Meadows are big in the landscape design field these days, and a presentation on the topic by top experts at last weekend's ASLA annual conference in Boston was absolutely jammed -- standing room only.
If you've ever wondered why your little bluestem flops, just ask Larry Weaner of NDAL (New Directions in the American Landscape), one of speakers at the ASLA forum. It flops because the soil is too rich and the site has irrigation. Little bluestem thrives in dry, infertile conditions. Weaner's point was that you can't just plant a meadow. You need to study plant communities and find out which ones will do well in the kind of soil that prevails on the site. The plants in natural plant communities complement each other and also inhibit weeds, a major problem in many meadows.
If you're eager to learn more about the subject, sign up for one of NDAL's annual two-day January seminars, either at Connecticut College in New London or at Temple University in Ambler, PA. 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the conferences, and the subject is "Assessing and Reassessing Ecological Landscape Design." Top-notch speakers, and well worth the fee. For a preview, log onto NDAL's website here for more info about the conference and to hear a podcast on the subject by Larry Weaner.