The Lauridsen Savanna borders the water garden on its western edge, overlooking the Des Moines River and the John Pat Dorrian Bike Trail running beneath it along the foundation wall. The planting palette is aesthetically inspired by the rolling landscape of Iowa’s natural history—noble deciduous trees blending into waves grasses—but utilizes plant diversity from across temperate regions of the world to create a garden that interprets nature rather than imitates it. Six species of sedges and four species of tall, warm season grasses form the matrix that thousands of perennials and bulbs populate in colorful drifts and outcroppings, including large stands of quamash (Camassia) and recurring drifts of great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) and cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis). This ecologically conscious garden lines either side of a 325-foot long sidewalk connecting the secondary gate at the southwest corner of the property with the allée.
This garden is made possible through the generosity of Virginia and Nix Lauridsen.