Prairie Wildflower Garden at Jack Darling Memorial Park

Site Preparation: Summer 2013 | Garden Installation: September 2013

Visit the Prairie Wildflower Garden to learn what prairie wildflowers you can grow when gardening or landscaping in sandy soils in south Mississauga.

Prairie wildflower garden site preparation in progress - July 2013

Prairie wildflower garden site preparation in progress, July 2013.

Inspired by tallgrass prairie, the Prairie Wildflower Garden at Jack Darling Memorial Park showcases many of the plants that grow in tallgrass prairies by placing them in a garden setting. Tallgrass prairie is a distinct ecosystem mainly comprised of tall grasses and wildflowers that used to grow naturally in many locations in Southern Ontario.

Grouping several of the same plants together can create stunning masses of colour when they are in bloom and combining certain plants together can add contrast or successive blooms through the growing season. Use this garden to discover what to plant in your yard and look for those plants at your local nursery.

Incorporating prairie wildflowers into your garden is not only attractive; it also benefits nature by providing a food source and home for birds, butterflies and other pollinators.

Watch for these wildflowers in the garden – or plant them in your own yard.

Wild Bergamot

Wild Bergamot, Monarda fistulosa

Wild Bergamot blooms a soft mauve in July and attracts many pollinators, including butterflies. Due to its height, plant it toward the back of the garden or against a building or fence. Will also grow in clay soils.

Butterfly Milkweed

Butterfly MilkweedAsclepias tuberosa

The bright orange of Butterfly Milkweed shouts, “Summer!” to both passers-by and to Monarch butterflies that use it as a host plant. Plant it in front of Wild Bergamot or beside Wild Lupines for stunning contrasting colours. Will also grow in most clay soils.

Wild LupineWild LupineLupinus perennis

The unmistakeable purple spikes of Wild Lupines emerge in late May and last until July. A striking prairie wildflower, Wild Lupine improves the soil and stands out beautifully next to Butterfly Milkweed or in front of grasses such as Prairie Cord Grass. Plant in sandy soils.

Black Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta

Black-eyed Susans are easy to grow and provide brilliant yellow colour from mid-July until September. Plant several in a mass against a house, or along a driveway, walkway or entrance. Will also grow in clay soils.

New England Aster with Monarch Butterfly

New England Aster, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

Asters are late season bloomers that never look tired. Blooming in August to September, New England Aster looks amazing with contrasting Black-eyed Susans, or placed in front of Wild Bergamot to begin blooming just after the Bergamot finishes. Will also grow in clay soils.

Interested in these plants? Print this page and take it with you to the nursery.

While you are at Jack Darling Memorial Park, wander up to the north-east corner of the park for a look at the tallgrass prairie covering the landscape. After discovering several prairie plants growing naturally in the park, the City of Mississauga planted this area to mimic a tallgrass prairie landscape. It is maintained as a natural area within the park and provides inspiration for the Prairie Wildflower Garden.

Jack Darling Memorial Park is located in south Mississauga between Lakeshore Rd. W. and Lake Ontario. (map)

The Prairie Wildflower Garden is a joint project between Credit Valley Conservation and The City of Mississauga.
Additional funding for this project was generously supplied by the David Suzuki Foundation.

CVC Logo              City of Mississauga Logo            David Suzuki Foundation

For more information please contact Melanie Kramer, Program Coordinator, Residential Outreach: mkramer@creditvalleyca.ca

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