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
Softcover $29.95
ISBN 0-8166-3087-9

A growing number of homeowners and developers are also recognizing prairie as a practical alternative to the conventional and boring lawn-centered landscape.


<<  Designing Prairie Gardens,  p.87


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 garden."

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."

Floyd Swink
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

" 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 

*Available at your local bookstore.

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