Lauridsen Savanna

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 of grasses — but uses a diverse array of plants 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 populated with thousands of perennials and bulbs in colorful drifts and outcroppings, including large stands of Camassia leichtlinii (quamash) and recurring stands of Penstemon ‘Dark Towers’ (Dark Towers beardtongue). 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 Ruan Allée.


(Click to enlarge)