Prairie On Blog!

Around OPN

July 28, 2014

It's full swing this time of year at Ohio Prairie Nursery. Native wildflowers are in bloom, grasses are swaying in the breeze and pollinators are crowding plants foraging for food. The excitement the birds, bees, butterflies and other creatures must feel is palpable, and we pick up the camera almost daily to try and capture it. Take a virtual stroll with us and as you view the pictures remember "If you plant it, they will come!" Our first stop is our vast prairie area or a meadow if you like. Prairies are designed to bloom all season long. Everything pictured today is considered a mid-season bloom.

It wouldn't be complete without a visit to our field of Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca).  It buzzes with activity all day long. And we mean buzzes....you can hear the sounds as you approach and the sweet smell hits you as you get even closer. It's a hotbed of activity here and these pictures are the evidence.

As you can see, the Monarch caterpillar let us get a pic, but the butterflies are too busy to pose for our camera. We'll catch 'em! Want this kind of entertainment for your yard? Our Milkweed Madness has seven different species of Milkweed! They won't be able to resist!

We can't forget about our grasses. They make up over 70% of any prairie planting and add structure, beauty and habitat. Switch Grass is a native perennial warm season grass and is beautiful in clumps or as part of a prairie.

Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) is a like a lavender firework shooting up among a green sky. It's beauty is obvious, but when you rub a leaf it produces a pleasant minty scent! The seed heads are also particularly fragrant. No wonder bees love it!

Last, but definitely not least, Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum) is a giant among native wildflowers and a favorite at OPN. Close to 8 feet tall, the leaves are shaped like a cup and allow birds and their friends to perch and take a drink after it rains. Sunny yellow flowers are a magnet for pollinators and it makes a fun addition to any prairie or landscape.

The best part of all of this? You can have it too! Imagine your yard as a walk through oasis where you listen to birds chirping, watch for colorful butterflies and provide pollinators a perfect place to land. Visit Ohio Prairie Nursery where you can find all of these species available for sale as well as native seed mixes. Not sure where to start? Ask the Prairie Guys and we'll recommend the best products for your landscape. Look for a post on late season blooms soon and remember.....Prairie On!

We had to look upwards to take this pic!
Bright, Happy Blooms
Stout stocks hold the cup shaped leaves. Take a peek after it rains to see how much water it can actually hold!
A Field of Common Milkweed
Milkweed Beetles
Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly
Bumblebees love Common Milkweed almost as much as butterflies do!
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly and a bee share a snack
A mature, diverse prairie planting with hints of Black-eyed Susans, Wild Bergamot and Butterfly Milkweed