Prairie Ridge Ecostation

Nature Neighborhood Garden

Nature Neighborhood Garden at Prairie Ridge Ecostation

A visitor enjoys the garden at Prairie Ridge

The NC Museum of Natural Sciences welcomes you to visit the Nature Neighborhood Garden at their Prairie Ridge Ecostation, a place for wildlife and learning. The Nature Neighborhood garden features sun-loving NC native plants attractive to both wildlife and humans. The garden also features a water-harvesting, green-roofed pavilion, a dry streambed that directs runoff to a rain garden, two small bog gardens, and an above-ground pond. It is a magical and peaceful place to visit throughout the year and enjoy three seasons of flowers along with a myriad of colorful insects and birds.

What is a nature neighborhood garden?

Nature neighborhoods are areas such as residential backyards, school grounds, or environmental education centers that are enhanced to attract wildlife and to provide for their needs. Additionally, this garden serves as an outdoor teaching site for students, as a demonstration and learning area for homeowners, and as a research laboratory where we can experiment and demonstrate ways to raise native plants, attract wildlife, and provide enjoyment and learning opportunities.

The garden currently features many of the following species of plants suitable for your yard:

Aristolochia tomentosa  Wooly Pipevine 
Asclepias lanceolata  Few Flower Milkweed 
Asclepias tuberosa  Butterflyweed   
Asimina tribola   Paw Paw
Baptisia australis   Blue Wild Indigo  
Bignonia capreolata  Crossvine 
Cephalanthus occidentalis Buttonbush
Ceratophyllum demersum  Coontail
Chrysogonum virginianum  Green and Gold   
Coreopsis lanceolata  Lance Leaved Tickseed 
Coreopsis major   Greater Tickseed     
Cyrilla racemiflora  Ti ti   
Echinacea purpurea  Purple Coneflower    
Eryngium integrifolium  Blueflower Eryngo 
Eryngium yuccifolium  Button Snakeroot  
Euonymus americana  Heart’s-a-bustin’  
Eurybia paludosa    Savanna Grass-leaf Aster 
Eutrochium fistulosum  Hollow-stem Joe-pye-weed
Foeniculum vulgare   Bronze Fennel  
Gaillardia pulchella  Blanketflower         
Gelsemium sempervirens  Carolina Jessamine 
Hamamelis virginiana   Witch Hazel
Helianthus atrorubens  Purple Disk Sunflower  
Heliopsis helianthoides  Ox Eye Sunflower 
Hibiscus coccinea  Scarlet Rose Mallow
Ilex decidua    Possum Haw 
Ilex glabra ‘Shamrock’  Inkberry Holly
Iris christata   Dwarf Crested Iris
Itea virginica    Virginia Sweetspire    
Liatris spicata   Blazing stars      
Lobelia cardinalis  Cardinal Flower  
Lobelia syphilitica  Great Blue Lobelia  
Lonicera sempervirens  Coral Honeysuckle 
Marshallia graminifolia  Grassleaf Barbara’s Buttons
Marshallia obovata var. obovata Piedmont Barbara’s Buttons 
Monarda punctata  Horse Mint     
Nymphaea odorata  White Water Lily
Nyssa sylvatica   Black Gum  
Oenothera fruticosa  Sundrops     
Osmunda regalis   Royal fern
Packera anonyma   Small’s Ragwort  
Packera aurea   Golden Ragwort
Penstemon smallii  Small's Beardtongue                                 
Phlox nivalis   Trailing Phlox  
Phlox paniculata  Fall Phlox   
Pontederia cordata  Pickerelweed
Pycnanthemum incana  Mountain Mint
Rudbeckia hirta   Black-eyed Susan    
Saracenia flava   Pitcher Plant  
Saururus cernuus  Lizard’s Tail
Scutellaria integrifolia Large Flowered Skullcap 
Solidago rugosa  Rough-leaved Goldenrod   
Stokesia laevis   Stokes aster     
Symphyotrichum grandiflorum Largeflower Aster  
Symphyotrichum oblongifolius E. Aromatic Aster   
Silphium asteriscus  Starry Rosinweed     
Silphium  asteriscus   Rosinweed  
Silphium perfoliatum  Cup Plant   
Thelypteris kunthii  Southern Shield Fern         
Tradescantia hirsuticaulis  Hairystem Spiderwort
Tradescantia virginiana  Virginia Spiderwort 
Vernonia acaulis  Stemless Ironweed   
Wisteria frutescens  American Wisteria          
Zephyranthes atamasca  Atamasco Lily  
Zigadena densus   Crow Poison

(Printable version of our plant list)

The Museum staff shares the garden with teachers, homeowners, and children of all ages during special events, programs, and workshops at Prairie Ridge. We invite you to visit the Nature Neighborhood Garden Monday–Saturday, 9 am–4:30 pm and Sunday, noon–4:30 pm throughout the year.