Mt. Cuba Center was offering the Meadow Studies class for the year. I figured I wasn't doing anything so why not drive an hour to Delaware (after registering online of course).
They offer Meadow Studies as a one day course 5 times a year. I went to the first two, missed the next two, so this is my third. Overall I'm happy with them but they weren't what I had expected. Emphasis is more on how they maintain it each year and what plants are showy at the particular time of year. The second half of the class is a nice tour mostly of the meadow itself but also other plants they have elsewhere on the property that might fit the theme of a meadow setting.
Their meadow is mostly composed of Little Bluestem, Big Bluestem, and Yellow Indian Grass. Before the tour began we were give the option to collect seeds in a paper bag. I thought this was a great idea, but if only the course were focused more on installing a meadow. This would have been a great starting point.
I noticed how Liatris-like it is with all it's flowering coming out so close to the stem. The full plant was actually several stalks, just like a clump of Liatris, all coming out of the ground. It was very neat but I was mostly disappointed nothing was pollinating it.
This is actually the cultivar 'Mellow Yellow' which has paler yellow flowers. The true species is as bright as the sun and impossible to miss from across a field.
Before leaving everyone was given a plant of Tufted Hair Grass, Deschampsia cespitosa, which is a nice cold season grass that can be planted at this time of year. Warm season grasses do all of their growing over the summer and aren't very successful when planted after soil temperatures get below 60F. So I understand why they gave us a cold season species.
One Saturday well spent.