Visited the new children's playground in Golden Gate Park. There is an impressive array of ornamental grass there, including, I think, a particular type of Japanese Silver Grass (Miscanthus sinensis), known as "Ferner Osten" or "Far East." The grasses are laid out in quite an elaborate fashion, with dozens of ornamentals planted in perfect rows, followed by "Ferner Osten," followed by a another organized set of grasses. This seems so different than the wild and unkempt look of urban grasses growing in vacant lots. I personally would like to see more ornamentals planted in more wild patterns rather than the formal arrangements commonly used for institutional and elite public landscapes in the Bay Area, including art museums, college campuses, and corporate headquarters.
I have to say that the families at the Koret playground on Saturday morning seemed a far less diverse group than the make up of the general populace of the Inner Sunset. I could be wrong, but it seemed very white and professional (ie., iphones and Middlebury College sweatshirts) compared to the rest of the city. Why do recreation spaces become so segregated?
Just got the new Manual of Grasses for North America from Utah State University Press. It is suprisingly workmanlike--but comprehensive with illustrations (seemingly from the early 20th century) of each of the important grasses. I will use it a great deal.