2021 Plant planning homestead

 Silo Garden and Entry Lane

Imagine a place to hang out under the shade of the trees,  a silo bar offering up cold beverages while people play cornhole.  This is the silo garden.  To its north end lies a patio with benches and bar stools. To its south a rounded garden of wildflowers and path leading down to a sandreed putting green.

Rough drawing of a silo with a serving window cut out. A bar and barstools sit in front of the silo.
A silo bar with stone patio and picnic table

But first:  Maintenance requires review of grading around the eastern portion of the house, and routing water to vegetation areas for restore on site. For western side, use the roof runoff? You have a series of small cistern pots along the line that then feed water into smaller drip lines buried to reduce evapotranspiration before hitting ground.   This area like others cannot be amended with compost or other organics until weeds have been reduced and seedlings have chance to compete with established growth.

Plantings in 2021 will be modest to determine viability of plant materials.  It will include both a wildflower mix and potted plants.  The two distinct planting areas will welcome the visitor with flowers from both sides of the lane and along the tear drop up to the silo garden.  These will also be interseeded with native sunflower in taller stands.

Agastache, Butterfly weed, Goldenrod create structure for a flower garden.

Stiff Goldenrod photo By: Matt Lavin via wikimedia

Agastache foeniculum photo By:  Pau Pamies Gracia from wikimedia

The praire inspiration

Silo Garden will be an area  TBD feet in diameter with a center point of shrubs reaching five feet at maturity.   In summer, the bright orange butterflyweed, purple agastache, will welcome many butterflies and bees.  Yellow goldenrod in fall provides late feed and brightens that area for three seasons.  If we can get a hedge of sand bluestem (is it orange in winter?)  the season will extend to 4.

Along the entrance way – 3 areas will be seeded for wildflowers with the best run off.

2021 Project:  Materials, Installation

  • House Grading:  priority: need to review where water flows,  grade compensation.
  • Erosion/Water Retention: CDOT Jule Straw Blanket — Silver Crown
  • Irrigation: priority: Review grading / french drain – options for  concrete; deep watering.
  • Soil Management:  priority Innoculation with good bacteria.  Compare difference between composted veg / composted manure / manure.  Would north neighbor deliver manure? do they compost it onsite?
  • Vegetation: Buffalo Brand Dryland Wildflower Mix
  • Vegetation: Prairie Nursery Plant kit 15 Native Shrubs(Butterflyweed, Agastache, Goldenrod)
  • Vegetation: Native seeds: Helianthus Annus (Annual Sunflower), Dalea Purpurea (Purple Prairie Clover), Anaphalis (PearlyEverlasting)

Eastern Grade remediation:

Where was the suggested french drain?  Determine lowest spot, measure span between various downspouts and the routes for drainage. Any opportunity to improve pathways?  Since this area provides wheelchair access, anything to be done for better accessiblity between garage and house? Or ramp?  Does ramp already have black/non-skid material on it?  Would painting the horizontal surface a dark color help solar radiation naturally melt snow?  A short breezeway between house and garage.  Even a garden gate with a shingled roof to north of the patio -> garage could reduce snow build up there. A raised path between garage and house from surrounding area would allow runoff to both the north and south sides of path.  What about black top or equivalent?

What are permeable driveways

Irrigation Plan:

  • Buried Pottery for watering the plants..  Will price out clay pots.  Compare to Thrift? Looks like you can use pots whose drainholes have been corked.
  • Recapture – french drain from east side of the house. This will need to be hired out, labor intensive. Will also need to get a utility survey out there and map these for reference.  I can call for lines to schedule.
  • Morton building? Roof water retainment.
  • Perhaps this spring, put down non-organic mulch like pea gravel around tree bases.  Provide an area around drip line for the leaves to be mulched in after being run over with mulching mower. The leaf litter can then slowly decompose in an area specific to its purpose.

Dryland Wildflower Mix  —   Type  —  Color

  1. Dwarf Cornflower   Annual   Blue
  2. Plains Coreopsis    Annual     Yellow-Maroon
  3. African Daisy Stick    Annual    White-Orange-Salmon
  4. California Poppy  Tender Perennial    Yellow-Orange
  5. Perennial Gaillardia   Perennial    Yellow-Red
  6. Annual Gaillardia      Annual   Yellow-Red
  7. Baby’s Breath  Annual    White
  8. Spurred Snapdragon Annual      Pink-Yellow-Violet
  9. Blue Flax         Perennial       Blue
  10. Corn Poppy        Annual    White-Pink-Red
  11. Rocky Mountain Penstemon Perennial    Blue
  12. Prairie Coneflower     B/P        Yellow-Red
  13. Sulfur Cosmos     Annual       Yellow-Orange-Red
  14. California Bluebell       Annual     Blue
  15. Tidy-Tips Annual        Yellow
  16. African Daisy     Annual     White-Orange-Salmon
  17. Sweet Alyssum   Tender Perennial      White

Irrigation: No additional irrigation will be provided for the flower seeded areas.  They will be flagged with something to show what areas should not be mowed at all.  All grasses should be grown to full height in these areas.

Shrub Layer in the Silo Garden

  1. Asclepias tuberosa  5 x Butterflyweed  2′ H x  18 -24″W taproot.  Planting both seed and potted plant.
  2. Agastache foeniculum 6 x Lavender Hyssop  2 – 4′ H x 1′  Fibrous root.  Planting potted plants.
  3. Solidago Rigida 6 x Stiff Goldenrod  3 – 5′ H x  1′ W  Fibrous root.
  4. Rudbeckia Hirta  3 x BlackEyed Susan


Combination of irrigation and compost/mulch to reduce the watering needs.

Buried Pottery for watering the plants..  Will price out clay pots.  Thrift? Looks like you can use pots whose drainholes have been corked.

Recapture – french drain from east side of the house; https://harvestingrainwater.com/


Future Considerations as capital improvements of the homestead:

  • Breeze path around the silo garden running back to house.  Adds stability and formality to the installation.  This creates a more impermeable barrier when properly tamped.
  • Silo Bar
  • To the south side of the path  tee off/putting greens with prarie sandreed sod.


Prairie Nursery  Colorado Native small shrubs

Product Name   Price Qty Subtotal
Butterflyweed 1/4 Oz $12.00
  • Ordered 1
Sideoats Grama 1/4 Lb $10.00
  • Ordered 1
32-Plant Custom Kit   $119.00
  • Ordered 1
5 x Black Eyed Susan      split  
5 x Butterflyweed        
5 x Butterflyweed for Clay      for Jenny’s garden  
6 x Lavender Hyssop        
5 x Nodding Pink Onion      for Jenny’s garden  
6 x Stiff Goldenrod        
Switchgrass 1/4 Lb $9.00
  • Ordered 2




Buffalo Brand Seed is an independently owned seed company specializing in alfalfas, native grasses, forage grasses, turf grasses, small grains and annual forages.  101 East 4thStreet Road Greeley, CO 80631 970.356.4710 office 970.356.1267 fax

Prairie Nursery online retailer of native plants and seeds.


1 Acre = 43560 sq feet

Calculations for seed coverage

An amateur gardener who loves to watch the garden grow.