October is a great time of year for projects on Green-Wood’s grounds. I recently checked in with Art Presson, Green-Wood’s superintendent of the grounds, who described some of the recent work:
In October, when the mowing requirements lighten up and before the leaves cover the grounds, we have a brief window of opportunity when we can execute some landscape projects. It is an ideal time to garden because the soil temperatures still promote root growth, giving the garden a head start in spring.
This year we tackled a renovation of Valley Water, the pond near our Historic Chapel. Twenty-four trees were pruned, benches were re-set and leveled, path pavers were re-set, the lawn was completely re-planted and two corners of the pond were developed with new gardens. At the southwest corner we used our stockpile of excavated boulders to create a more natural setting and giving our turtles surfaces upon which to sun themselves. The pond edge there was planted with a combination of plants including ligularia, ferns, anemone, geranium, maculatum, asarum, and hosta.
At the other end of Valley Water, the garden there that features the “Lost Angel” just was planted with a variety of perennials: amsonia, astilbe, aster, eupatorium and Japanese iris. Additionally, a willow tree was added to this garden.
This is also a great time of year to fix lawn problems. Although seeding is not recommended now, it is perfect time for putting down sod. A number of regularly-visited sites were stripped to bare soil and re-sodded. The biggest area that received sod was the strip of grass that runs along the road from the main entrance gate up to our Gothic arches. The area had been overwhelmed by crab grass this summer so we skinned the weeds and rolled out a beautiful new emerald green carpet of sod.
Sometimes doing nothing is best. This photo shows a blanket of native aster naturalizing the hillside near Landscape Avenue.
All I did was recognize the potential for this to happen and pull the mowers out to allow it. The result was
six weeks of flowering on the hillside.