Berkshire Botanical Garden
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Demand for native meadows, particularly as an alternative to lawn, is increasing dramatically. That said, few planting types are more misunderstood. Many failures result from inadequate planning and management; as well as the use of plants that are poorly adapted to the site and unable to survive in a highly competitive meadow environment. Far better results can be obtained when the plants and processes used reflect the ecological character of our native meadow communities. More than one-year wonders, meadows modeled on these ecosystems can provide long-term, easily managed landscapes that harbor a myriad of wildlife and provide color and texture throughout the year. The program will begin with Landscape Designer Larry Weaner discussing the design, implementation, and management of native meadows on a variety of scales and in residential and public settings. The remainder of the day will include viewing on-property meadows including a meadow-in-progress and an area with high potential for a future meadow planting.
Session 1 | Ecological Principles in Meadow Design
While meadows are in high demand, effective protocols for designing and implementing them are in short supply. This session will delve into the nitty gritty of meadow design: site analysis, species selection, seed mix formulation, live plant inclusion, planting and management. The inclusion of shrub thickets and drifts will also be covered, including the arrangement of clonal vs. clump forming species, and the use of shrublands as ecological and visual “connective tissue” between meadow and woods.
Session 2 | Field Visit: Observation & Exploration
Through an exploration of the Berkshire Botanical Garden landscape, this session will examine how the principles presented in the introductory presentation play out in various types of meadows.
Session 3 | Meadows on the Garden Scale
Meadow-like plantings need not be consigned exclusively to large open spaces like
Pastures, abandoned fields, and mowed turf areas. In this session, Larry will illustrate how the meadow establishment techniques described in the earlier sessions can be altered to create refined meadow gardens on the small scale. Alterations to plant selection and arrangement, planting procedures and management techniques will be covered.
Larry Weaner, FAPLD, founded Larry Weaner Landscape Associates in 1982 and established its educational affiliate New Directions in the American Landscape in 1990. He is nationally recognized for combining expertise in horticulture, landscape design, and ecological restoration. His design and restoration work spans more than twenty U.S. states and the U.K. and has been profiled in numerous national publications. His book Garden Revolution: How Our Landscapes Can Be a Source of Environmental Change received an American Horticultural Society (AHS) Book Award. In 2021 he received the AHS Landscape Design Award and the APLD Award of Distinction. He is also an Honorary Director (2021-2025) of Wild Ones - Native Plants, Natural Landscapes.