prolific ways of the prairie…


Summer on prairie copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Summer on prairie copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Portrait shadow on prairie copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Portrait shadow on prairie copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Awesome, open, stable, prolific, clean, diverse, and untamed. These are all words that help explain a prairie. Some have mistaken a prairie for a weed patch. This particular prairie is a restoration project, roughly five years towards maturity. The diversity of summer prairie blooms is event on this low hill, a good place to test plant identification skills. With any luck this prairie will survive for hundreds of years; dormant seeds can lie wait decades when poor conditions occur; roots grow many feet deep insuring survival during drought and fire. In addition to the plant species that make a prairie a prairie are wide open blue skies with a few wispy clouds, masking the reality of strong blowing winds animating the plants beneath.

Bee Balm copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Bee Balm copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) (which like most flowers does attract bees) was plentiful this late July evening, partly because it tends to colonize. Considered native by some naturalists and “introduced” by other, its origins are the Eastern United States and has since spread to the Midwest, providing more fuel to restoration dialogues. What time period does one choose as a restoration point when restoring “native” lands?

Full of peace, secluded, ever-changing, mature, subtle diversity, and safe. As I review these images I think reflect on my garden, perennial beds home to some native species; twenty-seven years in the making. My garden is loosely organized. Living across the street from a forest preserve I purposely chose to keep my garden casual in design. No squared off lawn edging, no crisply trimmed shrubs, no formal brick division between lawn and perennial beds. The perennials have chosen to re-seed outside of designated planned spaces, reinforcing the casual design plan.

Preserved garden by forest preserve copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Preserved garden by forest preserve copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s