To Inspire, Transform & Heal

Linda Wiggen Kraft
Creativity for the Soul

Prairie Art, Mandalas, Bouquets & Hospitality (Repeat)

Prairie Art, Mandalas, Bouquets & Hospitality

(This is a resend, unfortunately it was not sent to many subscribers last week. If you received it before, sorry for the duplicate)

The weather was warm, but what really warmed our hearts was the hospitality of Christine and Gary as we visited their home and ten acre prairie restoration an hour outside of St. Louis.  We were there to share an afternoon of nature and creativity. While there we were held in the embrace of the land so lovingly restored to native perfection.

 Prairie Grasses are Tall and Diverse

Prairie is the French word for meadow. French settlers named the original tall grass lands, prairie. Before European settlers, prairie lands covered over 14 states with 140 million acres of grasses, wildflowers, animals and insects. This ecosystem was inhabited and maintained by Indigenous Peoples over the centuries. Missouri had 15 million acres, now less that 1% of the original prairie remains. Because the ecosystem of prairie life evolved over many thousands of years the network of each plant, insect, soil and animals is necessary for the continued life of all parts. Prairie plants are the only plants that can feed and nurture the insect and other animal life that was originally here.


Sweet Coneflower (Rudbeckia subtomentosa)

The native plants, insects and wildlife are at home in these ten acres and you feel it. Gary has lived, breathed and worked in restoration of the land for most of his adult life*. Christine shares the deep love of nature in her home and as a teacher who inspires through the wisdom of plants, wildlife and all of nature. Their land celebrates their love and care.


Golden Aster (Heterotheca camporum) with rare Blue Downy Gentian (Gentiana puberulenta)


A Walk Through a High Quality Natural Community

Gary’s passion and love is what he describes as “high quality natural communities”.  He led us on a journey through such a place, first to the woods and next to the prairie. .

Walking through the mowed paths we were surrounded by native grasses and wildflowers. As we walked we cut and collected flowers, seedpods and grasses to create bouquets. The jars soon filled up with beauty, scent and inspiration.



Walking through the prairie collecting flowers and grasses in glass jars.

Bouquets were brought inside and set aside. The bouquets were gifts for each of us to take home.



Homemade and homegrown cornmeal bread made from corn grown in Gary and Christine’s garden was a delicious treat.


Sharing Creative Flow

We sat down facing each other with one of the bouquets in the middle of the tables. The flowers, grasses and seed pods were a deep source of creative inspiration.

I led a guided meditation that was a garden meditation through all the senses**. Its purpose was to awaken awareness and connection with the prairie garden we just experienced.  One of Linda M’s art pieces was about her experiences of the garden in the meditation.


Linda M’s art inspired by the prairie and garden meditation.

After our 1-2 hour creative time, we shared the expressions of our individual creative flows inspired by the day.

Earth Inspirations

These mandalas are inspired by a colors themselves and the colors and shapes of earth and prairie.

Gary’s Prairie Flowers Mandala

Gary’s Prairie & Earth Mandala – From the Sky


 Playful Abstract Watercolor Mandala by Christine – Warm Colors



Christine’s Playful Abstract Watercolor  Mandala -Blue & Subtle Yellow


Diverse Shapes and Colors Mandala – by Christine

Flower Creative Flow

Prairie plant colors and shapes were the inspiration for many of our art expressions.  This bouquet reminds me of the lush Dutch flower paintings of the 17th and 18th century.

Native Prairie Flowers, Grasses and Seeds

My watercolor of the vase with flowers was a somewhat realistic still life.

My Prairie Flowers & Vase watercolor


Karen’s watercolor bouquet was more abstract and full of movement.

Karen’s Watercolor Prairie Bouquet


Christine’s Prairie Plants are held in the embrace of the mandala shape.

Christine’s Prairie Bouquet Mandala

My mandala of different prairie plants.

My Prairie Bouquet Mandala

Dance like stems inspired my second mandala.

My Dancing Yellow Prairie Flower Mandala


Linda M. was also inspired by the yellow flowers.

Linda M’s Yellow Prairie Flower Mandala


Meaningful shapes are the center of Linda M’s mandala.

Linda M’s Mandala of Heart Shaped Petals – Expressing the Feelings of the Day

Sweet Endings

The sky darkened and a fog settled in as we were about to leave. The warmth of the afternoon hot sun was gone, but a warmth from the hospitality and shared connections between all of us and the land lingered.


The Last Light of Day Shines on the Prairie

For many days this beautiful Prairie bouquet brightened my life back in the city.

My Native Prairie Bouquet
Golden Rod, Liatris, Snakeroot, Baptisia Seed Pods, Native Grasses & More


*Gary’s Work & Passion -” high quality natural communities, rich in native biodiversity” His website link.

** I recorded this garden meditation in my last blog, here’s the link.



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