Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Marsh View Day 2: Planting the Marsh

What shapes will I use to plant this marsh? Marshes aren't planted, they just grow. As fellow fiber blogger Del reminded me yesterday, "Reeds have ridges, rushes are round". I have been trying to build a variety of shapes to mimic the grasses and remind the viewer of things they have seen in the marsh.
Salt meadow cordgrass: Spartina patens, one of our most prominent plants. Their root system keeps silt from building up in the marsh grows on outer rim of the bogs and is flooded by the tides. It is slender and wiry, and I am unclear of how to incorporate it into the quilt.
Saltwort or glasswort: This is a low to the ground succulent, green in summer and red in autumn. It is one of the first to establish in the marsh and I read that it is also edible.
Phragmites: These tall invasive plants live on the edge of many marshes in CT and have become a hazard to the native flora. I have included four or five tall stems in this quilt reminiscent of the phragmites, though, because they are so prominent in our marshes. They are actually quite beautiful this time of year, despite the ecological damage they do of crowding out other plants and taking over the marsh.
Black Marsh Grass: Small stands of this appear darker in the marshes around here.
Sea Lavender: Small bits of color come with this low plant... purples and lavenders are a welcome sight in the mid to late summer when it blooms.
Salt Hay: Most important, stay tuned for more on that in a later post.
My Marsh View quilt will have some of these elements. Hopefully, the viewer will recognize some of them and imagine others...

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