Prairie-Style Gardens: Capturing the Essence of the American Prairie Wherever You Live

Overview

With its unique blend of grasses and sturdy perennials, the North American prairie is one of the world’s richest and most beautiful biotopes. It’s also one of the most endangered—only a tiny fraction remains of the millions of pristine acres that once stretched from horizon to horizon. Fortunately, you can re-create some of this diversity at home and enjoy these fascinating plant communities up close. You don’t need to have endless acres at your disposal—you can have an ...

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Overview

With its unique blend of grasses and sturdy perennials, the North American prairie is one of the world’s richest and most beautiful biotopes. It’s also one of the most endangered—only a tiny fraction remains of the millions of pristine acres that once stretched from horizon to horizon. Fortunately, you can re-create some of this diversity at home and enjoy these fascinating plant communities up close. You don’t need to have endless acres at your disposal—you can have an authentic prairie garden on a city or suburban lot.

And you don’t even have to live on the Great Plains: prairie plants are practical choices for any landscape situation that has good drainage and full sun, whether in New England or the desert Southwest. Moreover, with their modest water needs, prairie plants make a great substitute for water-hungry lawns. And at a time when wildlife habitats are under increasing pressure from development, their flowers and foliage provide food and shelter for birds and beneficial insects.

Eminently practical, Prairie-Style Gardens shows you how to use prairie plants in a wide variety of situations, from including a few prairie plants in an existing landscape to creating a full-fledged habitat garden. Especially useful is the author’s advice on how to make prairie plants work in a typical urban or suburban setting, where it isn’t easy to deviate from the local norm. A comprehensive plant profiles section helps you choose which plants will look best and thrive in your particular situation. Each plant entry includes detailed information on size, native habitats, site requirements, hardiness, appropriate landscape uses, care, companion plants, and available cultivars.

Anyone can have a prairie—this book tells you how to do it.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

Native plant specialist Steiner (the Landscaping with Native Plants of series) explains how to capture the essence of the prairie in any landscape in this accessible, attractive, and comprehensive guide. The American prairie is unique to North America and integral to the balance of an ecosystem that includes plants, bees, butterflies, and essential microscopic organisms, and Steiner defines the differences in prairie ecosystems and offers in-depth descriptions of their plant populations. She guides readers through creating both large-scale prairies ecosystems and prairie plants on small urban lots that adhere to zoning codes. The book is lavishly illustrated, containing a treasure of prairie flowers and grasses, common and scientific names, growth habits, silting needs, maintenance, companion uses, and other helpful information. The usual climate zone map and sourcing aids complete a valuable book certain to attract eco-minded gardeners.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Minneapolis Star Tribune
”A practical guide that focuses on the native grasses and perennials that do best in a back yard.”
Quill & Trowel
“Especially useful is the author’s advice on how to make prairie plants work in a typical urban or suburban setting.”
Library Journal
Gardeners will find this well-illustrated book a manageable introduction to incorporating native plants and prairie-style features into their gardens. Steiner (contributor, Northern Gardener; Landscaping with Native Plants of Wisconsin) encourages all gardeners to incorporate as many native plants as possible into their gardening, but he is realistic about the amount of work required for a large-scale restoration. This book is aimed at anyone creating less than a quarter-acre of prairie-style garden, but it offers suggestions for additional reading and lists online databases for further research. The book begins with an introduction to all types of prairies, though the focus is generally on tall-grass prairies. Practical information includes the steps required to create a prairie-style garden and how to incorporate prairie plants into other types of garden landscapes. Particularly helpful is a section on how to introduce prairie-style gardens to wary neighbors. VERDICT A friendly and accessible guide to creating a natural prairie-style garden that will be most useful to city or suburban gardeners in the American Midwest.—Margaret Heller, Chicago
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604690033
  • Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/13/2010
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 697,366
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Lynn M. Steiner has been a professional garden writer since 1987, focusing her writing since 2003 on native plants and how to bring them into home landscapes. She is the author of several articles and three books about landscaping with native plants in the Midwest, and is a regular contributor to Northern Gardener magazine. As a popular speaker, she travels extensively in the Midwest, visiting natural areas, native plant landscapes, and botanical gardens.

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