Welcome to my prairie!
What is a prairie? There are several definitions, depending on where in the world you are. Most all have grasses and wildflowers, but some have shrubs or even short palms (palmettos) if you are in a warm climate. Prairies have very few or no trees and are important wildlife habitats for a number of reasons. Birds, migratory birds in particular, forage for food, nest and rest in them. Butterflies, bees and many other important bugs that pollenate our flowers and food crops live and reproduce in them. And they have a unique beauty all their own.
Where I live in metropolitan West Palm Beach, nearly all of the native vegetation has been cleared away to build our homes, shopping plazas and roads to access them. With this conversion from natural lands to cityscape, there has been a catastrophic decline in habitat for wildlife. Although government programs try to purchase remaining lands and encourage native landscapes, all I really have control over is just my one backyard. How can this help?
Instead of planting a lawn in my backyard, I set aside a portion for wildlife habitat and my choice was prairie. Because I have such a hot and dry site, I needed to be careful to select plants that thrived in these conditions and were not invasive or noxious weeds. All plants in my prairie have a single and foremost purpose- it must be an important plant for wildlife. Specific plants and flowers provide food for migratory and resident birds, some are good habitat for butterflies and bees and grasshoppers and katydids. I am fortunate that it is also beautiful to my eye.
LINKS TO MORE INFORMATION, PICTURES AND ARTICLES:
Click here to take a photographic journey through some of the plants and visitors to my vegetable and prairie gardens.
Click here to access my archives of past articles about our native plants, wildlife-friendly gardening and other topics to help expand your enjoyment of the outdoors. These are in PDF formats suitable for downloading, printing or adding to your Kindle, Nook or other electronic tablets or readers.
Click here to see a list of some of the wildlife I have seen in my prairie and backyard over the past several years.
Please click on this link below to read more about my prairie garden: