The flower beds at 28th & Fernwood are a focal point as you enter Beresford Park. This creates somewhat of a performance expectation in caring for the beds: beyond just pulling weeds and tending to water needs, there is an expectation that the beds will be...beautiful. Yikes.
Having re-constructed our home landscape back in 2015, we invested in a wide range of perennials that require only seasonal maintenance and are mostly native - so have lower water requirements than the thirsty dahlias. Many of the same plants we put in 5 years ago will bloom again this year - which reduces the need to buy new plants and disturb the soil.
You may have noticed new plant varieties that were installed with the new playground at Beresford. Salvias, Mexican sage, monkey flower, penstemon are a few of the perennials that are able to be fed water through drip irrigation lines. They also require little in terms of additive food (ie. fertilizer). I don't perceive quite the same intolerance to chemical fertilizers as to chemical weed killers - but the damage done by fertilizers filtering into the water system is significant - as the plants are unable to process the majority of fertilizer.
The little green buckets we all have under our kitchen sinks to capture food scraps is but one example of how composting has gone mainstream. I'm not certain, but would guess that many of the local schools teach the value of compost and the variety of bacteria, fungi and microorganisms that turn pretty much everything into soil. This is a central component to organic farming - to which we rely on for an increasing supply of healthy food. While compost and manicured lawns are currently at opposite sides of the "organic" spectrum, the trend toward organic landscapes will help to redefine what is viewed as a "well kept" landscape.
Keeping all of this in mind, the planting plan for the Beresford beds includes the following:
- Rudbekia (black-eyed susan)
- Echinacea (cone flower)
- Shasta Daisy
- Russian Sage
Yes. No dahlias.
It appears that there is some type of irrigation line already installed in each of the 3 beds, which would allow drip irrigation to be utilized. This will reduce both the amount of water used and the amount of time required to hand-water.