Bayberry Garden – a Native Pollinator Pathway
The Bayberry common area traffic island, previously a patch of grass and weeds, is being transformed into a pollinator garden. By summer’s end, the native wildflowers planted here will be teeming with the activity of bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Pollinators are declining worldwide, posing a threat to both agriculture and our natural environments. This unremarkable traffic island can be a positive change, while also serving as a demonstration garden of wildflowers Bayberry residents might grow in their own gardens.
How will the garden be created?
The grass is currently being smothered with layers of newspapers and several inches of topsoil.
After a few weeks, much of the established grass will die off and the soil will be suitable for planting native plugs, small plants that will establish themselves over the summer months, and create a display of wildflowers in the late summer and fall. The patch will be protected from browsing deer, rabbits, and groundhogs with a simple fence barrier. In the initial summer season, the plants are watered using a sprinkler on a timer while the root system gets established. In the fall, leaves that accumulate will create a mulch to help protect and nourish the overwintering plants. The stalks and plant matter will remain over the winter to serve as homes for hibernating insects. They will be cut back when it warms again in the spring.
The plants being installed require full sun and should flourish after year one with very little watering. While they do bloom successively and provide pollen and nectar sources throughout the growing season, these are primarily late summer bloomers.
- Black-eyed Susan – Rudbeckia hirta
- Joe Pye Weed – Eutrochium purpureum
- Scarlet Beebalm or Wild Bergamot – Monarda didyma
- Showy Goldenrod – Solidago speciosa
- Narrowleaf Mountain Mint – Pycnanthemum tenuifolium
- Dense Blazing Star – Liatris spicata
- Cardinal Flower – Lobelia cardinalis
- New England Aster – Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
- Lanceleaf Tickseed – Coreopsis lanceolata
- Foxglove Beardtongue – Penstemon digitalis
- Butterfly Milkweed – Asclepias tuberosa
Ways you can get involved?
- Look for planting, weeding and cleanup days. More to come.
- Plant a diverse collection of native plants in your own yard. Use the list above or this useful reference by Xerces Society.
- Contact Dominic Schmitt for more information.