Some Plants for a Meadow Planting

The “meadow planting” style of gardening that is so popular now includes plants from various German breeders. Of course you can plant the original native species to help our pollinators...  Click on the links in the captions for more information.
Karl Foerster bred tall, hardy plants suited to the northern European climate.  He called grasses “Mother Nature’s hair”  and one of his best known and popular plants is the strongly vertical Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster’ (a form of feather-reed grass).
Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass

Karl Foerster feather reed grass in background. Sedum Matrona on right.
Ernst Pagels  developed new varieties of Miscanthus sinensis Piet Oudolf was a friend of Pagels and uses his plants, among others.  Pagels developed Miscanthus sinensis 'Malepartus' which looks like Pampas grass but blooms in midsummer so people in cooler climates can enjoy the bloom. 
Hoffman Nursery photo  - Miscanthus sinensis 'Malepartus'

Piet Oudolf likes the coneflower, Echinacea purpurea 'Fatal Attraction’. which has bright pink flowers held on thick, dark stems.

Echinaceas (coneflowers) are adored by butterflies and bees and thrive in cold winters.
 They require good soil but, once established, tolerate dry summers. They are easily raised from seed. Coneflowers are one of our most popular perennials.

Summer echinacea in Bressingham

A great late summer flower is Helenium 'Sahin’s Early Flowerer’.  It is one of the best native perennials for late season color!

 It displays a profusion of flowers in the sun which open deep red then develop orange and yellow streaks on the petals.  

The tall stems are excellent for cut flowers. 3 ft tall, pinch back in spring

click here for source

And to create some interest try Eryngium 'Silver Ghost' -  
Teasel-like pale green flowers, which turn to steely-blue as they mature, are surrounded silvery white bracts.  
A biennial plant, it will die after flowering in its second year, but self-seeds freely in a good spot.
source - The Teddington Gardener 

Veronicastrum virginicum 'Lavendelturm’ is used by Tom Stuart-Smith and has 6 ft, lavender-blue , upright fingers. They provide important vertical accents to contrast with fine grasses. 

Source - The Telegraph

Try some of these for a glorious summer garden!


  1. The post about the plants for prairie planting is super. I can collect and getting more information in this

  2. Or, you could use actual prairie grasses that support the larvae of butterflies, like several skipper species. And we don't know yet how cultivars of native plants work as far as pollen and nectar quality of adult pollinators, let alone what happens to leaf chemicals for the larvae. Anywho, these thoughts brought to you by a someone with a different perspective. :)

    1. Yes the Living Landscape - pollinators need all the help we can give them.

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