Thursday, February 17, 2011

German Goat's Beards

I enjoyed the sparse nature of this small garden in Breege with its imposingly large goat's beard.

A university public garden in Greifswald had this giant clump of Aruncus dioicus on its campus.

The largest stand of goat's beard I recall was at this former estate which is now a park in Putbus. How old is this?

I took two trips to Germany twenty-eight years apart, and curiously one of the common impressions I had from both trips was of seeing a lot of enormous clumps of Aruncus dioicus (goat's beard). I see the plant with some degree of regularity in the U.S. but not like in Germany. I wish I corresponded with a German gardener who I could ask, "Hey, what is it with the Aruncus dioicus?" My impression is that it is very popular, often an integral part of garden designs and is often preserved for what must be decades judging by the size of some of the clumps I have seen. I like the plant; I have been growing it at my house for years, but I don't think I will live long enough to build a stand of goat's beard like a couple of those pictured above.