A walk through an eastern woodland in early spring is a treasure hunt for me. Only in this short window of time, before deciduous trees leaf out and while the sun still reaches the forest floor, does one have the opportunity to discover the fleeting blooms of our native spring ephemerals. This weekend, I spied some of the earliest of these, a happy colony of Bloodroot, its blossoms grouped in a gleaming white bouquet.
Bloodroot’s flower buds emerge in early spring wrapped tightly in a leaf that shares their same stem and that may help to trap warmth. The showy clear white blossoms with yellow stamens open in the sun and close at night. Bloodroot’s large leaves fully unfurl after the flowers fade. The leaves are strongly textural with deep clefts, and they in turn disappear in mid-summer when bright sunlight no longer reaches the forest floor. The metaphorical common name derives from the reddish sap exuded by the roots and stems of the plant when cut.
Last spring, OvS planted Bloodroot in several of our projects, tucking the low plants close to woodland paths amongst a richly textured groundplane of ferns and sedges like Dryopteris marginalis and Carex plantaginea that fill in as Bloodroot goes dormant. This spring, I am thrilled to watch as these delicate woodland beauties have their day in the sun.
Native Range: Eastern North America
USDA Hardiness: zones 3-8
Growing Conditions: Moderate to full shade; moist, well-drained soils
Detail of Sanguinaria canadensis 'Bloodroot'
Sanguinaria canadensis after blooming
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Posted in Projects, tagged Abdo Development, Bozzuto Group, Brookland, Catholic University of America, landscape architect, landscape architecture, Marisa Scalera, Monroe Street Market, oehme van sweden, OvS, Pritzker Realty Group, Sara Fiore, washington dc on November 16, 2011|
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Architects Rendering of Monroe Street Market
Last Wednesday, November 10, OvS designers Marisa Scalera and Sara Fiore attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the Monroe Street Market in Brookland, Washington DC. The project, developed by Bozzuto Group, Abdo Development and Pritzker Realty Group, is a $200 million mixed use, multiphase development adjacent to the Brookland-CUA Metrorail station. Monroe Street Market project will transform the Catholic University of America’s South Campus by creating a college-town-style Main Street. It will include 720 multifamily residential units and 45 townhomes, 80,000 square feet of street-level retail, 15,000 square feet of artist studio space, and a 3,000-square-foot community arts center. There will also be an 8,500 square-foot public square, a 15,000 square-foot Arts Plaza, and a17,000 square-foot residential courtyard with pool.
OvS is the landscape architect for the project. Approved plans include design of the plazas, courtyard, streetscape and hardscape improvements, which will improve walkability, creating a lively, pedestrian-friendly atmosphere and significantly improving traffic patterns and pedestrian crossings along Michigan Avenue and Monroe Street.
The Ground Breaking
Participating in the groundbreaking ceremony were Catholic University President John Garvey, Bozzuto Group Chairman and CEO Tom Bozzuto, Abdo Development President and CEO Jim Abdo, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, D.C. Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr., and other D.C. government officials. Mayor Gray said the planning and cooperation that went into creating the development should serve as a “prototype” for “how to craft constructive relationships between universities and the communities within which they live and the communities that they serve.”
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Posted in Projects, tagged Chesapeake Bay, Dale Overmyer, design, garden, landscape architect, landscape architecture, Larry Weaner, Marisa Scalera, meadow, Northern Neck, oehme van sweden, Potomac River, Sheila Brady, Virginia, Walnut Hill Landscape Company on November 12, 2010|
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At one of Oehme, van Sweden’s current residential projects on the Northern Neck of Virginia, a meadow of native Bluestem grasses, goldenrod and other wildflowers dressed in rich autumnal golds, oranges, and browns meets an existing cordgrass marsh. The 12-acre peninsular estate juts into the Potomac River near its confluence with the Chesapeake Bay. Dale Overmyer Architects’ contemporary “Oyster House” residence is accessed by a long boardwalk that stretches above a natural tidal pool. Few trees remain on this former agricultural land, and OvS is overseeing an extensive native meadow and forest restoration.
Photograph by Larry Weaner Landscape Associates
Earlier this week, OvS Principal Sheila Brady and Associate Marisa Scalera enjoyed a beautiful fall day laying out willow trees, rugosa roses, wax myrtle, and live plants in a seeded, designed meadow with crews from Walnut Hill Landscape Company (landscape contractors) and Larry Weaner Landscape Associates (meadow consultants and contractors). Next week, they return to layout an additional 18,000 native grasses and perennials.
Laying out meadow plants with Larry Weaner’s crew
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