Come hear a talk about making a pocket prairie

Garden Spark’s first speaker of Season 7 is John Hart Asher, a prairie-garden evangelist who’ll tell us why and how to make a pocket prairie.… Read More

The post Come hear a talk about making a pocket prairie appeared first on Digging.

July 17, 2023

Central Texas gardeners, let’s gather together for a new season of Garden Spark talks starting on August 24th! It’ll give you something to look forward to in the midst of this heat wave to end all heat waves, and you’ll learn from experts in the Austin gardening community.

The first speaker for the 7th season of Garden Spark is John Hart Asher, a prairie/meadow-garden evangelist and principal of ecological restoration firm Blackland Collaborative. He’ll be speaking about pocket prairies: why they’re important, how they can fit into any size garden, and how to make one. John Hart has a passion for prairies and the pollinators and other wildlife that depend on them. Come learn more from him!

Tickets are on sale now, but only a handful of seats remain (tickets went on sale to subscribers first), so grab yours today:  Use password bison to access tickets.

Join my email list if you’d like to be notified early for future talks; send me an email with Subscribe in the subject line.

Pocket Prairies: Creating Biodiverse Landscapes While Saving the World

Ecological restoration is no longer a nicety. It’s a necessity. We all love wildflowers in the wild, but shouldn’t we demand to see those same species surrounding our homes and throughout our cities? In this talk John Hart Asher shows how to design and install a “pocket prairie” with a diverse mix of native grasses and flowers. Pocket prairies reconnect us with nature, provide vital habitat for pollinators and other native species, and improve the landscape’s ability to heal our world. By installing your own pocket prairie, you’ll find out pretty quickly that you’re also restoring a part of yourself.

Speaker Bio

John Hart Asher has over 13 years of experience designing and building natural ecosystems in urban environments. At Blackland Collaborative, his ecological restoration firm, John Hart works with engineers, architects, landscape architects, and developers to integrate sustainable landscape designs, practices, and philosophies into projects. He also aims to improve the performance of green roofs in semi-arid, subtropical climates and has helped design and build numerous native-prairie green roofs all over the state of Texas, including for Austin’s Edgeland House, which was featured in Dwell and Texas Architect and won several awards. Current projects include restoration of a tallgrass prairie in an urban riparian corridor; green roof research and implementation; and water conservation, soil remediation, and green infrastructure.

John Hart holds a bachelor’s in history from the University of Mississippi and a master’s in landscape architecture from the University of Texas at Austin, which awarded him a President’s Outstanding Staff Award in April 2018. Since 2019 he’s also hosted the nationally syndicated PBS show Central Texas Gardener. You can bet he has a pocket prairie in his own yard. Follow John Hart on Instagram.


John Hart will speak on Thursday, August 24th at 8 pm. The approximately 1-hour talk with Q&A will be held at Barton Springs Nursery. Seating will be in their outdoor classroom. In the event of rain, seating will be in the event barn.


Ticket price is $35.50, plus a small fee that goes to the ticket-processing website. I’ll open additional seats the week of the talk if the weather forecast looks good (more seating is available outside than inside). If you find the first round of tickets is sold out, please email me to be added to the waitlist. There’s a chance additional seats will open later.

Refund Policy

Tickets are nonrefundable. Your attendance helps cover a fair speaking fee for our presenters and other expenses, and collectively we’re able to bring talented design thinkers to speak to us.

Thank You to Our Sponsor!

The 2023-24 season of Garden Spark is sponsored by Barton Springs Nursery, which has been serving the needs of Central Texas gardeners since 1986 by offering one of the best selections of native and well-adapted plants for this area.

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!


Digging Deeper

Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance; simply click this link and ask to be added. The Season 7 lineup can be found here.

All material © 2023 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Come hear a talk about making a pocket prairie appeared first on Digging.

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