Prairie strip, Washington, D.C.

Hellstrip west of Museum of Natural History, Wash., DC/enclos*ureThis is an example of how nice an urban ‘hellstrip’ can be. It’s just to the west of the Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution. I took this photo in the last few days of September.

Hellstrip west of Museum of Natural History, Wash., DC/enclos*ureI think they are all American native plants. I see a fine grass I can’t identify (just visible in the top photo), goldenrod (‘Fireworks’?), amsonia (I think), and the seedheads of purple coneflower.

I like the arrangement of squares of a single species, one after another, rather than all of the plants in one long mix.  It goes well with the surrounding architecture.

Sometimes I save a weed if its leaves
are spread fern-like, hand-like,
or if it grows with a certain impertinence.
I let the goldenrod stay and the wild asters.
I save the violets in spring.   People who kill violets
will do anything.

Ann Struthers, from “Planting the Sand Cherry