Here’s hoping everyone is getting to spend some time in the outdoors, working in gardens or just walking in the neighborhood, despite the Covid 19 pandemic. We are still working in the Butterfly and Rain Gardens, but with a different process this year. Instead of group events, individuals or couples are working independently, focusing on specific tasks. In the Rain Garden, six of us at differing times have been cutting flower stalks off of a mustard-type weed that has sprung up profusely. New ones keep sprouting up, so this will be an ongoing effort this Spring and Summer. It was reassuring to see many of the plants we put in last fall coming back up. Bottle Gentian, Virginia Mountain Mint, Penstemon, Sedges, Iris, Bluejoint Grass, Rattlesnake Master, and Culver’s Root are just a few.
Four individuals spent a few hours cutting down and removing last year’s tall dead stalks in the Butterfly Garden. We left a foot or so of standing stalk in case there were still overwintering insects. That opened up more space for the sunshine to penetrate, and several early blooming flowers are showing off, including Jacob’s Ladder, Prairie Smoke, Wild Strawberry, and Golden Alexanders. Many many plants are greening up, and it will be interesting to see which ones predominate this year, compared to last. Bergamot, also called Wild Monardaor Bee Balm, is sure to be in the running!
We are waiting to hear if our grant application for interpretive signs, bench, picnic table and other improvements to the above greenspace has been approved. If approved we will of course modify our original plans for group efforts in order to stay safe.
Another green space effort, to plant a pollinator garden in the Cherokee Drive Median, was approved as an “Adopt a Median” project by City Engineering Department. This is in the 3300 block of Cherokee, near the intersection with Waban Hill. The space was recently marked out, covered with cardboard to smother the grass and weeds, and then covered with bark mulch supplied by the City. The City has also paid for about 100 native plants purchased from a county program called Plant Dane. These will be picked up at the end of May and nurtured through the Summer until planting time in the Fall.
None of these projects could happen without your help! If you would like to find out more, or volunteer to help, please email Carol Buelow, Area6@cmnna.org