A Saturday trip to the east side of Cleveland included picking up a Smith & Hawken teak sofa, visiting Holden Arboretum to enjoy the canopy walk and emergent tower and a walk around the town of Chagrin Falls and nearby South Franklin Circle Retirement Community. This is typical weekend activity for us, traveling to a new area and searching out random activities, usually garden related during the summer, to explore. I need to make a return trip since I took limited photos due to a standoff with a family member on getting out of the car, that only resolved with ensuring she would be constantly hovered above the ground.
The addition of our stop at South Franklin Circle was the result of remembering about an Oheme van Sweden project outside of Cleveland toured by the APLD Ohio Chapter a few years ago. South Franklin Circle is an 82-acre retirement community that includes a variety of independent and assisted living housing options, featuring amenities and natural environment to aid residents to maintain healthy living habits. This philosophy is demonstrated in the protection 32 acres of woods and wetlands, incorporation into the Metro parks trails activities schedule for residence. above: Persicaria polymorpha (white bloom) Liriope spicata (groundcover)
What Oheme van Sweden did with the planting plan is a masterful solution to creating a designed “natural” perennial driven, low maintenance, low disturbance design. The large drifts of perennials are repeated many times though out the property creating a cohesive design through repetition which is obviously seen in the native prairies and grasslands. above: Persicaria polymorpha & Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’
Outside the individual cottage residences, a small mow strip is the only turf between the front door and street. Each cottage has individual planting plans, providing individuality to each residence and continuity within the whole community. above: Panicum virgatum ‘Northwind’, Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster‘, Pennisetum alopecuroides
Typical turf areas are filled with mass plantings of perennials, framing views, softening lines and bring flora and fauna directly to the edges of the buildings. above: Molinia caerulea subsp. arundinacea ‘Skyracer’
There are a few areas where annuals are planted, maybe a recent compromise to bring more color in high traffic areas. However, they look thirsty and lanky next to the large in mass drifts. I would like to visit again in the fall to see the perennials in their fall color and watch the community’s maintenance schedule for when they cut back and if they leave the structural forms up during winter.