Liking it wild and woolly

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grass gardens; effective, efficient, and easy on the eyes

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looking east, above, at the Lamar Advertising agency grass berm garden, Corporate Blvd, Baton Rouge, La. – established in 2010 – the berm rises to about eight feet height and covers about 15,000 sq ft., separating a Live Oak shaded patio area visually and buffering  the noisy sound of the busy street.

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Looking west

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Looking east and west – hehe

Berm garden design by Mossop-Michaels Landscape Architecture and Pastorek Habitats, LLC

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Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Main Office native plant community gardens receive shot-in-the-arm of prairie plants from farm-raised plant material

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Chris Reid, above, Botanist with the State of Louisiana Natural Heritage program, holds a freshly dug clump of the rare mint scented Picnanthemum albescens cultivar commonly called “Malcolm Mint”. Chris organized the digging day, taking me up on the offer of free truckloads of farm raised Coastal prairie plants.

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Chris with 15 year old seed-grown clump of Silphium asteriscus – notice the reaching roots

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The dig crew worked about three hours yesterday to fill two pick-ups and a trailer.

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drive-through service and then off to Baton Rouge…..

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part of the digging crew and the catch of the day

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Covington Nature Trail Introduction Area receives inaugural prescribed fire

Burned a small section at the new introductory trail for the Blue Swamp Creek Nature Trail this week. It was a complete success, easy goings.

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We started with a strip of flaming fuel laid down by a drip torch, above, and then it was a little dab here and a little dab there until it was all finished. Kids don’t try this at home, hehe.

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after several frosts, the highly combustible Mohr’s Bluestem still holds some of its striking chalky blue foliage

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a grass-stage Long Leaf Pine before (above) and after (below) – the burn

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A day after the burn, scorch-toasty, woody Leatherwood suckers, all browned-up.

 

Our first burn was August of last year in this area, below, across from this week’s burn.

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Pitcher Plant/ Aquatic area at BSC Nature Trail, above, below

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structural skeletons

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silvery brown Rosette grass in the powerline area

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light tan colored Warty Panicum – P. verrucosum is one of nature’s band-aids. It produces seed prolifically, grows tall and lays over like a drunken sailor, and mats over the other vegetation – making a fine textured fuel load – ready for pyrogenic (produced by or producing heat) transmission.

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Virginia Bluestem, Little Bluestem, and Morh’s Bluestem, with ochre colored winter foliage

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Chappapeela Park slope sod dons full winter regalia

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Native grass gardens not only produce perfect conditions for a naturalizing wildflowers, they provide ground cover, important for all sorts of wildlife.

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seed-grown Bluestem grass sod covers and stabilizes the ball field irrigation pond’s steep slopes at the City of Hammond’s, Chappapeela Sports and Recreation Park, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana.

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Some renown designer person once said, “When designing a wildscape, think like a bug!”.

A noted wildscaper and author, once said, “I like it wild and woolly!”.

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Ascension High School prairie fits in a Hyundia car!

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the big enchalada of seed couldn’t fit in the trunk with the rest

Eric Vanbergen, mild mannered prairie enthusiast, who happens to be just 15 years old, has employed the skills of biologist Brian Early, of Baton Rouge, for the planning and planting of Eric and his classmate’s own Ascension High School’s native butterfly garden, using the prairie landscape as its focus. Eric and Brian have gotten donations from The Cajun Prairie Habitat Preservation Society and the Louisiana Native Plant Society in grants, and in money raised through fundraising events and from other donors for preparing the garden area for the seeding date. They’ve organized successful seed collecting events, too, during the summer and fall last year for planting what will no doubt become a regionally significant educational garden. The seeding extravaganza is today Sunday 29th, at Ascension High in Youngsville, Louisiana in Lafayette Parish.

Youngsville’s city motto is “where life is sweet”.

Life is going to be a just a little sweeter now, with an authentic newly restored Cajun prairie.

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Go Brian and Eric!!

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The greening of a Pineflat Buttercup pool garden

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Green colors and textures – morphology – in the seven-year-old ever-changing side garden.

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ephemeral pool of Iris and Rushes, Bladderworts and Buttercups

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Ranunculus pusillus, Low Spearwort, above, is low but not lowly in the month of January.

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Highway 26 Dwarf Eastern Gamma grass –  a sight for sore eyes.

Gardeners are always looking for the cool “new” plants, right? Well here’s a cool old plant that’s still remains relatively unknown, relatively new, many years after first being  discovered.

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after I dug half and gave the clump to Chris Reid, I had him photograph me in it for scale

The cultivar Gamma grass Highway 26, originally found in Jefferson Davis Parish, this one, planted in my field several years ago, has become really well settled in, even though I’ve dug a bunch of divisions from it for visitors over those years. It stands a dense 30 inches tall at maturity, about as big as a big beach ball, with very linear, slender strapped leaves. Beach Ball Gamma would be a good trade name. There is a real need for such a plant with this small size and with this much charm and flash – in the regional nursery industry, for sure.


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nice colorful Louisiana prairie meadow landscape, above

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Grazing geeks who love native grass landscapes as forage for cows and other meat-source animals – natural farming – enjoy!

thank you for the link, Malcolm F. Vidrine, Phd.

 

cool link if you haven’t visited lately or before now…

http://turtleboyandthebirds.blogspot.com/

 

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