prairie – medicine for the earth

Lincoln Parish prairie/ pollinator habitat gardens, planted at the request of the Louisiana Department of Transportation for the Rest Area – Welcome Center in Tremont, Louisiana, between Monroe and Ruston on Interstate-20

our old planting of perennial prairie  plant community species, above, from spring of last year, is on the right (in green) and the planting done this spring is on the left in yellow. The annual color, stabilization species are the yellow, Coereopsis tinctoria, the prairie species are just now germinating, under and in conjunction with, the Coreopsis. Some areas of the planting from last year are a bit sparse, as you can see in the photo, but this is typical.

above, a yearling seedling of Prairie Sage, Salvia azurea, breaks through the clay-sand subsoil crust.



last year’s prairie planting

I used annual color last year that’s quite happy filling in the gaps between pioneering prairie perennials. For prairie plants , which are most all perennials, Dr Vidrine says, “the first year they sleep, the second year they creep, THE THIRD YEAR THEY LEAP!!!”    🙂

Perennial plants are permanent plants but they take a few years of growing and concentrating their energy on roots and then they begin to mature and flower and compete in the landscape for space, sunlight, moisture, nutrients and root zone. Perennial prairie gardens are self-proliferating, ever-increasing in biomass both above and below ground.

prairie is subtle, sublime.

many Bees, Butterflies and Dragon Flies were partaking, enjoying the soup dejour.

some nice patches of Brownseed Paspalum grass (in hand), starting to mature, emerge from the velvety Bluestem grass masses.

A single cherished plant of Rough Leafed Goldenrod introduces itself

a few Sweet Scented Camphorweeds were showing their purple-silvery foliage

Centaurea americana

The rock-star annual American Basketflower/ American Bachelor Button can’t be beat


West Monroe’s, Ouachita Parish, La., Kiroli Park Prairie Garden

Lots of really good species developing in the gardens, and consistently throughout. Lots of Monarda fistulosa and Monarda punctata getting ready to flower – so all through June the garden will be lit up with fragrant minty color – both of these are just budded up now.

The most significant plant found so far from our seeding was this, above, singular Pale Coneflower, Rudbeckia Pallida.


Native Prairie Gardens at Hammond Research Station, flourishing

Rudbeckia nidita

above, the Care and Maintenance Gardens are demonstration, research areas designed and managed by Dr. Yan Chen – developed in the last few years in order to provide a venue for native prairie species grow, to gain more acceptance in the horticulture industry through the Station’s active Field Day forums. All of the seed they’ve used for the gardens has been donated by our firm.

above, the “sand box gardens” were attempted using a variation of one of Dr. James Hitchmough’s (University of Sheffield, UK) seeding techniques. The gardens are set in a grid with mowed strips between. The gardens were literally buzzing with happy insect species. Looking good, Dr. Yan!

New Gardens of Bluestem grass mass gardens have been planted to determine sufficient spacing for naturalized, native grass landscapes planted via nursery grown plants. There are four large gardens, planted last year from nursery plants grown from Pastorek donated seed.


Mississippi State Department of Transportation Conservation-Preservation Effort NEEDED on Interstate Highway 55, from Osyka to Brookhaven

an odd-colored rudbeckia hirta

rudbeckia hirta

Slender Bluestem grass. ahhhhhhh….

helinium flexuosa

green milkweed


some of the most amazing and beautiful gardenesque prairies – miles and miles of them – exist on Interstate 55 in southwestern Mississippi, running through the southern part of Hinds County and all through Copiah, Lincoln and Pike Counties. These are, in some cases, worth stopping and viewing and if your lucky, load up with some Green Milkweed seeds!

Life is good. Make it fun!



the struggle of life is not won with one glorious moment – but a continual in which you keep your dignity in tact and your powers at work, over a long course of a life time.

Roger Wilkins


Very nice words indeed – rest in peace Mr. Wilkins.


If you don’t act, the dangers become stronger  Ai Wei wei

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