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Columbia Business Monthly

BullStreet's New Meadow

Jan 10, 2018 01:15PM ● By Kathleen Maris

Rendering by artist Cait Maloney.

The entrance of the BullStreet District at the intersection of Bull Street and Elmwood Avenue is being restored as “Sandhills Meadow,” showcasing heirloom and native plants, wildflowers, and grasses, most all perennials, which have adapted to the Midlands’ sandhills environment.

Plantings include a living fence made of Carolina jessamine, as well as beds featuring silver blueberry, giant sea holly, Milk and Wine and Orange River crinum lilies, jonquils, cord grass, switchgrass, blue salvia, red hibiscus, evening primrose, climbing Carolina aster, sensitive vine, toadflax, heliotrope, swamp sunflower, and more.

“In every facet, the BullStreet District honors the past as we build toward the future, so naturalistic landscaping is a logical extension of that idea,” said Robert Hughes, president of Hughes Development Corporation. “It’s the environmentally responsible thing to do, and we hope to attract birds, butterflies, and other wildlife to their natural sources of food.”

Hughes has commissioned noted horticulturist Augustus Jenkins Farmer III to plant and establish the entranceway.

“It makes me proud to see naturalistic planting prioritized right in the heart of Columbia,” Farmer said. “This is a chance to bring back what was here many years ago, before the hospital campus was developed. This is exactly the opposite of monoculture, in which everything is planted in straight lines, a remnant of formal garden landscaping. Instead, all of the grasses, perennials, bulbs, and plants will be mixed in together—just like in nature, where plants interact and support one another.” Farmer also said no synthetic fertilizer and insecticides will be used.

While most of the plantings can’t be seen now, he said the plant show will commence this spring.