Going Lawn-less in “Louziana”/ Native Grass Boot Camp Oct. 8,9,10


I am excited to be speaking back-to-back in my home town, New Orleans, on one of my fave subjects, native grasses and grass-like plants. The first presentation is to be held on November 12 @ 6:00 for the New Orleans Chapter of the Green Building Council, at City Park Botanical Garden. Its focus is on the artful use of grass dominant meadows to solve the problem of what to do horticulturally with retention basins, rain gardens, and bio-swails. The natural meadow is the perfect choice of approach to apply to these ecologically important, but often poorly designed garden spaces.

Titled: Groovy Wet Prairiescaping Ideas for the Coastal Rim

U.S. Green Building Council/ NO Chapter, click the link below. http://usgbclouisiana.org/events/event_details.asp?id=400703&group=


the awesome and most colorful Erianthus giganteum, Sugar Cane Plume grass, last week in my Mississippi meadow gardens.

The other is for the New Orleans Parkway Partners, titled “Lawn-less”. It has a similar focus but with an emphasis on grass dominant meadows in upland, typical garden conditions, as an alternative to (and in compliment of) exotic lawn grass. It will be held Decemeber 13th at 10:00 at the Parkway Partners facility on Baronne Street.


here’s the link, but it currently says someone will be speaking on Fairy Gardens that day. NOT!!! I will be speaking on the manly (okay, womanly) subject of grasses. 🙂


For those not particularly interested in the horticultural use and beauty of grasses, I say “buck-up folks!”. Its good to look into the functionality of these important horticultural and botanical not-so-showy elements. Grasses provide color, form, and texture in the landscape, anchoring the colorful, flowering plants. Most importantly, grasses provide cover for native critters, the good ones! Contrary to common belief, native critters are good, even in the city-scape, ya’ll! Some grasses are host plants for butterflies and skippers.

Everybody likes Butterflies, am I right?

Grasses also fill the function of helping water filtrate through the soil so that storm water run-off is lessened. This is the intended purpose of the rain gardens, bio-swails, and the retention basins, after all, to alleviate some of our negative impact on planet Earth.  🙂

LNPS field trip

I attended the Native Plant Society field trip in St. Francisville at the fab Dave and Tracey Banowetz gardens last Saturday. Had the great pleasure of not having to drive (yay!) since John Mayronne offered to take me. During the event, John and Rick Webb talked about the garden’s shrubs and trees and in the afternoon, Charles Allen and I talked a bit about the meadows that have been established in an old pasture area. We had a great group of folks attend, with many people of different interests in the audience. Linda Auld was there and she counted butterfly and cool insectiverous oddities. Linda has a third degree black belt in bugs.

This is Linda’s species list for the day. who knew!!?

Giant swallowtail, Zebra Swallowtail, Gulf Fritillary, Pearl Crescent, Red Spotted Purple, Tawny Emperor, Cloudless Sulphur, Little Sulphur, Sleepy Orange Sulphur, Gray Hairstreak, Checkered Skippers–( Mating Pair ), Dun Skipper, Fiery Skipper, Lacewing, Roadside Skipper, Least Skipper, Northern Broken Dash, Southern Broken Dash, Tawny Edge Skipper, Whirlabout Skipper, Yehl Skipper

Immatures:2 Sleepy Orange caterpillars on Cassia obtusafolia, 2 Buckeye caterpillars on Agalinus, 2 Large Spiny Oakworm Moth caterpillars on Oak, Polyphemus moth caterpillar on Oak

one Praying Mantis looking for lunch


above: Linda with the two large Spiny Oak Moth caterpillars, John Mayronne behind her. (click photo to enlarge)  see the article in nola.com about Linda’s Project Monarch at



above, Dr. Allen, in blue on right, makes a point while talking to David Banowetz, Little Bluestem grass in the foreground


above: Rick Webb talks shrubbery at the Banowetz’s nature farm

For those inclined to dig deeper into grasses, please look into Dr. Charles Allen’s Grass Boot Camp/Serious Workshop, held on October 8, 9, and 10th, in the Fort Polk/ Vernon District of the Kisatchie National Forest. see the link below for details

Click to access graminoid%20workshop%20Oct%207-9.pdf

see you, same time, same channel!


1 thought on “Going Lawn-less in “Louziana”/ Native Grass Boot Camp Oct. 8,9,10

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