Feeling the need to pay homage to the native landscape around him, Garden Design reader Benjamin felt inspired to create an ecological and native garden at his Nebraska home. Keeping to the aesthetic of the tallgrass prairies he loves, Benjamin creates not only a native garden that looks great in all seasons, but supports the surrounding wildlife as well.
“We don’t call them ‘controlled burns,’” says Steve Glass at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, “because you can’t really control a fire, only contain it.” Fire can be a boon for meadows and prairies, improving soil quality and growing conditions for native grasses and forbs. We take a look at Longwood Gardens and a prairie managed by the U.S. Army at Fort Lewis in Washington State and why they welcome fire on their lands.
Ken Druse puts together "recipes" for your garden—whether you are looking for a Midwest prairie, a collage of trailing vines, a woodland nook, or a night-blooming palette—showing what to plant for each theme. Each garden "recipe" is captured in these beautiful images by Ellen Hoverkamp. The images are not only stunning, but practical—Druse and Hoverkamp put ground covers at the bottom, shrubs in the middle, and trees at the top.