Friday, February 10, 2012

Bed "M" in the Asian Collections at the US National Arboretum....back in the day

Bed "M"(the long bed) is the bed along the road with the large Davidia; it's a showcase bed because of its location and its selection of plant materials. The layout has evolved well and we attend to its maintenance conscientiously.  It has changed since these hand drawn maps and typed plant lists were created about 40 years ago. So has our mapping technique. Now we map with GPS: plants, beds, memorial benches, and the rest. There is still a small triangular bed adjacent to it that is surrounded by paved roads. Today the small bed is K-0, part of our collection of Korean plants. There are three plants on the drawing, two Berberis verruculosa and a dwarf Ilex vomitoria. All gone. I don't think we have either anymore. The Triangle is a wonderful small bed though, planted with a wonderful Acer griseum, an exactingly pruned Pinus parviflora, and a mixture of interesting plants.

Many of the plants mapped for bed "M" in the hand drawn map are still there. The Davidia, the groundcovers, the mangy dwarf Picea abies selection that we're tempted to remove every year. The planting of Hypericum calycinum, a North American native, that we put off removing because it's an attractive functional plant. There are more on the map that are gone now, but which live on in my memories from the early 1990's: Stransvaesia davidiana, with it's wonderful winter fruit; Juniperus confertus,that I had to prune to reveal the short stone wall it grew over; the hateful Pfitzer Junipers that took a whole day to clear of leaves in the fall. Good memories and bad memories....not really bad memories, but some change is really for the best.

If you click here, you can see a post from June 2009 with pictures of much of bed "M" and the smaller triangular bed.   The top picture is that portion of bed "M" that juts out towards the triangle bed, the bottom picture is bed K-0, the Korean triangle.

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