Gardening with Prairie Plants
How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes
By Sally Wasowski
Photography by Andy Wasowski
University of Minnesota Press 2002
386 pages 258 color photos
Regional and seasonal charts, and plant distribution maps
A growing number of homeowners
and developers are also recognizing prairie as a practical
alternative to the conventional and boring lawn-centered
<< Designing Prairie
The beauty and hardiness of prairie
flowers, grasses, trees, and shrubs, along with their easy maintenance
and environmental friendliness, have spurred a surge of interest in
prairie gardens among home gardeners, professional horticulturists, and
landscape preservationists alike. Whether you are planning to add these
plants to a more conventional landscape or intending to "go
native" all the way, Gardening with Prairie Plants is the most
comprehensive resource and guide available.
(excerpt from Chapter 4 "Using Preserved and
Replicated Prairies as Models")
"Andy wanted to take a photo of me standing
in the prairie to show its height. At first I was apprehensive about walking
in where I could see no more than 3 inches in front of my face. It was
actually OK – better than OK. There was far more room in the prairie than I
had expected, and the soil under my feet was clean and bare. The stems and
leaves did not grab me, not even those of the little bluestem, which was only
half as tall as the big bluestem, eastern gamagrass, rosinweed, and wild
bergamot. The temperature was cooler and more pleasant inside the prairie, and
the scents that surrounded me were live green things and the fresh mintiness of
wild bergamot. It was also unexpectedly quiet, except for the buzzing of bees. Just
eight steps into the prairie and I was in a private, sheltered world."
Over 99 percent of our native
prairies have been plowed under or developed over! Happily,
there is an exciting reawakening to the beauty and
practicality of prairie as a national treasure, and
environmental groups are restoring tallgrass and shortgrass
prairies from Central Canada down into Texas, from the Rocky
Mountains to the Mississippi River.
"Though the word prairie evokes
images of vast, windswept plains, Sally Wasowski skillfully demonstrates
that no yard is too small for a patch of native wildflowers. This lavish
book takes us on a tour of native prairies and prairie gardens to show
how easy it is to plant and maintain your own beautiful prairie
Colston Burrell, award-winning author of
A Gardener’s Encyclopedia of Wildflowers.
"This book will
be an anchor for prairie enthusiasts for years to come."
Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois
"Most gardening books could be classified as informative, educational and instructive. But rarely could one be regarded as a page-turner.
Gardening with Prairie Plants is such a pleasure to read that I had a hard time putting it down."
Botanical Research Institute of Texas
"For new prairie gardeners, the Wasowskis have performed a valuable service by assembling the basics into one book."
Star-Tribune, Minneapolis-St Paul Star-Tribune
"...one of the best gardening books I've ever read...Everything -- and I do mean everything --you need to know about prairie gardening is here
in this luscious and inspiring book." Lorraine Johnson, Wildflower Magazine
at your local bookstore.