This is the original page announcing the 9 Natives Design Contest in 2013. Some original links on this page are no longer valid and were unlinked. Updates and more information (including a downloadable Nine Natives Booklet by Clark Condon) about the Nine Natives Program are listed at the bottom of this page.
Coastal Prairie Partnership, Katy Prairie Conservancy and HNPAT created this fun and informative process to help get you thinking about, and planting simple prairie gardens composed of just nine species of coastal prairie natives.
Step 1: Download the official 9 Natives Spreadsheet below. The spreadsheet contains 52 native species that are potential candidates for a 9 natives garden. Have fun researching the fifty species and then winnow your list down to just 9 Natives – using a maximum of four species of grasses.
Use your 9 Natives to sketch a simple garden design using the 9 Natives Design Template below. The goal is to create a simple garden that will meet the following criteria:
- Will provide visual appeal year-round.
- Will be adapted for an average moisture condition and full sun.
- Will be highly beneficial to wildlife.
- Will be comprised of species that are readily available as easy-to-germinate seed or through the nursery trade.
- Will have a high chance of persistence (not composed of species that will quickly faded away).
- Will be compatible in urban and/or suburban settings (i.e. – can’t get too tall).
What will you need?
- Microsoft Excel or online spreadsheet (e.g. Google Docs).
- Color pencils or crayons.
- A love of native environments!
STEP 2: Download and complete these materials
- Click here for 9 Natives Spreadsheet (Excel Version)
- Click here for 9 Natives Spreadsheet (Google Docs Version)
- Click here for 9 Natives Design Template
Once you’ve got your 9 Natives picked out, delete all the other species on your spreadsheet except for your 9 Natives. Then, using the design template, draw a bird’s eye view of your garden design (see template for details and example).
STEP 3: Plant your garden!
- Send us photographs of your garden – we’ll post as many as we can.
- Be sure to include any information that you think will help others!
Good online references
- NPSOT Native Plant Guide: Native Plant Guide and other native plant information at https://npsot.org/wp/houston/native-plant-info/
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – Great information including wildlife food value
Updates and more information about the Nine Natives Program:
How the Nine Natives Program evolved from its introduction in 2013:
- HNPAT blog, June 17, 2018: A Nine Natives Update to Celebrate National Pollinator Week (houstonprairie.org/2018/06/17/a-nine-natives-update/ ). Included in this blog is a downloadable copy of the Nine Natives Booklet by Clark Condon.
- HNPAT blog, October 7, 2018: Nine Natives: An Actuality!
- HNPAT blog, October 4, 2019: Nine Natives at Garden Club of Houston’s Bulb Mart
- Clark Condon’s Design for the Nine Natives Garden installed at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in March, 2019 as a collaborative project of Katy Prairie Conservancy, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Garden Club of Houston, and Clark Condon.
- Katy Prairie Conservancy’s Nine Natives information: www.katyprairie.org/nine-natives