We went for a walk in the prairie on the west side of our wetlands today. This was the first area that we began restoring on this property, and we started by seeding a mixture of prairie grasses - little bluestem, Indian grass, big bluestem and panic grass. Several years later we added some forbs (flowering prairie plants) and we've been pleased to see a number of those become established. Today, though, we were amazed to discover about a hundred bottle gentians in bloom. This was not a plant we had seeded here, nor had we ever seen it anywhere on the property, so this had to have returned from the seed bank in the soil. I can't imagine how long those seeds lay dormant, waiting for conditions to be right.
This definitely was the highlight of my day!