May 2012

Here is the planting plan for the irrigation-free landscape. It’s curves layered upon curves layered upon curves and proved a wee bit difficult to translate into marked locations on the ground. But, after a bit of doing, we figured it out.

The above image shows all of the plants in the drawing marked out within the planting zone. It also shows the pathways excavated out, which will be filled with crushed Minnesota limestone. This limestone will double as the mulch for the plants as well. One seamless surface, and site and soil conditions that mimic the natural growing conditions of the plants chosen.

Read more

Cotinus coggygria “Golden Spirit”, one of numerous plants we will be using in the irrigation-free landscape

Spring is upon us, and PRAIRIEFORM has embarked on the installation of the irrigation-free landscape, a new landscape type we have developed that merges new techniques for real drought tolerance with a tidy but wildlife-friendly aesthetic. The idea is that even when we go through stretches of drought, the landscape will be able to survive and thrive without the aid of a sprinkler.

We will be chronicling the progress of the landscape over the course of its installation, through the summer during the drought training for the plants, and up to the final watering at the end of August when we send the landscape off on its own to brave the elements that may come before it. Before we even begin the chronicling, though, we thought it might make sense to give a bit of the back story behind the landscape and why we even came up with it in the first place, and why we would even bother to go through the effort of seeking funding and drumming up support for something that is half ornamental landscape, half experiment, and the first of its kind in the state of Minnesota. The story starts in Los Angeles and ends in Minneapolis, with stops in between in Mexico and Sweden.

Next post: on Los Angeles and its inspiration for the irrigation-free landscape.

Follow us on Twitter. Hashtag: irrigationfree.

Read more