prairie: a proven model for large-scale sustainable landscape design

High quality prairie vegetation is more than just a field of grasses and flowering herb plants. Prairies are authentic grass habitats that are as alive as you and me – they are teaming with natural biological activity and, coincidentally, they’re easy on the eyes!

A prairie garden provides a lifetime of interest and intrigue, an endless series of questions.


In this pine-flatwoods prairie video, above, Little Bluestem grass and Moore’s Bluetstem grass, Split-beard Bluestem, Elliot’s Blue, Bushy Blue and Virginia Blue, along with Love grass and Toothache grass and a long list of others, provide the bones of this landscape, with flowering plants woven in.



above, a wee whippersnapper adolescent stand of pine prairie, with native grasses and herbaceous perennials – photo taken in August 2016, Mandeville, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana – the garden, established by Pastorek’s awesome seed, in November 2014



above, another seed-grown native grass planting with numerous species of flowering plants – with lots of little puffs of Flat-Topped Goldenrod – just about to turn golden yellow. Folsom, Louisiana, September 2016



Little Bluestem grass in the Folsom garden. Garden planted by the owner with Pastorek’s native Florida Parishes seed. Most of the summer, the grasses are just a foot or so tall until they start to produce inflorescences in September and into October – the plants then go to seed in November filling the air with seed as light as ether. The quaking flower stalks are mostly invisible to the eye yet visually captivating.


Graminoid (grass) identification class by Charles Allen, Phd. September 27-29th, west-central Louisiana, Pitkin – contact Charles Allen at



above, of all the many species of flowering plants you’ll find in central Gulf Coastal prairies, if you’re lucky, is Sweet Goldenrod, which is most aromatically fragrant in late September and through October when it is big and in flower – at least its then when you can spot it readily. A high-scented sweet-perfume carries across this field as you walk through, crushing the plants with your feet. Not the showiest plant, but super-duper pleasant to have a few around especially at tea time – yum-yum!



The Lafitte Greenway, New Orleans’ newest City park, to be blanketed with 9 acres of cool prairie!


above, studying the prairie designs for the Lafitte Greenway, City of New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana – this is what 3 miles of scattered prairies and sedge rain gardens look like in a linear Park, on paper – a panoramic view – click on the photo to enlarge


Lafitte Greenway prairie construction area – on right of path – North Scott Street looking at Carrollton Avenue



prairie construction area – bioretention swale sedge rain garden-to-be, North Lopez Street looking north to Jeff Davis Pkwy



Sojourner Truth Community Center (in the distance) to be one of the prairie focal points – all of the area between the path and Sojourner Truth will be transitioned to cool prairie and rain gardens.



virtually all what you see here will be prairie – from near Lemann Pool, North Prieur Street and Lafitte Street intersection, looking south to the Claiborne Avenue/ Interstate 10 overpass expressway.

Transitioning existing vegetation to prairie is a bit of a hat trick but anyone can do it with some technical help.

A prairie is an important design component that is necessary for creating large-scale natural landscapes that can be established from seed and managed with relative ease.

The transition process for establishing prairie at Lafitte Greenway has begun.


Black Swallowtail on prairie, St. Tammany Parish, La



Pine Land Milkweed in bud (and in flower) with Bumble Bee, St. Tammany Parish, La

Prairie is the best model for designing butterfly gardens, with growing-season-long flowering, host, and cover species that proliferate, persist and perform!



article on prairie with Larry Weaner in Washington Post


Pastorek Habitats assists in garnering national Honor Design Award for Louisiana

We are very grateful for Jeffrey Carbo Associates including us in the service credits for the ASLA Honor Award his firm will be receiving the award in New Orleans in October. The gardens at the St. Landry Parish Visitor’s Center are really looking good! Get there and check in on them. You’ll see…..


cool event….in the west;jsessionid=51448090AB41BA878EC1F2577C6D0480.worker_registrant?llr=ejjbmvjab&oeidk=a07ecyp33k35061afd9


cool event……in the east


Cajun Prairie Habitat Preservation Society annual fall prairie tour October 22, 2016 – contact the Top Prairie Dog, Charles Allen @ – he’ll give you the low-down, wuff-wuff!!

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