Friday, May 25, 2012

A Visit to Plano Prairie Garden

From the moment I first opened Michael's blog, PIano Prairie Garden, I was intrigued by how he turned a standard suburban front lawn into what you see here.  The beauty of his garden and his knowledge of native plants is also impressive.   Any way you look at it, there's something about a prairie garden in a Plano front yard that amazes.


As you can imagine, it's easy to spot this front yard as you turn the corner on to his street
 
 
No surprise, it's even better seeing it up close and in person.  Mr. R-O-D enjoyed this visit too as he thinks of typical lawn grass as an invasive species.  He'd much rather have a yard like this.



 
A yard full of flowers certainly stands out in the sea of typical suburban lawns, but it's also the yard with all the busy butterflies, bees, and birds in the neighborhood.


The wildlife habitat signs

 
Plenty of native plants like this Scutellaria wrightii I've been trying to coax into my garden this spring.  Here it is thriving in the hellstrip by the mailbox.


And this welcoming pathway to lead you through the flower filled front yard.
 

Michael is prepared with his plant list so he can cheerfully answer my literally hundreds of questions.

 
The stock tank of horsetail reed is here too

  
We've been visiting family in Plano for years.  Long before I began gardening seriously I was struck by the conformity of the landscaping there.  Most of the development there is 30 years old or newer and HOAs are the rule.  Michael's neighborhood doesn't have an HOA.  So much the better for those of us who enjoy this riot of native plants and flowers.

Gregg's mistflower here


Plano had water restrictions imposed last year due to the drought, so this type of landscape might be more popular in the future.



And the rarely seen backyard?  It's planted in prairie style too, although Michael plans to turn more of it into veggie gardens soon.


These tall coneflowers caught my eye


I'm definitely copying these rebar tuteurs


And these wire cages too.  Look at those onions!


The bees are definitely hard at work here.  Bee fight!


This swallowtail is resting from flower overload


Butterflies are most welcome here with milkweed and helpful sign


Many Plano neighborhoods have alleys behind the houses for the driveways and garages and Michael has planted these areas in Plano Prairie Garden style too.

The alley


The driveway


Just as we were leaving a young family out for a walk paused to enjoy the flowers.  The two boys were mesmerized by the scene as their dad pointed out butterflies and bees at work.  Dad was impressed with a yard you don't have to mow.   The oldest boy stopped in his tracks and pointed "Cactus!" he was so excited.


Yes, I agree, cactus is cool.  Perhaps he'll plant cactus in his own yard someday because of that moment.


Thank you Michael, we enjoyed meeting you and loved seeing your garden.  Well done!

20 comments:

  1. Michael's garden is a standout in every way. So glad you got to see it in person.

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    1. Great word "standout", perfect in this context.

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  2. Thanks Shirley. It was a pleasure to meet you and Mr. R-O-D. The photos are great. Thank you for the native Texas plant tag (I have to get some!) and the bluebonnet seeds. I can’t wait to have some Rock-Oak-Deer bluebonnets blooming in my prairie next spring.

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    1. It was a pleasure to meet you and experience the prairie in person. I'm glad you enjoyed the post too. We'll look for photos of those bluebonnets next spring. I've read bluebonnets can be slightly different around the state.

      I've encouraged Darla to go online with those tags. Meanwhile she can be reached at suebizcreations@yahoo.com.

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  3. Gorgeous! There is so many things to see, which is so different than a boring lawn with some shrubs. We have very little undeveloped land left in the suburbs. It is nice to see that someone has dedicated his property to nature.

    PS Hope you have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend!

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    1. Thank you Steph, it's definitely not boring.

      Hope you and your family are having a wonderful weekend too!

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  4. Well you're such a lucky lady to be able to see this beautiful garden first hand. It really is a spectacular thing, and I thank you so much for sharing your photos.

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  5. Looked like an enjoyable trip. I need to get out more myself.

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    1. You might be closer to Dallas than we are! At least it seems that way sometimes.

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  6. Very cool to see Mrs & Mr R-O-D made it there. Great variety of plants he has, for sure!

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    1. His plant list on the blog has been a good reference. It was only 15 minutes from where we stay. He might just catch me doing a drive-by in the future.

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  7. Love, love, love Michael's garden and your post. I don't understand how people would rather have grass than a prairie.

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    1. Our drought and rough weather the last few years have many people rethinking their commitment to a lawn. I've seen many changes in my own neighborhood.

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  8. So wonderful what can be done outside the limits of a HOA! I hope the man that walked by, pointing out the bees and butterflies, will incorporate some of these plantings in his own yard! How fun it must have been to meet another garden blogger in person, and to see his fabulous yard in real life.

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    1. I hope so too Holley. This was my first visit with a fellow garden blogger and it was so much fun.

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  9. Thanks for your eye-witness version of the Plano prairie yard.

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    1. My pleasure, thanks for stopping by!

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  10. That was a wonderful visit. Were the Wildlife Habitat signs for the wildlife ? Somehow I don't think they'll need them.

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    1. The wildlife have no problem figuring out where they are welcome, we were serenaded by a mockingbird for quite a while.

      From reading Michael's blog and speaking with him, my guess is the signs help keep the city from mowing down his prairie at the request of neighbors and sending him the bill.

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