed and it did not dissapoint. More butterflies, bees and Skippers than you can shake a stick at, folks – all summer long.
monarchs were happy in the Cramer’s Amazon – I walked up on four last Wednesday just standing and watching for a few minutes – they were like drunken sailors coming back for more and more and more.
Two trips back to back to Eunice prairie for seed and saw numerous Monarchs during my time there. This is an action shot – in flight.
above, Trump Tower in Eunice haaaha
Inoculating a new prairie planting with groovy prairie seed, Friday in St John Parish, La.
I stopped in and took some photos with my flying camera at the Hammond Park prairie gardens. These gardens wouldn’t be so extraordinary if they weren’t growing in the worst soil ever – Ever-ever! We did no amendments for the soil and took advantage of superior prairie adaptability to adverse conditions at hand. Turned out well.
white, clay subsoil excavated from fifteen feet below supports magical prairie grasses and flowering plants.
Seeded Little Bluestem and Coreopsis linifolia lining the walk at the Chappapeela Sports Park irrigation ponds. The gardens are managed to be wildly and woolly – and bug-friendly.
nice crop of Asters growing happily in the mowed hybrid Bermuda turf grass at Chappapeela – wish I could say I planted this but it was created by a power larger than I.
Abita Flatwoods Preserve, Nature Conservacy loop through Pine prairie and Baygall habitats with the Capitol Area chapter of the La. Native Plant Society was a real blast. A good group turned out and we braved the cold windy overcast weather that turned out to be nice sun shiny day by mid-trip.
saw cool stands of Bigelowia nudata, Rayless Goldenrod, and other awesome flowering plants and native grasses, above
thousands of plants of herby white Asters were strewn across the open fields – where’s a botanist when you need one? Nice prairie.
At one point along the trail, where the prairie and the Baygall plant communities come together, Dicanthelium (possibly) scabriusculum – Panic grass – covers the ground with its course textured tan colored grass foliage – a striking change and transition from Bluestem grass to Panic grass.
An occasional Morh’s Bluestem grass plant with its distinctive chalky silver-blue colored leaves stands-out among the mostly tan and green tones. You know you’re livin’ right when you stumble upon Mohr’s Bluestem – num-nummy!!
Old book for free, on-line – The Cajun Prairie Restoration Journal – thank you Bonnie Johnson for sharing this link with me.
butterfly acreage > butterfly gardens
cool Indian grass, Bluestem, and Pines, St Landry Parish, October 6 2017
wirey grassy cushion – Slender Bluestem grass
October Sunflowers, Asters and False Foxgloves
October 11 2017, St. Tammany Parish seed for a St Tammany Parish Garden
September 20, 2017 Vernon Parish, La
False Foxgloves and Golden Asters
fun with foxgloves
yesterday’s farm photos
groovy grid at the farm in Pearl River County, Miss.
sunflowery fall color
Bluestem grass turns red
an aster field is like the California 405 for Bees and Butterflies
millions of flowers
a sight worth millions
monarch action photo – she seemed happy
October is the month for the riotous crescendo of flowering plants, the symphonic prairie song. The Monarch’s flyway-flythrough on the return trip to Mexico’s Fir forests is loaded with prairie nectar, for a reason.
Acadian Baptist Center’s newest phase of its prairie garden plantings – Doll’s Daisy in white, Swamp Sunflower in yellow, and topped with the blue of Eupatorium ivafolia.
There are no coincidences in nature. every wild area – natural area – is perfectly organized and logical, no matter how wild and wooly it may look. Doll’s Daisy, Swamp Sunflower and the Ivy leafed Thoroughwort scrap for ground now but will be pushed out from more permanent plants – over time. The fascinating nature of the process of natural succession happens to be an enjoyable pastime – to watch from day to day and from year to year.
Dr Joe and Charlotte Barron residence in Spearsville, Louisiana, a stone’s throw from the Arkansas/ Loosiana state line
pinky lavendar color of Agalinus, Gerardia, above
False Foxglove stirs-up the appetite of the Buckeye Butterfly caterpillars in Pineville, Loosiana
Landscape Designer Tony Tradewell in awe of the flowery flora. Tony and I worked together to make this garden happen.
white Eupatorium hyssopifolium, white Doll’s Daisy, bright yellow Swamp Sunflower, pink False Foxglove and Bluestem grass making the groovy scene at the Grant family’s hilltop home in the piney woods of central La.
State of Louisiana’s I-20 pollinator garden flourishing
Bluestem grass and Doll’s Daisy on the half-mile pollinator-prairie planting near Ruston La., along I-20
flowering stalks of Bluestem
a very cool garden it is indeed. Lots of the silvery leafed Whooly Croton (or Dove Weed, Goat Weed, or Hog Weed). A plant of many common names. The host plant for Goat Weed Leafwing butterflies.
At Charles Allen’s Annual Butterfly Blast on Saturday, I was shown the Goat Weed Leafwing larva wrapped up in what Linda Auld called a Leafwing burrito. 🙂 The larva is silvery colored, just like the Croton leaf.
Croton caterpillar, above
Bluestem front lawn upland area straddled by the Louisiana Iris gardens, at the St Landry visitor’s Welcome Center in Opalousas, La.
The City of West Monroe, the Biology Department at ULM, and Pastorek Habitats collaborated on the City’s Kiroli Park prairie garden in West Monroe. Its coming along very well, thank you. Purple Top on the hilltop!
The garden has taken on a “shady” character, with Purple-top Tridens grass covering the ground beautifully, accompanied by Little Bluestem grass, and Thoroughworts, Bee Balms, and Spotted Horse Mint.
Eunice Restoration Project from 120 meters
Eunice Prairie Restoration project gets a haircut. Pesky trees and shrubbery removed mechanically, the first step in our effort at grass-scape recovery. Go Team Cajun Prairie!
Everyone knows the best pollinator garden is the prairie garden. That’s where entomologists go when they want to find the fun bugs. That’s where smart landscape designers go to get natural.
On the Edge
“All of the exciting stuff that happens is not in the normal center, but on the edge.”
James Hitchmough, Horticulture Professor, University of Sheffield – New Directions in the American Landscape conference – February 2014
City of Mandeville/ La Dept of Transportation model of prairie – planted and managed by Pastorek Habitats, llc. Established in November 2014 – and not mowed or “weeded” even once. Controlled burn, only once in three years.
Bluestem grass is really going gangbusters right now, in full color and glory. Very pretty.
Doll’s Daisy just beginning to flower among the Bluestems in the garden
late summer and fall blooming Coreopsis linifolia is in its glory now and the bees and butterflies know it
The goal: to build multiple models of magnificence, to let the gardens speak for themselves – they seem to have a lot to say.
Vernon Fuselier’s home grown prairie gardens double as forage crop. Indian grass and Little Bluestem grasses dominate in some areas providing a strikingly beautiful landscape scene.
Odd things happen in a prairie garden. Fuselier’s prairie, Eunice, Louisiana
Louisiana Art and Science Museum, Baton Rouge, La.
Indian grass is the punk rocker of prairie plants – always making a scene
US Army is ready for anything
City of Franklinton, Washington Parish, Louisiana – US Army National Guard Readiness Center – native grass gardens and solar panels – a perfect pairing
radiant Indian grass seed heads
grassy bioswale with temporary zinnia cover crop still hanging on and productive after a year – butterfly numbers were amazing – Gulf Fritillary on pink California Giant zinnia flower
City of New Iberia/ La Dept of Transportation – Tallgrass Prairie garden – La 90 at La 83
Ryan Duhon (DOT) and James Foret (ULL) – prairie instigators
Brady’s Garden at the Oswalt Nature Trail on the campus of Copiah-Lincoln Community College
Brady Dunaway, in yellow shirt, and his fellow student volunteers make up the prairie planting crew – November 2015
nice dense stands of Bluestem grass and Spotted Horse Mint with stellar population of Woods Gaillardia piunctuated by Lobelia puberula – that’s living.
St Landry Parish Louisiana, September 8, 2017
restored prairies are fountains of wondrous knowledge waiting to be explored, experienced.
Patience is not simply the ability to wait, it’s how we act while we’re waiting
— Joyce Meyer
silphium integrifolia above
Heterotheca subaxilaris, above
Salvia azurea and Big Bluestm with Cambell house in backround
Cambell House, in white
Experimental color – Wes Michaels, William Tietje, Marc Pastorek
Allow for space. It’s as important as playing the note. George Porter Jr. – New Orleans bassist/ musician
Mandeville meadow gardens July 30, 2017
meadow gardens are wrapped by manicured turf and perfect timing
Native grasses nurture native wildflowers, having grown together for thousands of years, they’ve developed a common bond, a symbiotic relationship – a push and pull of sorts, a ying and a yang.
subtle layers and patterns and contrasts…
Hammond prairie meadow blocks, form garden symmetry
July 31, 2017
Shaggy chic! Magnifique! Oui!
Terese’s Abita Springs residence backyard preserve with pizazz.
reducing carbon footprint – taking giant-leap steps of practicality
Carriere, Mississippi grid garden
Folsom, Louisiana meadow gardens – flowering rooms
designed paths widen and narrow at the behest of a mower
This Folsom meadow garden is laden with tens of thousands of flowers of Narrow Leafed Mountain Mint (Picnanthemum tenuifolium), Button Snakeroots, Bee Balms. Summer flowering plants shine and then finally fade, bowing to late summer Asters, Goldenrods, Blazing Stars, Swamp Sunflowers and False Foxgloves. All of these are accompanied by the ever present beauty and character and delicacy of native grasses, the essential structural bones of the garden. Grasses are winter cover for pollinating insects. Insects, like Butterflies and Skippers overwinter in open, sunny, unmowed fields like prairie meadows and fallow fields.
Mowing some: good.
Mowing all: not good.
Abita Flatwoods Preserve Hillside Bog – spacial patterns
July 30, 2017
trees and shrubs in green, and herbs and grasses in reddish brown, patterns of form and color, appear in ancient relict vegetation.
Vidrine Garden part of late summer prairie garden field day
Malcolm Vidrine will lead a tour of his amazing prairie garden during the Cajun Prairie field day event to be held August 26, beginning at Eunice prairie restoration project at 8:00 and culminating with a tour of Vernon Fuselier’s prairie gardens just around the corner from Dr Vidrine’s. see Malcolm’s blog site at link below.
Louisiana-genetic Lanceleaf Blanketflower puts down roots in Israel!
Danziger Farm, a cut flower nursery in Mishmar Hashiva, a town near Tel Aviv is growing our seed, collected originally in the wild near Folsom, Louisiana. Thanks to Dafna Nir Zvi!
Pearl River County Mississippi Master Gardeners to tour Pastorek Habitats’ prairie fields in Carriere, Mississippi – September 1, 2017
Kansas Blazing stars (not just native to Kansas)(they’re not in Kansas anymore) are starting to blaze in our prairie and Pine herbaceous understory seed fields. Seed was originally collected from plants in Frey Prairie, St Landry Parish, back 20 years ago.
prairie at the end of the rainbow, for sure – the Ponchartrain Causeway – Its called the “Cause-way” – ’cause I only cross it if I have to…
Covington Nature Trails grant construction work nearly complete
doesn’t look like much but very nice vegetation on the ground under foot.
Riverfront Plaza in Baton Rouge prairie design and management plan – by Pastorek Habitats llc
Baton Rouges Riverfront plaza, one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in the City will be gifted authentic prairie vegetation for all to enjoy.
New Orleans’ Scout Island still kicking after 8 years. Well sort of… 😦
Little Bluestem grasses, an key indicator species of seeded/ restored prairie health, are fighting for their lives at the corner Harrison Avenue and Diagonal Drive in New Orleans City Park.
two areas, above and below, where they’re mowing in two of the best parts of the prairie. ouch! git that mower outta there ya’ll. Aye-yiyi!
ADYC – another dang yellow composite
Silphium integrifolium, Covington, La. garden
Silphiums plants are rare birds. They’re indicators of high quality vegetation and are highly desirable garden plants – nectar plants highly sought after by butterflies, skippers, Hummingbirds and many other beneficial insects. Silphiums are also indicators of great gardens! …and gardeners. ha
The seeds of Silphium are extremely high in oil content and are very attractive to song birds when they ripen. They are also beautiful flowering plants, this one, Silphium integrifolium, originally from seed from a plant I found with Gail Barton on one of our field trips Jackson soil prairies – collected over 15 years ago in Scott County Mississippi, reaches about six feet in height. A super duper wildlife plant – the John Wayne of the Jackson soil prairie – big and tall and manly and rides high in the saddle. :))
Silphiums have huge fleshy roots that can reach down to fifteen feet deep into the ground.
They germinate pretty easily but take a few or more years to mature and make flower.
Prairies are basically expanses of root masses that regenerate each spring and go dormant each fall – masses of grass roots that cover and hold soil permanently. Prairies are “woven, inextricable, and kaleidoscopic in character”.
click to see the maiden voyage of the Pastorek Habitats drone, the USS Fleabane, over one of the Mandeville, Louisiana prairie gardens. Still working out the aerial technique.
rain lilies are as easy as gardening gets
rain lilly in my garden
sometimes called Red Neck Crocus or the Crocus of the South, rain lilies are dependable garden plants that take years to establish, but you’ll enjoy the rewards of your effort for a very long time.
Atamasco lily, Phlox, Meadow Rue, native Onion, and Violet – above
Rain Lilies – Atamascos, in April Scott County, Mississippi
some species of Rain Lilies like heavy wet soils
…so they’re very adaptable plants…..
Some like arid conditions and can be used in pots here in the Central Gulf Coastal plain as permanent plants that flower and foliage as they please through the summer
Rain lilies, if treated well will naturalize and multiply to impress.
Zephyranthes citrina of Marconi Drive in City Park New Orleans
I will never forget seeing miles and miles of white Rain Lilies in bloom once twenty years ago in Pass Christian, in the median, on the east side of the bay bridge. Stunningly beautiful landscape it was indeed. That was before cell phones. Didn’t get a photo. Check out Scott Ogden’s Bulbs of the South for details on most. Its the bomb.
for the fun of it
Carex, left foreground – Blackeyed Susie, center – Indian grass and Celosia Cramer’s Amazon
Celosias bring in bees and butterflies and are simple to grow from seed, in fact they’re sometimes weedy. I like the height of this plant, over six feet
Hibiscus kosteletskya var Immaculate at Walter Anderson ceramic
tropical Salvias are exceptional Hummingbird attracting plants – Hybrid, Wendy’s Wish is not only pretty but perennial and the flowers are extremely fragrant – smells so good, like roses.
Purple Majesty or Amistad Salvia (two different hybrids that) are nearly identicle. Everblooming all spring through summer and fall to first frost. In New Orleans they will bloom almost all year.
This is Amistad, center, measuring nine feet across and five feet tall. It has over 80 flowering bracts. Humming birds visit it all day long.
cool Pale Coneflowers and some Button Snakeroots via Gail Barton of Meridian, Mississippi. She has what you call a green thumb when it comes to prairie propagatin’. These go to University of Louisiana, Lafayette’s new prairie garden. Go Gail!
White Leafed Mt Mint, a great prairie plant, makes a good, almost evergreen companion for ornamental pots. I have trimmed this one occasionally to keep it short and squat. One of my favorite prairie plants, This Mt Mint is tame, beautiful and will last longer than you.
Twistleaf Goldenrod plants ready for Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Gardens, Baton Rouge. Got some rare seed from Botanist Chris Reid last fall, Solidago tortifolia, from one of the cool Ranch prairies in southwest La. Grew off about 75 seedlings, only four made the cut. Too much rain this spring/ root rot. These are four healthy three-gallon plants ready for the W&F native plant garden on Quail Drive. The garden is a labor of love – something to see.
Five gallon bucket earthworm farm makes awesome soil
I bought a little sack of night crawlers a year or so ago and kept giving them coffee grinds and veggie scraps, and an occasional corn meal dusting, etc. I got so good at running the farm I got another bucket and before you know it I was in the compost business – the best compost! Used some to plant my fall tomato and cucumber crop yesterday. Nice.
speaking of fun in the garden……
Dr. Charles Allen’s chicken coop garden
In the giant footprint of his circular chicken coop, Dr. Allen designed a zinnia garden, one of many types of gardens he has developed to attract and study rare insects.
more from Dr. Allen….
If you have not seen Dr. Charles Allen’s edible plant demonstration before, not doubt you’ll find it interesting, entertaining, and delicious! See him describe and offer tastes of prepared and natural herb leaves, teas, and breads – Sunday in New Orleans.
Dr. Allen is a botanist and one of the leading authorities on wild plants and their plant communities. He is also a skilled prairie ecologist, one of the prairie pioneers of Louisiana. He and Malcolm Vidrine basically “rediscovered the Louisiana prairies” – once thought to be extinct.
Not many people I know can entertain a group by botanizing at a gas station – while filling up – but I have seen Dr. Allen find the most amazing plants hidden in the oddest places – behind the tire air pump or growing in the mowed lawn, where most people, including myself, would pass them by.
Longue View Gardens, hosting native edible plant lecture, below link.