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I work in the retail store at PRI’s main headquarters location in Princeton, MN. I think the most rewarding part of my job is seeing and hearing the excitement and enthusiasm in the customers’ eyes and voices as they talk about their existing native landscapes. They rave about how interesting and beautiful they are and how glad they are that they decided to “go native.” Then there are the new customers who are very stoked about beginning their new project and what a difference they are going to be...

Showy Penstemon – A Favorite

Over the years I’ve been asked dozens of times what my favorite prairie species is. The answer is Penstemon grandiflorus, commonly known as Showy penstemon. I can’t definitively say why I answer the question this way but I do. Maybe it’s because of the early season bloom in late May and early June. It could be the color, as this one is vibrant and easy to pick out. The waxy blueish-green foliage really jumps out at you as...

Bringing People Together With The Land

As an employee of PRI for over two years now, I have heard and seen our slogan, “bringing people together with the land” many times. Not only is it catchy and on the bottom of all of my email signatures, but it is also rather fitting for a company like ours. I have never really stopped to think about it until the other day while I was working in my own little prairie at home. Last year, my wife and I decided to replace a small flower bed in the middle of...

Greetings From The Scandia Store

As we turn from the unusual spring into seemingly summer this week, nature sure keeps us on our toes! If you are one of the fortunate who is heading up to the lake and are tired of mowing at home and at your cabin retreat, stop into one of our stores to get some ideas on how to make that a thing of the past. There are a lot great shrubs, plants and grasses that can help you achieve a beautiful landscape that is low maintenance. There are many benefits to adding...

Spring Is A Busy Time At PRI

My name is Aaron Soltau and I am a project manager with Prairie Restorations Inc. What can I say, spring is finally here! Now that the weather has turned, PRI crews are out in full force working on projects across the region. This includes the installation of new projects and taking care of (managing) existing ones. Personally, I have been very busy with mowings, prescribed burning and seeding CRP projects. Throughout the upcoming season I will have the opportunity to work with many wonderful people on dozens of...

Spring Ephemerals From North Carolina to Minnesota

I recently returned from a trip to Great Smoky Mountain National Park. While my sister was busy looking for old cemeteries, I was excited about seeing the spring flowers in bloom. They did not disappoint. We found many species that are the same, or similar, to those we have here, including geranium, spring beauty, four species of trillium, bloodroot, bishop’s cap, phlox, and wild ginger. Showy orchids (Galearis spectabilis) were abundant, and we happened upon a colony of pink ladyslipper (Cypripedium acaule). On our last walk of the trip, my sister found a lone fire...

Pasque Flower Means Spring to Us

I will know that Old Man Winter is gone when I see this early bloomer right outside our main office door at Prairie Restorations, Inc. The Pasque flower (Anemone patens) is one of my favorites. Perhaps because I know that warmer temperatures and an abundance of blooms are right around the corner. Let’s all hope that this weekend’s storm will truly be winter’s last hurrah and soon we will all be enjoying our overdue spring! Cathy Wiitala Administrative Assistant Princeton ...

Timber Stand Improvement (TSI)

Timber stand improvement is a forest management practice designed to improve the quality of a woodland. One aspect of TSI is an approach called release cutting. Release cutting involves thinning or “culling” less desirable trees to release “reserve” trees. Release cutting is typically a very cost effective method, in that the culled trees can be cut and then left on site to naturally decompose. One project we’re working on, the reserve trees include spruce, white pine, bur oak and red pine. ...

Native Grasses & Pollinators

When you think of the relationship between pollinators and native plants you usually think about wildflowers. First, you probably picture a tall, fragrant, flowering common milkweed with monarch caterpillars munching away at the foliage. Maybe you think of a busy bee buzzing back and forth between a stand of fragrant giant hyssop? Do you ever picture native grasses? If not, it might interest you to know that native grasses are just as important to pollinators as wildflowers are! Native grasses provide benefits like food and shelter to a multitude of butterfly and...

Not As Famous, But Still Problematic

While the calendar may say it’s April, Mother Nature decided that in Minnesota, it still feels like January! What better time to discuss a lesser known but still problematic issue of our beautiful woods, non-native honeysuckles. While there are many common names for Eurasian species of honeysuckles, Bell’s, Morrow’s, Tartarian, and Amur honeysuckles are MDA restricted noxious weeds here in Minnesota. They differ from our native bush honeysuckle, Diervilla lonicera, by having an egg shaped leaf that comes to a point,...