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Our Newsletter




Julie, The planting went great - plants were wonderful. Thanks for the great service. Rick at Stantec.com



Grand Meadow Mix is Perfect! 

Posted by Karen on 4th Aug 2011

In the spring of 2009 I asked you to help me in creating a 'grand meadow' for an acre and a half of land. I am attaching a few pictures. It is becoming more and more like the grand meadow I had envisioned!! Thank you.

~Karolyn Sorge

Hi Howard! Thank you. I absolutely LOVE my meadow!! I have lots of pictures on facebook and have friends who are quite interested in it. You can use whatever pictures or statements you would like to use. 

We just purchased a 100 year old 45 ft tall windmill that we will be putting up in the center of the prairie in the next couple weeks. I will be sure to send you a picture when that is up. Just wanted you to know how much I have enjoyed my "Grand Meadow" and am grateful for all the advice you gave me when I was planning and planting it.


Karolyn Sorge



To The Natural Gait and Ion Exchange Staff;
We truly enjoyed our 5 nights gift in the Lofty Haven.  The area is beautiful and we explored the state parks in the area and had wonderful meals at restaurants with outdoor patios overlooking the river.
We really enjoyed the cabin porch time.
sincerely, Jan and Bill, West Liberty ,Iowa


Hi Howard, Thanks for your  reply, I spoke with Gabi by phone when the garden was finished a few weeks ago  and we did do some native  seeding and plan to add some plugs next spring. We have cost share  opportunities for urban conservation practices and a rain garden initiative in  our county which is really taking off. We have installed 50+ rain gardens many  using your plants that have turned out AMAZING. I have attached a few pics for  you and everyone to see. We really appreciate your all of your help, and love  your plants.
Now I have another project I could  use some help with. We are constructing a demonstration area that includes 2  Bioswales, 1 -500sq.ft rain garden and a pervious pavement patio. Thanks  Danelle - Project Coordinator 

 About 5 years ago i came to ion exchange with my plan to enroll approximately 12 acres in the CRP program.  You listened to my thoughts and developed a seed mix that has bloomed beautifully for the past four summers.  Some of the forbs that we enjoy are:  butterfly weed, new england aster and various other asters, purple coneflower, pale purple coneflower, Ox Eye Sunflower, prairie blazing star, bergamot, compass plant, black eyed and brown eyed susans, hyssop, ohio goldenrod, false aster, yellow coneflower, prairie clovers, various wild sunflowers, goldenrods, spiderworts, vervains, and for the first time this year, white false indigo (I have located at least 4 plants along my walking paths).  These and other wildflowers are abundant throughout the field. Thanks again, Jerry Hilton - Strawberry Point

Can someone help me make a mixture of little bluestem (as the primary base) and several species of liatris, pale and narrowleaf coneflower, and prairiesmoke? I have a budget of $75, and I want to fill an old garden area of 10X 15 with enough grasses to hold out weeds and as many flowers of these species as I can get.

Thanks! You guys are the best! I'd slowed the progress of converting my yard because of $$ until I discovered your plugs and seeds!

Howard: I have been  meaning to write you for a while to let you know how our grass is doing...We  have had some successes!!
If you  remember, we planted our office lawn with hard fescue and it did not come up  in the fall or the spring of "05 and '06. You sent us new seed and we  planted it in the back of our office.  It did not do well at all last  summer.  I had pretty much given up on it but lo and behold this spring  it came up and continues to look great this summer too!!  It is super  grass as it looks good and grows  very slowly.  The wildflowers that  were planted in the spring of '06 are really showy this year too.   

Thanks for your concern and advice last spring.  Our lawn  looks great and we are happy customers!!

Bettendorf,  IA


Howard – Let us start off by saying “Thank-You” for all the time you have spent helping with us our first prairie planting!  You have had to remind us to be patient several times and that is so true.  We are three years into our project and our prairie is absolutely gorgeous!  Your knowledge and experience are top notch, you prepared a custom seed mixture for us that fit all of our requests and soil type.  A bit of proper preparation on our part and some patience has sure paid off!   

Thank you,  Neil and Traci Berry