Prairie-style gardens: Resources on native plants

Creating prairie-style gardens requires some knowledge of the plant communities. Here are links to books and that provide good information about native North American plants for this kind of planting.

A successful meadow planting increases biodiversity and attracts birds and butterflies. Remember that to grow these plants, you need a sunny, open site.

Books on prairie-style gardening

GARDENING WITH PRAIRIE PLANTS: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes by Sally Wasowski with photography by Andy Wasowski (University of Minnesota Press, 2002) Whether you are interested in adding more native plants to a conventional garden, or thinking about going native all the way, this is about the most comprehensive guide book available on creating authentic prairie meadow gardens.

Gardening with Prairie Plants includes information on planning and planting a prairie-inspired garden for both large and small home landscapes, showing examples of real-life prairie style gardens in typical city and suburban settings.

A comprehensive listing of plants – with color photos – includes growing conditions for more than 300 species, maps showing where these plants grow natively, and information on how to select flowers by season to ensure continuous bloom, attract birds and butterflies, and how to maintain a prairie garden.

GROW WILD! Low-Maintenance, Sure-Success, Distinctive Gardening With Native Plants by Lorraine Johnson, with photography by Andrew Leyerle (Fulcrum Publishing, June 2003)

This celebration of native plant gardening is written from a Canadian perspective for gardeners from the northeast, the prairies and the northwest, and includes gardens in both the United States and Canada.

Although not as comprehensive as the Wasowski book, it’s a good introduction for gardeners new to the topic of gardening with native plants.

A chapter on the prairies offers an overview of prairie gardening and recommended plants, and a chapter on planning and planting gets into the nuts and bolts for gardeners.

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