To start our new club year we were treated to a talk by Robin Pearce. Four years after retiring from the nursery trade Robin finds himself busy writing, giving talks and judging, including at this months Chelsea Flower Show.
Robin talked about creating a prairie garden in our back yards saying that lots of American natives blend well with our garden perennials, adding that we were probably familiar with several, such as Echinacea, Sanguisorba, Calamagrostis and Helenium.
Robin advised us that by providing a weed free, humus rich, moderately fertile site in full sun we could achieve a low maintenance, no staking, spraying or watering garden. To make it look natural he suggested choosing plants for a long season of interest, limiting the use of cultivars and species but repeating them, planting in drifts and curves and using winding paths.
Robin took us through some prairie plants, from the short and tall grassland areas to those at their woodland edges informing us of their height, suitability to our soil, health and vigour.
As well as looking beautiful, Robin said this style of garden would attract bees, butterflies and birds. Well worth trying a border or two.