ALHS Botanical Illustration and Garden Project

ALHS Botanical Illustration and Garden Project

A collaborative project between Blazing Star Gardens and Albert Lea High School art department in 2017. Drawing students learned about botanical illustration and garden design, culminating in a native garden installation on school grounds. The activity was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council due to a legislative appropriation from the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund. Press release from completed project

Below you will find the garden designs and links to the plant species that were planted in the garden:

Flower design for the Albert Lea High School Wildflower Garden and Botanical Illustration Project:
20170327 Flower Design - ALHS Garden

Grass design for the Albert Lea High School Wildflower Garden and Botanical Illustration Project:
20170327 Grass Design - ALHS Garden

Links to 25 of the plant species in the project:

 Buy Prairie Onion Wildflowers Minnesota Prairie Onion (Allium stellatum)

Globe-style flowers provide a nice pop of color along borders. Attracts many pollinators. The round flower heads look nice in winter, too. Deer resistant. See details

Buy Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) Wildflowers Minnesota Marsh Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

A perfect plant for wet areas such as rain gardens. Host plant for Monarch butterfly caterpillars and a favorite of pollinators of all kinds. Deer resistant. Can even handle wet clay. See details

Buy Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) Wildflowers Minnesota Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

One of the most stunning plants for dry, sunny gardens, the orange-red flowers attract butterflies and pollinators to feed on the nectar. A host plant for Monarch butterfly caterpillars. Long-lived when planted in a dry, sunny location with sand or light soil. See details

Buy New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae) Wildflowers Minnesota New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)

Every garden needs an aster for fall blooms, and this one will not disappoint. Its ability to grow in both wet and dry soils makes this one of the most popular asters, for people and pollinators. Prolific purple flowers cover the tops of tall stems. See details

Buy Aromatic Aster (Aster oblongifolius) Wildflowers MinnesotaAromatic Aster (Aster oblongifolius)

This aster is fantastic for two reasons: it’s short and it blooms very late in the fall, providing beauty and pollinator value when all other flowers are going dormant. Spreads slowly by underground roots (rhizomes), so plant in between grasses that can keep it in check. See details

 Buy Blue Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis) Wildflowers Minnesota Blue Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis)

Prolific deep blue flower spikes cover this bushy plant. Blooms early in the summer. It’s long-standing stems remain upright through the winter. See details

Buy Bottle Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii) Wildflowers Minnesota Bottle Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii)

The bottle-shaped flowers are a consistent head-turner in gardens, whether it’s the deep blue shade of their flowers, the glossy texture of their leaves, or their late summer bloom window when many other flowers are long gone. Long-lived and won’t spread. Great for rain gardens. See details

Buy Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) Wildflowers Minnesota Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Perfect for shady woodland gardens, Wild Geranium is a good groundcover with attractive foliage and lavender flowers. Spreads over time to create a blanket under the trees. See details

Buy Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum) Wildflowers Minnesota Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum)

Prairie Smoke is a favorite dry prairie flower, blooming early in the spring with red flowers that angle down like a shepherds hook when being pollinated and then raise up to let out a puff of fluffy seed tails that look like smoke. Excellent choice for borders, rock gardens, and dry sandy soils. See details

Buy Meadow Blazing Star (Liatris ligulistylis) Wildflowers Minnesota Meadow Blazing Star (Liatris ligulistylis)

The Monarch Magnet! Attracts swarms of monarch butterflies during August and September. Gets more comments, oohs-and-ahhs than any other flower. A visual reminder while that many plants are said to attract butterflies and pollinators, some are on a whole different level! Needs medium soil moisture, so mulch it well or add it to a rain garden. See details

Buy Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) Wildflowers Minnesota Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Hummingbirds love the bright red flowers on the tall stems. Very eye-catching when planted in a drift in a rain garden or other location with lots of moisture. Starts out as an inconspicuous clumped mat of leaves, and then shoots up before bursting with color. See details

Buy Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) Wildflowers Minnesota Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)

Great Blue Lobelia has a short stature and long blooming period which makes it a favorite for rain gardens with some shade or full sun. One of the few plants that can handle wet clay soils. See details

Buy Bradbury's Monarda (Monarda bradburiana) Wildflowers Minnesota Bradbury’s Monarda (Monarda bradburiana)

This little known monarda is a fantastic addition to any garden. It’s short stature and slowly spreading clumps makes it perfect for garden borders. The foliage is attractive on its own, deep green with shades of maroon and purple in spring and fall. Pretty pink flowers turn into interesting round balls after blooming, providing year-round texture and interest. See details

Buy Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata) Wildflowers Minnesota Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)

Wild Blue Phlox is a woodland plant perfect for shady gardens. The blue-to-pink flowers bloom in the spring on top of thin stems, making it a good companion for other spring blooming plants. See details

Buy Prairie Phlox (Phlox pilosa) Wildflowers Minnesota Prairie Phlox (Phlox pilosa)

Fluorescent pink flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies in late spring. A must-have for any sunny garden. When planted in a long drift, this short plant makes quite the visual impact. Great for short borders and boulevard gardens. See details

Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium reptans)

Jacob’s Ladder is a shade garden classic. Light blue flowers and vigorous, short foliage add much needed color to spring gardens. A necessity for any shady or woodland garden. See details

Buy Orange Coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida) Wildflowers Minnesota Orange Coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida)

A favorite of perennial gardens for its large, deep green leaves and almost-orange flowers. Butterflies and pollinators love it, too. Slowly spreads to form large clumps. Blooms later than most yellow flowers, making it a perfect companion for New England Aster and Bottle Gentian in rain gardens. See details

Buy Prairie Dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum) Wildflowers Minnesota Prairie Dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum)

Huge elephant-ear leaves grow in short clumps, sending giant stalks high into sky that burst with yellow flowers. A very unique plant and a welcome addition to any garden–whether it’s just one specimen plant, or a backdrop of tall stalks. Birds eat the seeds. See details

Buy Prairie Spiderwort (Tradescantia bracteata) Wildflowers Minnesota Prairie Spiderwort (Tradescantia bracteata)

Fluorescent blue flowers bloom early and often on this short spiderwort. It spreads by underground roots (rhizomes) to form small colonies on dry to medium soils. A nice addition to garden borders. See details

 Buy Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracilis) Grasses Minnesota Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracilis)

A short bushy plant with cream-colored flowers that bloom in late spring. Great for dry, sunny spots. Leaves turn black in the fall and look nice in winter. See details

 Buy Ivory Sedge (Carex eburnea) Grasses Minnesota Ivory Sedge (Carex eburnea)

One of the shortest sedges or grasses, Ivory Sedge grows only 8 inches tall. Great for planting along sidewalks, in-between stone pavers, in rock gardens, and amongst woodland flowers. Compact clumps spread slowly to create a soft groundcover. See details

 Buy Star Sedge (Carex radiata) Grasses Minnesota Star Sedge (Carex radiata)

Popular ornamental sedge that forms short clumps early in spring. Thin, bright-green leaves and star-shaped seed heads make this an appealing plant. Perfect for borders and when scattered throughout a garden, adding spring green to otherwise dormant gardens. See details

 Buy Fox Sedge (Carex vulpinoidea) Grasses Minnesota Fox Sedge (Carex vulpinoidea)

One of the best choices for rain gardens, Fox Sedge can handle temporary flooding and periods of dryness. It forms dense clumps with fine, mounding leaves. Every rain garden needs some scattered throughout. See details

 Buy Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis) Grasses Minnesota Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis)

The most ornamental of all prairie grasses, Prairie Dropseed forms dense clumps to create a mound of fine-textured leaves. The seed heads are airy and blow gracefully in the wind. The leaves mat down in the winter, providing natural mulch year after year. The seeds give off a spicy aroma that provides another sensory experience in gardens. See details