Warwick Way Gardens 2024 Spring Update

posted in: Green Spaces, Warwick Way Gardens | 0

Woo Hoo, Happy Spring!

Every spring a small miracle happens: new plants come up, flowers bloom, trees leaf out, and the bees and butterflies flit around. That is exactly what’s going on now at Warwick Way Gardens. The best news is that the new shrubs, that were put in just before the drought hit last summer, have all survived. The hard work many of us did for months last year hauling water by gallons and buckets has paid off! The two Running Serviceberry shrubs have leafed out and bloomed. The Elderberry is sending up many new sprouts from the base. The Pussy Willow and Hazelnut, which were planted as bare roots, are also leafed out.

A couple bumblebee queens have been sighted, but did not slow down or light long enough to be photographed or identified. Hopefully they found a place to nest nearby, and we will see more bees in a month or so. There have been many red admiral butterflies, and a couple dragonflies.

Along the back fence Virginia Bluebells, Dutchman’s Britches, Wild Ginger, Wild Geranium and Canada Violets are in bloom. The first two of those are spring ephemerals, which are plants which leaf out and bloom early, and then the foliage dies back and you won’t see it again until next year. So, make a plan to visit soon! Also in the back corner, Mayapples and Giant Purple Hibiscus have come back up and are looking robust. They had been eaten down by rabbits almost as soon as we planted them last summer.

You may recall that we used a grant from the Madison Area Master Gardeners Association last year to improve the habitat and resources for bumblebees, especially for the endangered Rusty Patched Bumblebee. Our efforts last year received acknowledgement in the DNR’s Bumblebee Brigade 2023 Annual Report!


Scroll down at the above link to the 2023 report. Please consider joining this great DNR-led citizen science monitoring project! This year I have great hopes that we will see more bees, more species of bees, and maybe even a Rusty Patched at Warwick Way Gardens.

The main goal this season will be to maintain what is there, stay ahead of the weeds, nurture the success of last year’s new plants, and keep an eye out for bumble bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Some weeds we need to deal with are Wild Parsnip and Garlic Mustard, which have crept into the back corner and fence line. On a more fun note, Field Pussytoes and Pennsylvania Sedge plants are on order, to provide groundcover around some of the new shrubs. As always, new volunteers are always needed and welcomed, no experience required. Email me, Carol, at area6@cmnna.org. I will send emails to set up dates and times for gardening sessions later in May.