Piet Oudolf Goes to Burger King
OK, maybe Piet Oudolf didn’t design the landscaping around my local Burger King.
Still, I was pretty impressed to see this fast food restaurant surrounded by tall native grasses, mainly two varieties of Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). The taller one, I’d guess, is ‘Northwind’.
If memory serves, these plants were installed last year, so they are not yet fully grown in. Wood chip mulch covers the area between plants.
If you use the drive through, you’ll see more grasses, landscape roses, and what looks like ‘Purple Dome’ New England Asters (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae).
I guess we can take this as a sign that the New Perennials style championed by Oudolf and others has penetrated pretty far into mainstream consciousness. Certainly, I’m noticing this kind of landscaping more frequently. Some might argue it is becoming so commonplace as to be boring.
Not in my opinion, however. Just because something becomes common does not make it less appealing. (This is why I like Marigolds.) Moreover, this style is something that keeps evolving. I think it will continue to have new things to offer for the foreseeable future.
But if Burger King is landscaping with Switchgrass, if Switchgrass becomes a standard sort of landscaping, replacing strips of lawn and some kind of low evergreen hedges – I’m happy with that.