The 8.5 acre park was opened in Dec. 2007 and is on the north bank of the Charles River just east of Boston's Science Museum. For backgound on the history and construction I will refer you to a Wiki article and item from the Boston Globe. The design was done by Carr Lynch & Sandell of Cambridge and Oehme van Sweden of Washington, DC. Van Sweden is noted for their use for grasses, and it shows well in this park.
|View looking northeast into Cambridge.|
|Playground with fountain spary.|
|A more secluded gathering area. |
I'm curious how this will be used.
|A section of bike path around a stand of Prairie Coneflower.|
|View to the east. Plantings had to be selected to deter use by geese.|
|One of the Kayaking channels.|
Looking at the plant palette, I was expecting to see all native plants, but what is here is a pragmatic mix of natives and non-natives with the focus on design and survivability, rather than strict use of native species. Personally, would have like to have seen more natives, but visually, this design 'works'.
|Mix of grasses including native Panicum and non-native Pennisetum.|
|View south toward Boston through a hedge |
of non-native Corneilian Cherries (Cornus mas).
|Liriope and a dwarf Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)|
form an effective groundcover.
|My favorite combination: Joe-Pye Weed and Hibiscus hybrid ('Lord Baltimore'?)|
My biggest concern for this park is how it will be maintained. Will the beds be weeded out of invasives and plants blown in from other parts of the park, or will a form of succession be allowed. I noticed a few patches of purple loosestrife and bittersweet growing among the plantings. I also found a patch of Horsenettle (Solanum carolinense), a native of the southeastern U.S. that has spread across the continent. This is a really well defended plant with thorns on its stems and its leaves. Currently the park is not getting a lot of visitors. I hope people come and take notice of it and insist that it get the maintenance attention that it needs in the coming years.