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Nice article. Of course, I would love to have a lot more detail including resources for researching this aspect of plants that one seldom, if ever, find on the tags in the nursery or the description in catalogs.

I am particularly interested in the plants in photo 1. Could you give me some information on what plants are used and why?

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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Alice -- You'll have to contact the design firm (watermarked on the image) and see if they know the plants. As for researching individual plant root habits, nothing beats a Google search of the plants Latin name. You'll find a plethora of sources. Whenever I research plants I look at several sites, not just one, in the hopes of getting a more thorough and well-rounded perspective. Generally, universities, botanic gardens, the USDA, and more scientific orgs will provide you with the most accurate information. For me in the tallgrass prairie region, there are also several books out there.

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I live in a rural sub-division on a one-acre lot in zone 8b. My yard is native grass and forbs. In order to preserve the natives, I have to limit mowing to two to three times a year. Of course, I mow close to the house, so it's easier to walk. For the majority of the yard, I will mow in late February to control the winter grasses. I won't mow again until late July or early August after wildflowers have finished seeding out. Sometimes I mow again in winter. Those who mow regularly destroy many rare and beautiful plants. Sadly, most are not even aware of the destruction.

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