Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Arboretum Gothic

We reversed the players here so you wouldn't confuse today's photograph with the original painting by Grant Wood. I confess we staged this photograph; well, we were working at the Capitol Columns on that same old planting again and it was getting a bit boring. Apparently we're in good company because Grant Wood staged the original, using his sister and his dentist to set the mood for the Gothic Architecture of the house. I am not certain how to characterize the architecture of our columns; the Capitol was neo-Classical, but the columns by themselves, I don't know.

The plantings, which you will remember from months ago (ha ha), are the natives Schizachyrium scoparium, Amsonia hubrechtii, and the annual South African grass Melinus nerviglumis 'Pink Crystals'. Well all is pretty good right now, but like the path to true love, the saga of this planting did not run smoothly. First it got cold and wet after we planted and the Pink Crystals (generously a Zone 8) didn't like it and sulked for a good while. Then the pre-emergent herbicides we had applied to prevent the otherwise inevitable weed growth actually stalled the growth of a percentage of the Little Bluestem grass, Schizachyrium scoparium. Things are getting better though; the Amsonia has moved steadily forward and, with the onset of summer, Pink Crystals has come into its own. We are dealing with the Schizachyrium by pulling the affected plants, growing them on, and planting them when their roots are long enough to extend through the herbicide "barrier". It looks great now with a new coat of mulch and will only get better next year.

No comments: