As part of the relandscaping of the Harris garden in 2010 we converted many areas over to different types of plantings. This area adjoins the meadows which where sown and in between lots of naturalistic plantings. We used a technique of sowing into cultivated soil covered with 25mm of sand and then covering with jute weave to stabilise it ( go to prof James Hitchmoughs website ) As the naturalistic plantings contained many American natives, a natural ink between these areas and the meadows seemed to be a Prairie! I have been asked many times why but when it started flowering people understood. As we are a university and a botanic garden of sorts Prairie Moon nursery in the USA agreed to sell us some seed and we opted for a mixed height prairie mix. In the first instance after we sowed it a male pheasant and it’s hareem moved in for the kill and we feared all the seed was lost. However the first year (which your are supposed to cut back) we let grow and it was a sea of different kinds of Black eyed Susan’s and Prairie sage. Some short lived grasses did come through but as yet no real grasses: we think the pheasant and his crew got them!
Since then each year it has got more diverse you can see from the above it’s got good coverage and we have lots of Echinacea pallida. The plant next to it is the fantastically names Rattle snake master or Erynigium yuccifolium.
The red border is on the otherwise of the hedge and shows hybrids of native Americans Monarda and Heleniums thus further linking the whole area to the prairie. It’s all great for insects and especially bumble bees which see to be in abundance this year .