How to Landscape With Prairie Flowers

Decorate your lawn or garden with soft prairie flowers to achieve beautiful pops of color throughout your outdoor spaces.

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Prairie Planting DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

The abundance of soft, textural plants in fiery, contrasting colors makes prairie-style planting very attractive and popular. The planting is informal in style with no need for staking — plant drifts of flowers that overlap and blend into one another. All the plants in this design are very attractive to bees and butterflies since they are a rich source of nectar. You will need approximately 10x10 feet (3x3 m) of space to grow these plants. These plants, which are best-suited for a meadow or an informal gravel garden, prefer free-draining and full sun.

Materials Needed:

  • 5 Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea pallida) plants
  • 5 Yellow Cone Flower (Echinacea paradoxa) plants
  • 5 Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) plants
  • 5 Dianthus (Dianthus carthusianorum) plants
  • organic compost
  • gardening rake
  • gardening hose
  • gravel mulch
  • gardening shears

Planting and Aftercare

Turn over the ground, adding organic matter to very sandy soils, and rake level. Plant in loose drifts or clusters, spacing the plants about 18 inches (45 cm) apart, but allowing the different groups to blend into each other slightly for a natural look. Give the plants a good watering, and add a layer of gravel mulch around them to help suppress weeds. Although the plants are herbaceous, wait until early spring to cut them back because they will provide seedheads for wildlife and an attractive winter structure. The plants are relatively low maintenance and shouldn't require deadheading. However, it might be worth cutting back the new growth of some of the plants in May (which is known as the Chelsea chop). This will help to extend the flowering season and will create an interesting variety of heights within the design. All the plants in this plan are perennials and will benefit from being divided every few years in the spring.

Purple Cone Flower (Echinacea pallida)

Purple Cone Flowers Offer Prairie Style PlantingEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Butterfly Milkweed Offers Prairie Style PlantingEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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