If you have not seen Dr. Charles Allen’s edible plant demonstration before, not doubt you’ll find it interesting, entertaining, and delicious! See him describe and offer tastes of prepared and natural herb leaves, teas, and breads – Sunday in New Orleans.
Dr. Allen is a botanist and one of the leading authorities on wild plants and their plant communities. He is also a skilled prairie ecologist, one of the prairie pioneers of Louisiana. He and Malcolm Vidrine basically “rediscovered the Louisiana prairies” – once thought to be extinct.
Not many people I know can entertain a group by botanizing at a gas station – while filling up – but I have seen Dr. Allen find the most amazing plants hidden in the oddest places – behind the tire air pump or growing in the mowed lawn, where most people, including myself, would pass them by.
Greg Grant is one of the most prolific gardeners. I first met him at the Southern Garden History meeting in Brehnan, Texas in 1990. Greg reintroduced the South to some of its own best heirloom plants – brought old timey plants back into the horticulture trade. He bought a mix of seed from us for this pine prairie restoration project below in video.
Doug and Mary’s prairie garden in Folsom was stunningly beautiful yesterday. Dropped in to catch some photos, to see progress. Three years time from seed and looking lovely, with many flowering Button Snakeroots, Narrow Leafed Mountain Mints, Black Eyed Susies and Bee Balms.
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
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
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 EffortNEEDED on Interstate Highway 55, from Osyka to Brookhaven
an odd-colored rudbeckia hirta
Slender Bluestem grass. ahhhhhhh….
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!
Dr. Charles Allen will host the 27th annual Bogs and Baygalls event, this Saturday May 19-21. Dr Allen and and the late Robert Murry have hosted this botanical event each year, highlighting some of the most impressive landscape-scale natural areas in Louisiana. The field trip to Cooter’s Bog is set for Saturday morning. If you’ve never seen grass pink orchids, you probly aught to be there. 🙂 Dr. Allen’s property backs up to Kisatchie National Forest, in Vernon Parish. His gardens are unique and mostly focused on Butterfly and Hummingbird Moth attraction. His plant collection is far out, man. He and I burned his prairie garden this February so it should be busting at the seams with flower activity.
BOGS, BAYGALLS, BIRDS, BUTTERFLIES, BOTANICAL BLISS, BIG MOTHS: The 27th Annual BBBBB
Friday, May 19, 2017 2 pm: Plant ID and butterfly plant workshop. Dr. Charles Allen will lead the workshop. Meet at Allen Acres. We will see the national champion Large Gallberry tree on nearby Forest Service land. See directions to Allen Acres below.
6 pm-till: Potluck supper (dinner), slides, networking, etc. Allen Acres (For directions, see below). We also will count fireflys and go sheeting (mothing), spider eyes, and maybe hear owls, chuck will’s widows and ? Saturday, May 20, 2017:
9 am: “Forest Service Traditional BBBBB” Tours of Bogs and Baygalls: Meet at Allen Acres (See below) and we will caravan to the sites. Tours will include pitcher plant bogs, upland areas, and other ecosystems. Orchids, pitcher plants, and other interesting plants should be seen. Several different kinds of birds including the red cockaded woodpecker, butterflies, and other animals might be encountered. Bring your own snacks, water, or other beverages. The bogs are wet so dress accordingly.
12 noon-1:30 pm: Lunch, at Allen Acres. “Susan’s Chinese Food” (Donations Accepted)
1:30 pm: Betty Kaufman presentation
3 PM “Afternoon Field Trip” Depending on group’s interests etc. Begin from Allen Acres (see below)
6:00 pm till Supper (dinner), net-working, slides, etc. We also will count fireflys and go sheeting (mothing), spider eyes, and maybe hear owls, chuck will’s widows and ?
Sunday May 21, 2017:
9 am: “Sunday Morning Field Trip” Depending on group’s interests etc. Begin from Allen Acres (see below)
For more information, contact Dr. Charles Allen or Susan Allen 337-328-2252 email firstname.lastname@example.org. You are invited to stay in the B and B (www.allenacresbandb.com).
Directions to our house: From the east sides of the state, get on La 10 going west out of Oakdale and follow La 10 thru Elizabeth and Pitkin and then six miles past Pitkin, you will enter Cravens. In Cravens you will turn south (left) onto La 399. La 399 is just east of the two stores in Cravens. If you are coming from the west, you will turn onto La 10 at Pickering and follow La 10 just south of Ft Polk and continue east for about 15 miles. After entering Cravens, watch for the store on the right and then turn right onto La 399. Now all are on La 399, follow it south for 1.8-1.9 miles and in a sharp curve to the left, turn right into our driveway. If you are coming from the south, get on La 112 (an east-west road) just se of DeRidder and turn north onto La 399. You will travel north on La 399 for six miles and turn left into Allen Acres.
Frey Prairie restoration at the Farm in Pearl River County, Mississippi – last week – above, high quality prairie vegetation with last year’s growth mixed in. I willl be burning this in the near future.
some really nice patches of white Barbara’s Buttons, M. trinervia
Asclepias obovata – a native Milkweed
a one-year-old seedling of Skeleton grass, seeded three years ago. Many are showing up, by the hundreds. How delightful!
Narrow-leafed Mountain Mint provides nectar for many insects
the bronze-colored leaf shades of Rough-leafed Goldenrod
Pale purple cone flower
recruitment of thousands of seedlings of Hyssopleaf Thoroughwort showing up amongst the Bluestem grasses
Lindhiemer’s Bee Balm
the largest stands that I’ve seen of Bee Balm are in my seed fields at the farm
Passiflora vine is for Fritillaries
Boom! Legume! Coral Bean and my old greenhouse wood heater
Several Legumes, Tephrosia carolina (above) and Tephrosia onobrychoides, Strophostyles, Lespedezas, Crotolaria, Baptisias are commmon in the fields at the Farm. The wonderfully prolific annual bean, Partridge Pea, covers the ground of the fields (where once there was none) – with hundreds of thousands of plants – available to the abundance of Sulfur Butterflies that flutter about on sunny days.
My cup (trailer) runneth over. 🙂
I worked in the field this week on my vacay, cutting and gathering dead trees and vines to haul to the burn pile. Gotter done. Had big fun.
Malcolm Vidrine’s White Mountain Mint wild-collected-selection, a plant of promise
two seedling variations of the same exceptional native plant, White Leaf Mountain Mint, Picnanthemum albescens var. Malcolm Mint, a spearmint scented native mint cultivar with plant parts that smells just like the old world species Mentha spicata. This unique cultivar of Mt. Mint has highly aromatic properties that will no doubt impress you. Its also a very pretty and delightful plant; of substantial ornamental value. I have had this plant since about 2001. In about 15 years, I’ve noticed that approximately 80% or more of the seedlings that have grown from the original Momma plant have the true spearmint aroma. The rest have the typical species camphorine smell. The plant is easy to root, too, from stem cuttings – if taken at the best time – just prior to bloom. Propagation via cuttings produces plants that are true clones, identical to the plant the cuttings came from.
Bio Lab class’ controlled burns at Hammond City Park, more than satisfactory
above, Dr. Platt at pond #1 – introducing natural succession through fire…
With twenty mph sustained winds and gusting to 30 or more, and dry, dry – without rain for three or more weeks, Dr. Bill Platt and I had perfect conditions for a rockin’ prescribed fire on Friday April 14, on the Conservation Biology/ Entomology research areas – the prairie gardens – at Chappapeela Sports Park. With Dr. Platt’s direction, we have built into the gardens, 30 1-meter-square data study plots. This was the best burn we’ve had in the four years that we’ve done our work at the park, most of our burns have been hampered by wet weather. We were excited to have had our fire move all the way down to the water’s edge where the dried stem structure from last year’s bumper crop of Climbing Hemp Vine fueled tiny wind-whipped furnaces – super hot, intense fires that killed tree cambium on woody plants, forcing growth below the soil, to the roots. Last October when I visited the Park the Hemp Vine was so plentiful and so massive in size, the aroma that wafted through the air was simply magical and there were dozens and dozens – many Monarch Butterflies nectaring on the masses of Hemp Vine flowers. Hemp Vine makes it fun!!!!
small pond – pond #2
a photograph showing the fire intensity effect 5 days later, with soil exposed from the top to the bottom of the pond slope.
So far he and the students have studied fire intensity, soils, pollinators, species recruitment, species diversity and richness, shrub growth and soil hydrology.
Dr. Platt said to me yesterday that it is “remarkable” how well the prairie vegetation has developed in the short amount of time it has taken. This word “remarkable”, coming from one of the most active – and one of the leading – scientists in the country.
Matthew Herron, biologist, naturalist and native plant enthusiast, will speak to the Cajun Prairie Society Field Day group – the title and general description of his talk is…..
“Southeastern Prairies: Origins, Ecology and Conservation
This talk will review some of the geology and biogeography surrounding southeastern prairies, aiming to frame Cajun Prairies within the broader landscape of the rich southeastern flora. We will make a round trip to various prairies and prairie like systems for better context and look at how principles in plant ecology can help us appreciate the diversity of prairie flora. We will then look forward to current opportunities for conservation, education and restoration.”
Cajun Prairie Habitat Preservation Society Meeting
April 08, 2017
8:00 AM: Tours of Duralde Restored Prairie.
10:00 AM: Eunice Restored Prairies
12 noon Lunch with a Society business meeting and speaker, at Rocky’s Restaurant located at 1415 E Laurel Ave, Eunice, LA 70535 (337) 457-6999.
From Dr. Malcolm Vidrine’s Iris collection…. “I will be bringing some young Louisiana Iris and, some old ones.”
hanging out with Charles Allen, you can learn some stuff. The brilliance just oozes from his pores (ooh gros, I know!). His gardens are amazing, all filled with flowers for specific groups of awesome insects – scientific studies, each one.
Its elementary, my dear Watson.
I burned Dr. Allen’s meadow garden and got time to gossip and to see what was visiting on his moth sheets. Yes, I said moth sheets. He monitors the lamp-lit sheets in early evening and in pre-dawn morning. He has identified over 540 species so far, in the last year or so.
sphinx moth eats Virginia Creeper and Muscadines. nummy
Pardon, this is supposed to be significant but I can’t remember why, duh
Luna Moth caterpillars eat Hickory, Sweet Gum and Walnut.
If I were as smart as Charles, I could tell you what this is. ha
we got some really good fire in his meadow field. Some really robust flamage for sure. Burnt up some stuff. There was a big sigh of relief when we were complete. ahhh… feeling the burn.
Duralde prairie demo 2-acre grid garden is producing some great stands of plants these days from seed we planted
a ten foot by twelve foot rectangle full of Eryngium yuccafolia seedlings, three years old
above, a very sound planting of Rudbeckia grandiflora. We designed a grid garden, planting eighty rectangles using cool Cajun Prairie seed.
adjacent to the demo garden is a prairie field dotted by a hundred thousand Erigeron strigosus. In the distance, an old diversity strip we planted, seed collections back ten years ago from Eunice restored site. The grid garden is located in the 330 acre restored prairie at Duralde owned by Lacassinne National Wildlife Refuge, restored via Cajun Prairie Society, managed in partnership with Lacassinne and CP Society.
Malcolm Vidrine’s garden is so fun to see
Malcolm has a bossanova collection of Spiderwort collorations
Propagating pots of a lipstick pink Tradescantia
Dr. Vidrine with variations of Prairie Phlox flowers, below
His nursery is packed full of interesting research and development propagation experiments. Most are successful. All are interesting
Manure tea used for fertilizing seedlings = healthy plants and flowers.
seedling Rudbeckia subtomentosa, above
a pot packed with yearling seedlings of Asclepias perennis
Bluestars at peak flower in the garden
Eunice Prairie response to burn is telling
below, day of the controlled burn, just before we started February 17th, 8:00 am
City of Covington’s Blue Swamp Creek Park Nature Trails burn – St. Tammany Parish, La
We completed the third controlled burn in a week at BSC Nature Trail yesterday, a total of about three acres of restored remnant Pine prairie natural area. Thanks to Landscape Architect and the Director of Keep Covington Beautiful, Priscilla Floca, and to the Mayor of Covington, Mike Cooper, for taking the idea of a natural area landscape and running with it, for the good of the community, for sure. Yay!
12 acres of Cajun Prairie Restoration Project site, Eunice, La., St Landry Parish, Sunday, February 19, 2017 – The central Gulf coast’s original and most significant prairie habitat preservation and conservation project receives the gift flames
above, A field of weeds. Good weeds.
good lookin’ fuel load
where there’s smoke, there’s probably fire
Steve, showing off his martial arts skills.
Jacalyn Duncan, making the Earth feel better.
Thanks to Cajun Prairie Society members Jackie Duncan, Margaret Frey, Dr. Malcolm Vidrine, Jacob Delahoussey, Steve Nevett, Tommy Hillman, Chris Naquin for their help and leadership!
City of Mandeville Prairie Conservation Garden burn, St. Tammany Parish, La
The truly amazing prairie garden that some genius planted at the corner of Highway 190 and Causeway Approach Rd, got its much needed shot-in-the-arm burn yesterday. Thanks to John Broderick, who helped me do the deed.
Thanks to Adam Perkins of Dufreche-Perkins Landscape Architecture for conceiving the idea of prairie on Mandeville’s Main Street. Thanks to Mayor Donald Villere, Louisette Scott, Catherine Casanova of the City of Mandeville for being so open to new and good gardening ideas. Thanks especially to Charles M. Allen and Malcolm F. Vidrine, who researched and developed the idea of prairie gardens in Louisiana some 30 years ago and through that work, gave me the tools to do wild and crazy garden stuff.
Terese’s Abita Springs remnant garden, St. Tammany Parish
Terese, who lives in Abita, called a couple of years ago, with an interest in developing a design for a prairie garden. I told her to “let the lawn grow and lets see whats there”. So she did and as it turns out, what she had been mowing for several years was a full blown high quality Pine flatwoods prairie remnant, chocked full of wonderful prairie plant species including many Long Leaf Milkweed plants. She has been mowing only the walking paths for a year now. She reduced her mowing by 90%, and in return, has received 90% more enjoyment.
Folks! Garden scruffiness rules!
above, Most people could not appreciate the value of this garden’s shagginess. Most people are uninformed.
Terese’s not-so-boring garden is defined by walking paths that she has designed and has mowed, leaving four different odd shaped gardens. Fire is what is needed to invigorate the plants in her garden, that were so determined to live even under the sweeping blade of a lawn mower.
Even the paths of Terese’s garden are gardens themselves. Lots of Sun Bonnets were in bloom, above, below
The first blooms are beginning, of large populations of Erigeron vernus, Early White Topped Fleabane,
many, many fleabanes
distinctive rosette of Lobelia puberula
last year’s spent flower head of Bigelowia
above, summer images before she started mowing, when we found so many Milkweeds
Speaking of Fleabanes and Butterweeds, take a gander at Highway 190, near Port Allen, Louisiana in West Baton Rouge Parish – on may way to Eunice Sunday.
this sort of shenanegans goes on for many miles, at least all the way to Eunice, St. Landry Parish, La. The white in the photo is Erigeron philadelphicus, Philadelphia Fleabane, a beautiful annual plant that fills the highways with color each spring.
Later in May, Erigeron strigosus, Prairie Fleabane, colors the roadsides on I-20 Near Forest Mississippi, Scott County. Some Fleabanes have great potential for roadside plantings
DISCLAIMER!!! People, don’t be foolish and try to burn land without someone with some serious knowledge of this science. That would be really dumb. Fire is really dangerous and can easily get away from you. Great harm can be done to property and most especially, harm can be done to humans. This is not something to take lightly. Be cool. Don’t be a fool! Fire management is an art and a useful tool but use it carefully and under the close supervision of someone who has some experience doing it.
City Park New Orleans Sculpture Garden teamfield research trip to observe the natural New Orleans garden
If ever you get a chance to see the sights along the Bayou Coquille trail at the Jean Lafitte National Park, twenty minutes south of the Crescent City, in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana – do so. Step back into the real world and observe its subtleties.
One of the many wonderful discoveries along the trail Thursday was a robust population of Thalictrum dasycarpum, Purple Meadow Rue just bolting to bloom.
Marsh Fern was abundant in pools of water, above and below
the deep green clumps of Carex or Cyperus with Dwarf Palmetto, above and below
two Hollies, Ilex verticilata in fruit, above left, and evergeen leaves of Ilex cassine, right
dense vegetation of the running, massing, blue leafed, Shoreline Sedge, Carex hyalinolepis
City of Mandeville prescribed fire set for this week
The Bluestem grass stand at the Mandeville Wildflower Conservation Park is extremely dense and should fuel quite a stir when lit
the burn is likely Monday about ten oclock, if the weather holds. Ya’ll come!
the two gardens, just a door or two down from City Hall, have been a delight for me – not sure about the community. I am sure people are wondering when the City will ever fix their bush hog and mow that sucker down 🙂
Malcolm F. Vidrine, friend of the planet, Biologist, zoologist, prairie ecologist, pioneering gardener and author, writes a blog. check into it when you can. Here are his latest thoughts, from the school of scientific hard knocks. – in the link below.
Cajun Prairie Society meeting April 8, 2017, Eunice, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana
Eric, center, and Brian Early, Eric’s principal assistant in the project, on right, with hard-earned Cajun prairie seed
The Cajun Prairie dogpack will meet in Eunice once again to see prairie gardens in the Eunice area. Eric Vanbergen, a 15 year-old prairie advocate and activist, will be the guest speaker at the Cajun Prairie Habitat Preservation Society’s 30th year spring field day meeting, April 8th, 2017. Eric will share the story of the development and recent planting of a two acre prairie garden project at Ascension Episcopal school, in Youngsville, Louisiana. You will not be disappointed with this young man’s presentation, and you’ll admire his enthusiasm, I guarantee.
a friend who lives in New Iberia, Louisiana sent this photo of his wife, Paula, above, outstanding in her prairie field — the garden, just burned and inter-seeded with Cajun Prairie habitat seed, above.
They are restoring a tiny patch of ground in their side yard, attempting to bring nature back to an area where theGreat Southwestern Prairie of Louisiana once existed.
Mr. Al the Live Oak and his prairie companion, hangin’ out by the highway
don’t come round here with your mower, no.
thistles are rad.
found some robust Cirsium horridulum plants in the prairie garden
Dr. Mac Vidrine says that the common thistle is a wonderful butterfly nectar plant since its so early to rise and shine. For some reason, most people have an aversion to the plant. what’s up with that? hmmm
Gardens of Grassiness at Hamilton Hall, ULL, become Biological Classroom
Wednesday I met with Dr. Phyllis Griffard to discuss her interest in using the prairie garden at Hamilton Hall, University of Louisiana in Lafayette, for her freshman Biology class. Fun stuff. We talked about Dr. William J. Platt’s work at Chappapeela and Bio project idea possibilities that students might work out using the garden.
Red Buckeye, Red coral bean, red Louisiana iris, foreground concrete cut out
above, last week’s wintry sleepy look
and in June
Rudbeckia Texana is a nearly evergreen plant in the winter garden, always with nice n’ neat foliage year round. The only things keeping this garden from the mowers is the “pollinator” sign in the garden and a certain University Professor who demanded compliance from the mower crew supervisor and grounds manager. ha
Eastern Gamma grass, Hibiscus mosheutos, Big Bluestem and Kosteletskya virginica, above, holding court, in June. Inquisitive students planted this amazing garden a few years ago, with the help of some prairie dogs. wuff wuff!
an amazing arboretum of very old trees and garden plants lovingly wraps Hamilton Hall
The non-profit group Keep Covington Beautiful will host an informative workshop this Saturday on the subject of the Live Oak tree. The KCB group has been working on care of the City’s Live Oaks and wants to promote care and appreciation for these majestic trees, in our fair City and beyond! Ya’ll come! Jimmy Culpepper will share his culture tips for these fine plants. Jim is pretty knowledgeable guy on the subject of tree growth and care. http://countryroadsmagazine.com/events/live-oak-tree-workshop/
LSU Biology’s Conservation Biology/ Entomology 4017 to study Chappapeela Park’s prairie garden
Dr. William J. Platt will once again use the restored prairie gardens at Chappapeela Park for his students’ field work and experimentation. Each year for four years now, the students have used data from previous classes to design and implement experiments based on the prairie vegetation in 30 one-meter-square permanently designated study plots. Dr. Platt happens to be a famously prolific scientist who has been studying prairie and Pine herbaceous vegetation for 50 years. He is one of the leading experts on the subject, and a really good guy. 🙂 Dr. Platt is the slide-guitarin’ Duane Allman of prairies. He is the person who coined the complementary term for my seed restoration work. He said, “Its totally artificial but perfectly natural.”
Louisiana Department of Transportation’s I-20 Rest Area half-mile prairie garden
Looking west at the Tremont, Louisiana Rest Area prairie garden
Bluestem grass dominant prairie – six months from seed
bluestem as thick as the har’ on a dog’s back!
above, Tens of thousands of tiny tufts of transfixing native turf in the worst dirt tilth ever! Impressed, huh?
poor soil? we got that!!!! Rusty-red colored, cold-frosted Bluestem grass (center strip in photo above), far as the eye can see…. ..looking east……we got that, too!
driving there and back from Nort’ Loosiana, I saw miles and miles of cool natural prairie on I-55 in Mississippi – some especially killer stands of prairie grass around Wesson, in Copiah but also Lincoln and Pike County, all wearing its winter plumage. Real Nice highway decorations.
After working for many years with the Mississippi Highway folks to protect this land, they’ve come around and have installed signs designating sensitive biological areas, to keep the mower crews from making minced meat of it. Whoop-whoop!!!
Pine Savanna Restoration gardens grant work at Covington’s Nature Trail rolling along!
Lots of exciting things happening at Blue Swamp Creek Nature Trail, but mostly we are just assisting good prairie vegetation to come out of dormancy by reinvigorating this fire-suppressed plant community via drip torch. Everything you’d want is there, it just needed some coaxing to flourish again. Landscape Architect and Director of Keep Covington Beautiful, Priscilla Floca and her crew of craftsmen and craftswomen have been diligently working on the details for interpretive and other types of signage, to help visitors to the Park better understand this dynamic vegetation. BSC is a model for ecological park design right in the heart of the City of Covington.
Non-native tree of the century
Fringe tree in Covington, above
Chinese Fringe Tree is one of the best small to medium trees available for us in the central Gulf coast. A squat deciduous tree that is very showy and highly fragrant in flower and always clean green leaves that turn bright yellow in fall, with awesome winter structural form. One I planted at my old place in Mississippi in 1994-5 (not above) is amazing to see. You can’t deny a good plant, ya’ll. Git you one.
Charles Allen says this is Cranefly Orchid – Tipularia discolor
the greening up of the natural landscape here in South Louisiana starts now. Orchid leaves in Woodward, Louisiana, last weekend. Three amazing presentations at the Louisiana Native Plant Society’s annual conference. Charles Allen of Native Ventures and Jeff McMillian of Almost Eden Nursery, teamed up and spoke on butterflies species and their host plants. Quite extraordinary it was. Landscape Architect Dana Brown did a really interesting and super informative talk on the latest principals and techniques for dealing with and purifying storm water runoff. I was blown away by this presentation. She is one of the leading experts in that field of science in this part of the world. Great stuff. And finally, Latimore Smith, ecological Kung Fu artist, did his fourth degree black belt Bruce Lee-like martial arts form-of-a-rendition of the “ecology of the rare natural areas of Louisiana” and other scientific topics having to do with restoring Pine woodland herb cover. Dudes. All you could here was the wind whipping for an hour and fifteen minutes, while he was doing his form. It was awesome stuff. His talk was a condensed version of Dr. Platt Conservation Biology/ Entomology lectures which are – to die for. We live on an amazing planet, with some really smart people doing good stuff on it.
The New Orleans Sculpture Garden expansion, City Park, New Orleans, Louisiana
The design development stage has begun for the New Orleans City Park Sculpture Garden expansion which will nearly double the size of the gardens. Pastorek Habitats Inc is fortunate to have been chosen to guide the design team of Reed Hilderbrand with horticulture and ecology consulting for this very special project. http://www.reedhilderbrand.com/
congratulations to the Hammond Research Station LSU AgCenter on burns for their native grass research plots. Dr. Regina Bracy, Dr. Allen Owings, Dr. Yan Chen, and their staff did the first controlled burns on the native grass demonstration area at the Station last week.
Abelia grandiflora Edward Goucher
Abelia chinensis = Chinese Abelia
Buddleia spp. (X davidii) Butterfly Bush
Ceanothus americana = New Jersey Tea
Cephalanthus occidentalis = Button Bush
Lantana = Lantana
Malvaviscus arboreus = Turk’s Cap
Vitex agnus-castus = Chaste Tree
(* = also a larval host) Be-There or Be-Square Go-Native Events List
Event Calendar Louisiana Nature
Feb 3-5 Louisiana Native Plant Society annual meeting
Feb 7 thru Feb 9, Naked and Scarred plant id class Allen Acres
Feb 10-11 Rose Workshop, Hammond
Feb 11-12 Naked and Scarred plant id class, Allen Acres
Feb 11 Permaculture: Ecological Design for Farms and Homes; Saturday, February 11, 9 am – 5 pm
Zeitgeist Multi Disciplinary Arts Center, 1618 OC Haley Blvd, New Orleans, LA.
Permaculture: Ecological Design for Farms and Homes
Feb 18 Sabine Parish Master Gardeners Down and Dirty Garden Seminar http://apps.lsuagcenter.com/calendar/default.aspx?id=78EC15B2-ABEC-40B8-BA7E-9009633C71D8
Feb 19 Camellia Stroll Hammond
Feb 20 President’s Day
Feb 24-25 59th annual Caddo Conference, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches
Feb 25 Texas Native Plant Society Spring Symposium Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Feb 28 Mardi Gras
March 4, Madisonville Garden Show, Town Hall River Front, Madisonville
March 4 The North Central Louisiana Master Gardeners will hold their fifth annual seminar on Saturday, March 4 from 8 a.m. until noon at Lomax Hall of Louisiana Tech University, Ruston
Mar 11-12 edible plant class Allen Acres
March 11, Spring Garden Day, Hammond Research Station, Hammond
March 17-18, Northshore Garden and Plant Sale, St. Tammany Parish Fairgrounds, Covington
Mar 18 Camp Salmen Bio Inventory, and Monarch Waystation Creation, Slidell; Linda Auld, “BugLady”, at: email@example.com.
March 18-19, Baton Rouge Spring Garden Show, Parker Coliseum, LSU
Mar 17, 18, 19 Luna lookout and firefly flight. Allen Acres. Dark to early morning.
Mar 21-23 General plant id class Allen Acres
March 24-25 Southwest Louisiana Garden and Expo, Lake Charles
March 25-26 Edible plant class Allen Acres
Mar 30-Apr 1 national meeting of the Azalea Society of America in Hammond
April 1, Spring Plant Sale, Baton Rouge Botanic Garden, 7950 Independence Blvd., Baton Rouge
April 1, Good Earth Market, 112 Library Drive, Houma
April 4-6 General plant id class Allen Acres
April 7-8 Northeast LA Master Gardener’s plant sale, West Monroe Farmers Market
April 8 Cajun Prairie Society Meeting
April 8-9, Spring Garden Show, City Park, New Orleans
April 14-15 BREC Bioblitz Baton Rouge
April 16 Easter
April 17-19 wetlands plant id class (Allen Acres)
Apr 21-23 Grand Isle Birding Festival
April 21 and 23 Plant id class Grand Isle
April 22 Camp Salmen Bio Inventory and Monarch Waystation Creation, Slidell; Linda Auld, “BugLady”, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 28-29 Plant id class, Belle Chasse, http://www.woodlandsconservancy.org
April 30 ½ day edible workshop, Belle Chasse, http://www.woodlandsconservancy.org
May 2-4 general plant id class (Allen Acres)
May 6-7 Edible plant class Allen Acres
May 11 Wildflowers/Louisiana using real plants at Lafayette Parish main Library 630 pm
May 13 Camp Salmen Bio Inventory and Monarch Waystation Creation, Slidell; Linda Auld, “BugLady”, at: email@example.com.
May 19-21 Annual BBBB with Bioblitz, Allen Acres
May 23-25 Graminoid plant id class (Allen Acres)
May 27-28 General Plant id class, Nature Trail near Columbia
May 29 Memorial Day
June 6-8 General plant id class (Allen Acres)
June 10-11 Edible Plant Class Allen Acres
June 10 Camp Salmen Bio Inventory, Slidell; Linda Auld, “BugLady”, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 22-30 National Moth Week
Sept 23 Camp Salmen Bio Inventory, Slidell; Linda Auld, “BugLady”, at: email@example.com.