Monday, August 11, 2014

Native Plant Gardens in Lincoln

Last month I showed you images around the Pioneers Park Nature Center and prairie. Now I've got three more locations that show various degrees of design intent, from more formal to utilitarian to semi natural. It's hard to find these places around town, so if you know of any private or public gardens featuring a significant percentage of native plants, please contact me.

First up is Union Plaza just east of downtown and off of O Street. I've been critical of the park before, and in many ways I still am. However, several groupings of plants are now maturing and it's good to look at them as inspirational examples.

You'll find this mid summer vista on the northeast corner of 21st and Q. This combo of Rudbeckia and the blue grama cultivar blonde ambition is a standout in the raised planting bed.

In the same raised planting area is the silvery-white rattlensake master. It was covered with insects until I spooked them away, but it is a great pollinator plant and very adaptable. Following are additional images of Union Plaza:

Northeast of the previous images is a new "meadow" area going in.
You can't miss Colossus north of 21st and P.
Wine cup makes a nice ground cover.
Ducks in the stream looking for bread crumb handouts.
Next up is the rain garden at Fireworks Restaurant at South 84th and Old Cheney Road. This garden filters runoff from the parking lot and is filled with native grasses, wildflowers, and shrubs. It's a very long space that curves with the adjacent bike trail -- just a very pleasant area. Stop by here in late September into early October for the fall show.

Monarda fistulosa and grey-headed coneflowers.
Monarda, cones, and joe pye weed.
Button bush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) full of insects!
Finally, and new to me, is Tyrrell Park at North 67th and Baldwin. I was late for the mid summer flower show, but I still took pics. The entire area serves as a massive rain garden -- and I mean massive. Posted throughout are signs with some cool info on the park, the plants, wildlife, rocks, and why prairie matters. Pretty neat to see.

So again, if you know of other areas in or around Lincoln please let me know. I'd especially like to see more formally design spaces, like homes or businesses, using native plants in many aesthetic ways (i.e. they aren't "weedy").

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