Pollinator's Perspective

Category Archives: Pollinators Perspective

Outstanding In Her Field!

One of our very own, Malinda, an ecological specialist is standing amidst one of our latest prairie restoration projects.  This 5.5 acre pollinator prairie is nestled into the heart of Frontenac, Missouri.  The prairie seed mix was planted last winter, there are lots of natives germinating and starting off on the right foot.  In each new project we add some annual prairie species to add to the excitement of the transition to the new pollinator prairie.  The yellow which surrounds Malinda is the annual Plains Coreopsis.  It is a great bloomer for the first year, don’t you agree?

An Ecological Marvel

SSM St. Clare Hospital is the site of one of the nicest native Missouri prairies in the metropolitan Saint Louis area.  Who knew?  Well, employees, patients and guests certainly know about it.  It completely surrounds the campus, offering a beautiful, serene setting in the midst of a very busy urban hospital.

Twenty three acres of native grasses and wildflowers are alive and in tune with nature.  After all, these are same plants that inhabited the Missouri countryside for thousands of years – enriching the soil and nurturing our native animals and insects.  In a brief walk through the prairie, you will see switchgrass, big bluestem, indiangrass, little bluestem and many other native Missouri grasses.  And wildflowers are abundant: the orange flowering butterfly milkweed, the pink flowering swamp milkweed, baptisia, coreopsis, rudbeckias, rattlesnake master and many others.  You also will notice pollinating insects moving from plant to plant as they nourish themselves.  Goldfinches soon will be eating the plentiful coneflower seed heads and butterflies will be sipping nectar from the flowers.  Flora that grew in Missouri centuries ago have returned to reinvigorate the campus.

Our established prairie brings beauty, habitat and a place to rekindle our connection with nature.  It is sustainable and boasts a very low cost for maintenance.  It requires just one mowing per year and no irrigation, fertilizers or pesticides.

If you haven’t enjoyed our Healing Garden, please stroll by and enjoy this amazingly peaceful and beautiful setting.  Native coneflowers are incredibly abundant as are the bright yellow rudbeckias that shine like the sun.  These native wildflowers are blended in with other traditional plants to remind us of the ‘healing presence of God’, which is an important part of our SSM Mission Statement.

 

Spiderwort- did you know?

Spiderwort

Are you familiar with fantastic native of Missouri- found throughout the state in fields, roadsides hillsides – in fact almost everywhere.  The plant, Spiderwort, Tradescantia ohioensis,  is the most common of eight species native to the state.  The species freely hybridize with each other, often making them a botanist nightmare to key out with a one hundred percent certainty.  As a classic monoct flower – it is three merous in all of its purple splendor. Actually the hue of purple can range from blue, to indigo to deep violet creating a great combination for mixing with lanceleaf coreopsis for an awesome show of purple and gold.  Spiderwort is available in the horticultural industry, so they are easy to add to ones home garden.
Did you know the other members of this family?  I’ll bet you are familiar with Wandering Jew, often used for hanging baskets- watch your basket next time it flowers, you will find the 3 merous familiarity of spiderwort in each and every flower.

Wandering Jew

Why Plant a Prairie?

Prairies are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional high maintenance landscapes.  Our native flowers and grasses are stunning both as individuals and as a complete prairie plant community.  Native landscapes provide beauty, habitat, and a place to rekindle our connection with nature.

 

Prairies require no fertilizers or fungicides and few herbicides.  They create a high quality habitat for birds, butterflies, pollinators, and other beneficial wildlife.  Deep rooted prairie plants encourage infiltration of rainwater into the soil, helping to reduce stormwater runoff and flooding.

Native Landscape Solutions, Inc.  wanted to share with you a few photos of native prairie at Mercy Virtual Care, a magnificent new building in west Saint Louis County.  We planted this prairie about 18 months ago and it already is a beautiful site, featuring Coreopsis, Indian Paintbrush, Beardstongue, and many warm season grasses.  Our Ecological Specialists have been working hard to encourage growth of the good plants and diminish the growth of the bad plants.  The results?  The site looks great.  We appreciate the trust and confidence our clients place in us.

   

Which is Your Favorite Shade of Yellow?

I would imagine if I had been an art major in school, or even took some illustration classes I might be able to explain the difference between “warm” colors and “cool” ones- or pastel colors versus hot colors.  But none the less I have to admit “Yellow” is one of my favorite colors for a native landscape.  After all, yellow shows up from miles away!  I cannot possibly imagine what a field of Lanceleaf Coreopsis looks like to pollinators and birds.  In my head I think all of the Goldfinches punching in a GPS location of the blooming Coreopsis- why?  Because all Finches love Coreopsis seed!

The Missouri Primrose is an incredible native, growing in beds and bluffs,  hillsides and glades.  Its soft yellow flowers open wide and brighten any niche in which they grow.  The seed of the Primrose?  That is the worthy subject of another blog- wait till you see the pictures!

Until then,,,When the world wearies, and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the Garden.

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