Second hottest July on record, irrigation-free landscape thriving

irrigation-free landscape, prairieform, minneapolis, landscape design, minnesota, drought, xeric, xeriscape, landscapes
A view of the irrigation-free landscape in August, looking north. Most of these plants have not been watered since June 6

We’ve held off on prematurely declaring the irrigation-free landscape a success, but thus far it has exceeded even our expectations. This July was the second hottest on record for Minneapolis, with June being particularly sweltering too. In spite of this, of the 204 plants in the irrigation-free landscape, 90% of them have not been watered since June 6. And they are thriving. A recent visitor to the landscape commented the landscape looks so full you would have no idea it was only planted less than two months ago and that most of the plants haven’t had supplemental water since early June. For more photos of how the landscape has evolved and grown, click here. Seeing is believing, though, so come by for a visit: 2853 42nd Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN.

On-site workshop for the Irrigation-Free Landscape

It’s MInnesota, it’s summer, and it’s hot and dry, yet again. Learn how to make proverbial landscape lemonade out of lemons, how to create a landscape that can beat the heat and not require a sprinkler, and come to the on-site workshop for the Irrigation-Free Landscape. Click on the photo above, then click on it again in its new window, to see the flyer. For more info, click here.

Irrigation-free: making progress

Irrigation-free landscape, with mulch laid down, bee high-rises in place

We’ve laid the limestone mulch down, the bee high-rises are in place. Now we’re just waiting for the interpretive sign to be printed out and we’ll install it and away we’ll go. The on-site workshop on the irrigation-free landscape will be held on July 28 at 11:00 a.m. The project location is at 2853 42nd Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN. For more photos and info, click here.

Chronicling the irrigation-free landscape: an introduction

Cotinus coggygria “Golden Spirit”, one of numerous plants we will be using in the irrigation-free landscape

Spring is upon us, and PRAIRIEFORM has embarked on the installation of the irrigation-free landscape, a new landscape type we have developed that merges new techniques for real drought tolerance with a tidy but wildlife-friendly aesthetic. The idea is that even when we go through stretches of drought, the landscape will be able to survive and thrive without the aid of a sprinkler.

We will be chronicling the progress of the landscape over the course of its installation, through the summer during the drought training for the plants, and up to the final watering at the end of August when we send the landscape off on its own to brave the elements that may come before it. Before we even begin the chronicling, though, we thought it might make sense to give a bit of the back story behind the landscape and why we even came up with it in the first place, and why we would even bother to go through the effort of seeking funding and drumming up support for something that is half ornamental landscape, half experiment, and the first of its kind in the state of Minnesota. The story starts in Los Angeles and ends in Minneapolis, with stops in between in Mexico and Sweden.

Next post: on Los Angeles and its inspiration for the irrigation-free landscape.

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We’re designing

From the PRAIRIEFORM design desk, work on the irrigation-free landscape continues

We’ve been hard at work designing both a site plan and a planting plan for the irrigation-free landscape pilot project in Longfellow. To follow the progress, find us on Twitter, and search #irrigationfree. Otherwise, check back here at the blog for further updates!