Home Prairie and Wetland Center
16245 South Hwy. 71
Belton, MO 64012
Tel: (816) 331-9738
Fax: (816) 331-9739

Native Containers for Every Season

Category: Residential

Location: Kingsville, Missouri
Designed By: Alan Branhagen
Powell Gardens,
Landscape Design Overview:
Alan Branhagen uses easy-care native wildflowers and grasses to create beautiful containers or raised beds throughout the year.


"These small gardens are a perfect way to use natives when space is at a premium or to try out a native species before planting it in a border. Plants can be changed out as the seasons progress. Move matured plants to your garden where the colorful flowers will continue to attract both butterflies and hummingbirds."
-Alan Branhagen


You will need a large, weather-proof container, approximately 24-36" in diameter to create Alan's native containers. Be sure the container has an opening to allow drainage. Use any good container soil. Fertilization is not necessary, but you can use a slow-release fertilizer if desired. Keep container evenly moist but not wet. Deadhead plants to prolong blooming.

Early Season:

Centerpiece, use a trio of blooming size Golden Alexanders (Zizea aurea), or a specimen White Wild Indigo (Baptisia bracteata/leucophaea).

Space three June Grass (Koeleria micrantha)around "centerpiece" plant.

Add three Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), one between each June Grass.

Tuck three additional plants such as Blue-eyed-Grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium), Pussytoes (Antennaria spp.)and Rose Verbena (Glandularia canadensis) to spill over the edges.


Summer Prairie-esque:

Centerpiece of Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepus)--one large or 3 small plants.

Space three, blooming size Pale Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea pallida) around the centerpiece.

Add three Prairie / Fall Glade Onion (Allium stellatum), one each between Pale Purple Coneflowers.

Tuck in small plants of 'Silver Blade' Primrose--the everblooming selection of Missouri Primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa ssp. incana 'Silver Blade') and Purple Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe involucrata), both to spill over edges.


Part Shade or Woodland:

Centerpiece of Wild Clematis (Clematis versicolor) on your favorite trellis. If you do not want to use a trellis, a Downy Skullcap (Scutellaria incana) would also work.

Surround centerpiece with three, large River Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium).

Between River Oats, add Bee Balm (Monarda bradburiana) or clumps of Solomon's Plume (Smilacina racemosa) or Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum
biflorum).

Tuck in a few Wild Sedum (Sedum ternatum) and Barren Strawberry (Waldsteinia fragaroides) to spill over the edges -- could also use the non-native 'Goldilocks' Moneywort (Lysimachia nummullaria 'Goldilocks').