Prairie flowers

Drifts and masses are pleasing to the eye, and they attract pollinators to our landscapes. US Fish and Wildlife Service photo.

Natural areas provide a wealth of wisdom about garden design. While we may not have prairies in western Washington, the design principles apply to our local landscapes. We can learn similar principles from our local fields and forests.

There’s a nice essay on Houzz this week about what we can learn from prairies about designing our gardens and landscapes. Here’s a summary of the main points.

  1. It’s about the long view: spaces that extend our perception of nature and wildness.
  2. Plants can thrive growing on top of each other: think different plants for different seasons.
  3. Drifts and masses please the eye and pollinators. We like repetition, and a mass of flowering plants attracts pollinators to the garden.
  4. There’s a matrix at work that serves as a necessary backdrop.
  5. Space and time are constant, even as we perceive them as chaotic and unpredictable. Prairies teach us that patience leads to deeper meaning, insight and satisfaction in our gardens and in ourselves.

You can read the entire article here. And while you’re on Houzz, check out our design portfolio.

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