Campus Landscape Architect Brent Lewis provided the attached planting plan and the following comments on the plan, for review by Chi Omega representatives.
- We have many trees in this very small garden, who are all fighting for water and nutrient resources here. We have lost a few trees already and the cherries that are left don’t look as good as we would like them. Around each tree we will just install a mulched area. This will serve to reduce some competition from the woodland plants and the trees. You can really notice that now as we are late summer and the geraniums that should still be up have dried out and greatly dissipated. Adding mulch will also give the sense of some order when a maintained edge is present in the beds. However, this will be a good area to include some early spring ephemerals like Blue Bells or Spring Beauty as they will thrive when the moisture is there, but no longer compete when the trees are out-competing for water.
- Currently there are no shrubs in this garden. Adding them to the plan does a few things for us. For one, it adds some structure to the garden. With them, we will have a mid-level plant that serves to punctuate some areas, and to form a backdrop to other areas. They will also add some winter interest to this garden, which is currently missing. Lastly, they assist in our effort to reduce the maintenance in the garden by taking up larger amounts of space, while simultaneously keeping the weeds at bay as they shade them out.
- Another design element that is not obvious in the current design is a return to matched plantings at the sidewalk entries. In the new plan I am putting matching plants on either side of each walk. This leads the eye and the brain to connect one side of the garden to the next, thus rendering it as a more cohesive whole. Regardless of the plant used, the average person understands this and will perceive this as an intentional garden, versus the state it is in now.
- Adding to the above, I am also using plants along the main east-west walk that most anyone will know. Regardless of what is planted behind them, people will see plants that they have in their yard, and are accustomed to seeing. They may not know Baptisia or Penstemon, but they know coneflowers and hostas, which they will see first and assist them in understanding this garden as a planted space and less of a question mark (when they can’t quickly tell what is supposed to be there).