City of Mandeville prairie habitat conservation area, kickin’ like Bruce Lee!

If you’re looking for a good example of what a cool landscape via seed can be, head on over to Mandeville’s 1-acre, yearling prairie conservation garden and you will see that the proof is in the pudding, folks!


a handful of the very aromatic Lemon Bee Balm – several (maybe ten) thousand plants are flowering now at the Mandeville garden right now, making for some hap-hap-happy bees and butterflies – and lots of the color purple!


a grass-stage Long Leaf Pine, being all chummy with the flowering plants and cool grasses in the Causeway Approach garden, above


this is the smaller of the two gardens – a tear-drop shaped area surrounded by mown turf grass.


Long Leaf Pines in a blanket of Bluestem grass – and flowering plants, above

Dr. Charles Allen is right. Just put the seed out and it’ll grow!

Mandeville - LL pine prairie

Pine prairie via seed at the corner of 190 and Causeway Approach (east), above. Photos of this garden do not even touch what the reality is on the ground. You have to walk it first-hand to really see and appreciate the garden – its quite delightful, exhilarating!

I impressed myself – ha

We will be burning these gardens in a month or so, as they have lots of fuel for a controlled burn, ya’ll. Let me know if you want to be there and I will try to give you a heads-up when its time.


above, from the Vascular Plants of La., Volume III


Making hay while the sun shines – as of last week, Franklinton, Loosiana’s got 5 new acres cool pine prairie!

Lots and lots of rain this past winter and spring – one for the books.

NEWS FLASH!!! — The weather breaks in perfect time for native prairie planting, at Franklinton, Loosiana project. Yay!

The garden is five acres of upland gardens, with a half acre pond that is a designed wetland. The landscape is designed to capture about 95% or more of the stormwater from the site. There’s a fancy subsurface pipe system that brings much of the water to the pond, via underground, but some large areas drain across the surface of the ground, to the pond-wetland area. The pipe system is designed to permanently hold a massive amount of water, I am told, as part of the pond water “storage/ recharge” system.


The northern section of the prairie garden brings surface water to the wetland through this swale, above. Lots of bare ground. But we got two nice rains – which will last a couple of weeks – hoping for another rain before June. Fingers crossed!!!

We’ve included a cool nurse crop for the garden to hold ground and provide pollinator activity and what could be a good color display, with pink Zinnias, Purple Basil, White Cleome, with a dash of Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia). saweet! Yo! Butterflies! Dinner is almost served!!!

planted seed in the dusty powder-dirt! Yea, baby!!!


City of Mandeville / Louisiana Dept of Transportation prairie garden work begins!


We have broken ground, so to speak, on our second City of Mandeville prairie garden. Mandeville is developing an Emerald Necklace-like natural area preserve program that includes our seeded pine prairie gardens. This one’s going to be seeded soon. Fred Law Olmstead would be so proud. 🙂

Ken Bosso’s Burden Research Garden taking root

Thanks to retired Engineer Ken Bosso for the photos of the current status of the prairie planting at LSU’s Burden Gardens – planted in November.


click photo to enlarge… above, Its just a pup now and the annuals we sowed are showing off. Should be an indicator that our perennial seed is there, coming on strong. Ken and I worked together to do the planting and he worked the political-behind-the-scenes to make it happen.


non-natives matter!!!!

Masterful gardener person, John Greenlee videos, below.

Thank you, Gail Barton, Meridian, Mississippi, for sharing this – and for your inspiration. This garden (immediately below) reminds me of Gail’s garden in Meridian, Miss.

garden designers rock!!

cool link in his website…

down on the farm

fifteen years ago, I sowed Penstemon digitalis and Penstemon laevagatus seed in my field hoping to get the awesome stand that is there now as a result. The bumbles were working the flowers the other day when I was there. nice.

and the Marshallia was in peak flower, too, below


nice leaf of Silphium laciniata – what a cool plant this is – a prairie indicator species, for sure.


black pods of White Baptisia – can you say yummy-yummy?



S. psittacina in a Pearl River County, Miss. flatwoods (wet prairie) bog. Dude! click to enlarge


got some good kill in the restored prairie in the Northwest section of Eunice.

IMG_0095 2


not easy to do when you’re up against White Mulberry, which is resistant to most herbicides, even the really bad ones. Take that! Sok! Bif! Pow!


I’ve been working in Franklinton and have gotten to see my favorite Southern Magnolia several times. Looks like the house is now abandoned. I once stopped many years ago on my way to Margie Jenkins’, when I was passing by, and saw a woman walking about the property. I wheeled around and stopped in the driveway and talked to her and she told me the story of the tree. She said her grandmother had lived there when she was a child. Grandma had planted the tree and she would tie bricks to the branches to hold the branches down so they would hug the ground. This is the result 80 years later. Its a garden room on the inside. Very nice indeed.


old Magnolia on Highway 10, east of Franklinton, La.


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