A team of volunteers had just finished planting 17,000 perennials and grasses, the first phase of Oudolf’s two-acre meadow at the nascent Delaware Botanic Gardens.

The planting took several days, though the plants had been custom-grown by five nurseries under the direction of Barbara Katz, a landscape designer from Bethesda. Eighty-five percent of the plants are native species, typically improved varieties.ies, typically improved varieties.