5 useful tips for creating prairie-style planting

Landscape archtect Petra Pelz own garden is a magical mix of structural grasses and a limited mix of colourful perennials

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Prairie-style garden inspiration
Grasses, especially Miscanthus and Hakonechloa, feature prominently in Petra Pelz's garden, providing both the informal structure and the movement Petra loves. “They sway with the slightest of breezes,” she says, “giving an impression of lightness and playfulness. And they give each area of the garden the distinct character I’m looking for.”

 

Petra’s tips for prairie-style planting

1 Foliage is more important than unusual flowers. When choosing plants, focus on those that have consistently beautiful and healthy leaves.

2 Use evergreen plants to provide structure. These don’t need to be formally trimmed; even left to grow freely they will bring order to the planting, while flowering perennials and grasses create the necessary dynamics.

3 Use grasses to create a clear focal point. Petra uses both the tall Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’ and the low growing but striking Hakonechloa macra to frame her flowers combinations.

4 Focus on a few, hardy and expressive types of plant. Petra combines these in large groups to form a thick carpet of plants and create a clear design. This also makes the subsequent maintenance easier.

5 Use hardy plants to form flowering islands. Among the plants Petra uses alongside her grasses are Echinacea purpurea, Agastache rugosa, Verbena bonariensis, Persicaria amplexicaulis and Kalimeris incisa.

 

• This feature appears in full in the October 2014 issue (214), written by Michael Breckwoldt with pictures by Sabrina Rothe.
You can find out more about Petra Pelz's work at la-pelz.de

 

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