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Friday, 12 February 2016 21:10

Revisiting Mellody Farm’s Formal Native Display Garden

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Last time we talked about the ecology of the Lurie Garden and we were asked by a reader to feature Mellody Farm’s garden that uses native plantings in a formal display garden.  The following is a repost from October of 2104.

We could go on and on about the benefits of native plants, to the environment and all that live in it; suffice it to say you can create something extraordinary not only for your viewing pleasure, but for the layers of ecosystems that are part of the great outdoors.

Native Garden Color Concept Plan

LFOLA Mellody Farm Native Annual DisplaySo today we will show you how that design is taking shape.  We went into detail about the design process in that previous post and here are images of the formal native garden, at LFOLA‘s Mellody Farm, in its first season.  We thank Ed Caplan from DOF Images for these pictures.  We start with the entry.  The existing semi-circle terrace was lined with a native hedge of American black currant and accompanying shrubs – swamp rose and dwarf bush honeysuckle.  Below you see these from two different angles, facing south on the left and facing north on the right. The currant will bloom in white in spring, followed by the yellow flowers of the bush honeysuckle, and then fragrant roses carry the garden into summer.  The image to the right shows annual displays also done with natives.  These choices filled the summer with purples and yellows – blazing star, black-eyed Susan, coneflower, and little bluestem grass.

LFOLA Mellody Farm Native Hedge-lined entry LFOLA Mellody Farm Native Hedge-lined entry with containers

LFOLA Mellody Farm Native Display Garden and annual containerThe path along the side of the south building is flanked by a narrow display garden and a row of hedges.  Although thin, the formal garden along the building is quite full, and it is only in its first year!  There are so many wonderful natives in this garden – steeplebush, alumroot, buttonbush, heart-leaved golden alexanders, broad-leaved goldenrod, wild geranium, lavender hyssop, smooth penstemon, New England aster, Michigan lily, blue flag iris, white false indigo, nodding onion, rattlesnake master, sand coreopsiswild quinine, harebell, dotted mint, common fox sedge, and field pussytoes– to name a few.  You can see the sweet black-eyed Susan up close below left.  Below right is a St. John’s wort hedge that mimics a boxwood hedge and is covered with sweet yellow flowers in the summer.

LFOLA Mellody Farm Native SLack-eyed SusanLFOLA Mellody Farm Native Hedge and Display Garden

LFOLA Mellody Farm Native Display Garden at side terraceThe side terrace, pictured on the right, is also surrounded by another formal native garden, including hoary vervain, rosin weed, bottle gentian, and wild petunia.  And below are views of the prairie as the sun sets.  What a wonderful mix of the natural and traditional, created with native plants full of so many benefits.

LFOLA Mellody Farm Native Prairie from gardenLFOLA Mellody Farm Restored Native PrairieLFOLA Mellody Farm Sunset over the Native Prairie

You may have noticed in large design above that there is another display garden planned for a half-moon space next to the St. John’s wort hedge.  That is the next phase and we will keep you updated on the evolution of this garden.  If you have favorite natives Instagram your images with #MyMariani.  And if you have questions on identifying, choosing, or planting  natives we would love to help, leave a comment or contact us.  Join us again next time to learn more about the value of a native garden with John Mariani, the champion for this new technique, here, in the formal native garden

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Seattle Rockeries creates hardscapes and landscapes using stones, boulders and concrete structures.

Hardscaping creates structures that can be used on slopes and hills to prevent erosion and create water barriers or drainage.