Sunday, March 05, 2006

Planting the wet prairie

Freeze and thaw, freeze and thaw. I'm thinking about what to do with all those plants arriving in April and May. With very wet clay in the back - wetland, really - I'm aiming for a wet prairie, and I'm using what I can learn from Perennials and their Garden Habitats by Hansen and Stahl (I finally found a used copy discarded by the Iowa City Public Library), and the little Noel Kingsbury has written on the subject. My plant list (partial):

Panicum virgatum 'Rotstrahlbusch' - 30
Spartina pectinata 'Aureomarginata' - 6
Molinia caerulea 'Strahlenquelle' - 25
Molinia litoralis 'Transparent' - 6
Eupatorium purpureum 'Coelestinum' - 10
Calamagrostis brachytricha - 15
Sesleria autumnalis - 12
Carex muskingumensis - 12
Darmera peltata - 15
Euphorbia palustris - 4
Matteucia pennsylvanica - 12
Kniphofia caulescens - 9

Eupatorium fistulosum, other panicums, a start of a hedgerow of Magnolia grandiflora, viburnums, ilex verticillata and other plants are already in the ground. I can't wait to see what thrives, what just survives, and what is dead.

This is an experimental garden and I'm looking for every source of information I can lay my hands on. If I could read German, I'd be talking to the folks at Hermannshof (see the link below for an automatic translation into English).

Hermannshof Garden


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