The Deschampsia Meadow is so named due to the predominance of the Deschampsia cespitosa cultivar “Bronzeschlier’. Here this native grass is used to create a naturalistic type of planting called matrix planting, a relative minority of flowering plants interspersed within a visually dominant matrix of grass. The resultant dreamy meadow-like atmosphere creates a sense of wholeness by fully encompassing the nursery sales area with its mass. The soft cloud-like inflorescence is juxtaposed and accentuated by the hard, flat, and linear brick paving, stone pathway, ranks of potted plants, and the Perennial Meadow which is a more diverse and colorful planting. Within the planting itself, the structure of the forbs provides a strong contrast with their emergent, upright, and long-lasting forms. What is of particular interest here is the aesthetic co-evolution of the grass and forbs which create continuity of space over a long period of time – from spring into winter. Just prior to winter the Deschampsia is finally clipped into its final and formal topiary-like form. Here the individual clumps of grass are more evident, creating a sense of formality with their ranked orderliness.
From a cultural standpoint, this clipping is necessary to reduce the amount of damage wrought by invading critters who relish the abundance of nest-building material, stockpiling it within the homes they have built within the root system of the grass itself. It should be noted that to leave a planting of any type intact and through the winter increases the likelihood of it becoming a metropolis for rodents, though the final expression of the garden is lost. As the grass is clipped its leaves fall naturally around its base creating an excellent moisture-retaining, weed-suppressing, soil-building mulch. As the individual plants senesce they leave behind improved growing conditions for their replacements.
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