Sunday, May 16, 2010

Saturday planting at the new sign for the National Agricultural Library Abraham Lincoln Building

I got to the site just after 8:30 and the scouts and leaders of Scout Troop 1033 from Beltsville were already on the scene doing site preparation. I'm always amazed by how much can be accomplished and how quickly, when you involve a lot of people. Scouts, of course, do public service projects, and Troop 1033 has done a number of landscaping projects. They work well together; the ground was quickly prepped and the plants were brought out and unpacked.
There are 6 different plants in the planting; two were in 3 gallon pots, Morella cerifera 'Don's Dwarf', and Panicum virgatum 'Northwind', and the Troop rented an auger to speed up planting. The others were planted as landscape plugs. A battery operated hand drill with a bulb auger aided this part of the planting, though and old-fashioned manual bulb planter worked well for the shallower plugs. 
 A lot of planting, some mulching, sweeping, watering and they were done. I did the design for this site a couple of months ago and after a bit of discussion with the committe, we agreed on the plant list. That list is what went in today which may not seem remarkable to any of you who aren't designers, or landscape contactors, or clients of either. The fact is that, for a variety of reasons, things always get changed: sometimes many things, sometimes only a few, but it's uncanny how even the smallest change can affect the functionality of a design. Or am I just being egocentric. Anyway, this one went in exactly as we conceived it so if it doesn't work out there's no alibiing. I'm feeling good about it though. 
This is the last picture I took because, well the plugs are so small you can't even see them but I'll be watching it closely and as soon as the top planting fills in, I'll post some nice pictures. It was a windy day, witness the lean of the Panicum. Originally the Panicum was to have gone in as landscape plugs, but since they weren't available we, by which I mean Susan Fugate, went with the larger plants. I like it...immediate gratification. It will be interesting, to me anyway, to monitor the Waxmyrtle cultivar 'Don's Dwarf'. The Southern Waxmyrtle is a good evergreen for tough sites (hot, dry, sunny, poor soil) and I think it would be nice to have this selection available at retail nurseries in the Washington area.


Karen Lucas said...

This is a great story and a great example of thinking outside the box to get a project done to benefit all. Scout trrop benefited, NAL benefited and the Government benefited via a cost saving of between $5300 - $8300 over using a commerical landscaper. A big THANKS from NAL!

Scoutmaster Bauchan said...

A Boy Scout Eagle Scout project such as this project; allows a boy to plan, organize, execute and provide leadership which are life skills taught through the Boy Scouting program. The Eagle Scout project is only one of the requirements for a boy to become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in Boy Scouting. The scouts and their parents enjoyed working on this project as it will leave a lasting memory of the impact scouting has had on the Beltsville Community as this garden grows during this 100th anniversary of Boy Scouting in America