In July of 2001, more than 14,000 square feet of lawn area was killed and more than 100 plants transplanted into temporary holding areas in preparation for the installation of more than 5,000 perennials and ornamental grasses along the Adams Street face of the OnCenter and its parking garage in downtown Syracuse (above).
Less than a year later, in mid-May of 2002, the first perennials were just beginning to come into flower. Note the significant spaces between individual plants (at right).
However, less than a month later `Six Hill Giant’ catmint, `Happy Returns’ daylilies, `Bonica’ shrub roses, `Husker’s Red’ penstemon, bluestars, and `Karl Foresters’ feather reed grass are in full bloom. Note also how the perennials are already covering much of the ground that was exposed in mid-May (below).
In October of 2007, two years after installation, very little open ground remains. Though difficult to see in this photograph (below, at right), several hundred gaura (Gaura lindheimeri) are still blooming even at this late date. In addition, the marble-sized “hips” of the `Bonica’ roses are quite stunning against the backdrop of the bronze-colored feather reed grass.
While thousands of commuters will continue to enjoy watching these plantings respond to the change of seasons for years to come, many of these perennials and ornamental grasses will be divided by Jamesville Penitentiary workcrews for use in establishing new landscape plantings at other County of Onondaga facilities.