|Photo: Louise Clarke|
With winter's snow at last melted, it is time to cut back grasses and other foliage on the Arboretum's intensive green roof at Bloomfield Farm. Pictured is Anna Bower, the Hay Honey Farm Natural Lands intern, using a Japanese rice sickle to trim last year's little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) prior to new growth. The rice sickle is a lightweight, ultra sharp tool with a curved stainless steel blade ideal for cutting thin, brittle grass stems. As the sickle is not suited to dense, woody material, pruning shears are used to cut back other plants such as Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), and Yarrow (Achillea millifolium).
With full sun and a southern exposure, it won't be long before the green roof sports new spring growth.
A good time to see the eco-roof is during the annual plant sale in May, click here for details.
Author: Louise Clarke, Bloomfield Farm Section Leader