25 June 2013

Midsummer Meadows

They say the solstice is the beginning of summer, but around here it feels like midsummer. And in fact, it is considered such in other cultures. Mostly it's the Europeans, but there is also the Festa Junina in Brazil.

In Midsummer meadows in Texas, the spring and early summer forbes are giving way to the grasses and late summer and fall forbes.

Going and gone are the firewheels, verbena, and of course bluebonnets and Indian blanket. Coming into strength are good prairie native grasses like sideoats grama, blue grama, little bluestem and switchgrass. Giant mounds of Maximilian sunflower are also beginning to dominate, though I don't show them in any of these photos.

Inspired by a number of garden designers, including Piet Oudolf and Christy Ten Eyck, I'm working on making a little meadow in my front yard too, one that is more dominated by grasses. I also want it to seem more planned and "clumped" rather than a full on naturalized meadow.

In spring, I planted small plugs of little bluestem and sideoats grama.

They will not amount to much yet this year, though some of the sideoats are throwing up bloom stalks, but I'm hoping for a nice late summer fall show in 2014.

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