In spring 2013, Luke Vannice (’14), a WSU Landscape Architecture senior, was selected for a CAHNRS-funded internship project. This project involved the designing and installation of Phase 4 of the Display Garden – the Grass Garden.
Vannice was responsible for developing, designing, and installing a garden of ornamental grasses in the existing empty planting beds west of the Shade Garden.
Vannice was asked to design a grass garden with consideration for the Garden’s overall conceptual plan, existing site conditions, environmental sustainability, and its appropriateness in the urban campus landscape.
Plant Selection and Design
Prior to planting, Vannice conducted a site inventory and analysis (below). He worked closely with his mentors to research and select potential plants. Vannice was challenged to utilize a relatively limited, yet interesting, plant palette to create a contemporary design.
Vannice designed the planting using site-appropriate perennial plants and small-stature shade trees. Plants were selected for their aesthetic characteristics, lack of potential invasiveness, future maintenance considerations, and local availability. His primary goal was to select plants that would exhibit interesting characteristics in all seasons. Features such as plant shape, color, texture, motion (with wind), and flowering were all considered. Vannice worked with local nurseries to obtain plants and select alternate species and cultivars, if his first choices were unavailable.