This 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.
I 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“