There's so much that changes in the MG landscape throughout the year...we thought a plant trial and garden blog was the best way to start sharing "what's new" and "what's happening with all those new varieties" with you! Visit often for updates on how trial plants are performing in the gardens and to see photos throughout the season as we grow and change!

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog

Welcome to the Midwest Groundcovers Landscape Blog
Astilbe 'Vision in Red' with Hosta 'Patriot' and Carex 'Ice Dance'

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Maintaining the Piet Oudolf Garden

Hello again,
It's been a while, and I apologize for the lengthy time in between posts. I hope everyone is getting geared up for a terrific spring. Here at Midwest Groundcovers we are getting ready for what we hope will be a great year! In the process, the garden is getting prepared for growth. We are attempting a new game plan for cutting down this garden. It has been quite the journey in making this garden a quicker maintenance project. In the first years, the project would take a full two days to hand cut the entire garden. We did that for a several years. It just wasn't efficient enough. Three years ago, we decided to try a new avenue. We started using a weed whip to cut the plants down. This took a two day project and cut it down to half a day. In the process, we'd take the native plants we cut down and move them to the prairie in the front of our facility to help with the burn. We didn't take all the plants, because we didn't want to spread the seeds of non-native plants in our prairie. Native plants were welcome.

We started phase three of our history in this garden last week. Roy Diblik has started to use this technique on his jobs, and has also implemented it at the Lurie Garden in Millennium Park in Chicago. The theory behind mowing this garden is that herbaceous plants naturally grow amongst their own debris.

Therefore using a mulching mower to chop up the plants and leave them on top creates a natural mulch for them. We first removed some of the species I had concerns with reseeding about. This was mostly Eryngium yuccifolium, or Rattlesnake Master and Aster 'October Skies'. These plants were removed before mowing to keep them from moving around. This process took a half day project down to one hour. Now that is efficiency! As long as the ground is frozen or dry, this looks to be a great new maintenance program for this garden. Until next time, I hope you have a great day!

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