Welcome to Prairie Up

Learning to garden artistically with nature using resilient, native plant communities.

About Us

A place for committed gardeners to discuss and engage with artistic design of native plant communities for a resilient future.

Curated by author and designer Benjamin Vogt of the firm Monarch Gardens, PRAIRIE UP features native plant profiles, recent environmental science pertaining to built landscapes, in-depth articles on naturalistic design and management, as well as a forum to share up-to-the-minute insights, tribulations, discoveries, and successes from around the country. The community welcomes intermediate to advanced gardeners tending private and public landscapes of any size and ecoregion, as well as newbies ready to run fast.

Our community is inclusive, supportive, and deeply engaged in the art and practice of nature-inspired landscapes that address environmental issues while appealing aesthetically to people (no weed patches here).


  • Bimonthly and weekly articles on native plants, nature-based garden design, environmental science, and ecology.
  • A forum of passionate, serious, and supportive gardeners making a difference for wildlife and people.
  • Live monthly video and text chats on topics that matter to you.
  • Access to a growing resource list curated by the community.
  • Exclusive discounts to online classes, books, and more.

Rethinking Pretty





revived for

all species




Topics We'll Explore

  • native plants
  • designing with natural plant communities
  • management vs. maintenance
  • supporting specific wildlife
  • philosophical & ethical considerations
  • increasing ecosystem function
  • how to constructively engage the public
  • designing for weed control
  • adaptations for climate change
  • actual landscape designs and science


Do I have to live in the Great Plains or Midwest to participate?
No. The principles (and even plants) we will explore in this community are applicable to a variety of ecoregions and landscapes. If we look to just one landscape type, we'll see grasslands are everywhere: from the Gulf Coast of TX and LA, to the Palouse of WA and OR, the Great Basin desert step of UT and ID, large chunks of CA, the Mescalero Sandsheet of southeastern NM, and the Piedmont of VA, NC, SC, and GA, not to mention others like the longleaf pine savannas of FL or meadow remnants in TN and AR. Prairie is everywhere -- and often agriculture is a sign of where it once was. As disturbed landscapes heal themselves, prairie / meadow is often the first stage of restoring ecosystem function; we can use principles from this natural succession in ecological garden design.

A key benefit of this community will be to learn from others who are practicing garden design in both similar and radically different ecoregions, taking aspects of what works for others and adapting it to our locale.

Can I switch plans at any time?
Once you sign up for a plan your are locked in for the duration of that plan's subscription period -- all sales are final (please see the policy section below). However, if you decide at the end of a month you'd like to go in for an annual plan, that's the perfect time to do so. Conversely, if after your annual plan expires you'd like to downgrade to monthly you will have that opportunity. Lifetime plans guarantee you'll never miss a beat even if prices increase.

How involved will Benjamin be?
Very. Benjamin will be both moderating and contributing to the discussions on the forum, although your engagement will drive the success of what we explore there (it's your forum!).

Will the community be available in perpetuity?
As long as you have paid access to the community -- and as long as the service exists -- you will have access to the entire content. Once your subscription ends you will not be able to see archived material from the community, or any additional new material that will be developed.

Give me one reason NOT to sign up!
You prefer a butterfly bush and hosta garden maintained with copious amounts of fertilizer, wood mulch, and pesticides.

Empowering Nature and People


Enrolling in the Prairie Up community means you agree to all of the site policies listed below.  |  After signing up for a plan you will be re-enrolled and billed automatically (Mighty Networks will contact you first) at the end of each plan's cycle unless you cancel manually before the end of your plan period.  |  All sales are final and no refund will be issued for any reason.  |  Participants who don't abide by the community rules of both the Prairie Up membership site and Mighty Networks are subject to immediate and permanent denial of access to the community as well as the entire service, and will not be refunded their payment (what generally leads to access denial includes but is not limited to: racist, sexist, or abusive language; slander; stalking; shaming; belittling; sharing material of a commercial nature; stealing and / or sharing copyrighted material of other members, including the moderator Monarch Gardens LLC).   |  This membership community, Prairie Up, will be maintained in good faith by Monarch Gardens LLC, but may be discontinued or paused at any time and for any reason without a refund of membership fees paid.  |  By signing up for the membership community you agree to all of the aforementioned policy statements, as well as any additional policies and policy changes that will be listed here, on the forum page, via Mighty Networks, or in any other communications that occur while the service exists.