Our 10-person clan of volunteers was inspired yesterday to seize the moment and create. In our efforts to tidy up the place, we decided to plant the tired little bed between the driveway and the end of the house, a highly visible spot in the landscape as visitors drive through to the Performance Hall, with plants that we know will have use in other areas of our garden. This bed will change as we develop our master plan. In the meantime, the new plants will produce seeds and offer vegetative cuttings for propagation while they serve as a visual improvement to the drive into the property.
Part of the reason we felt we could "splurge" on a planting such as this is we received a generous donation from our neighbors, Althea and Don Paine at Mainescape Garden Center. We were able to drive across the street and pick out appropriate* native plants from their display.
Some of the volunteers offered to weed areas around the buildings while others planted. When we were all finished, we took a walk around the perimeter of the property identifying things growing, and talking about our plans for the Perimeter Trail. Along the way, we stopped for a snack on the beautiful high bush blueberry. It was full of delicious berries, and we noticed some witches broom on the blueberry, a common sight due to a fungus. We cut it out so it wouldn't spread, and Andrea, one of our Master Gardener Volunteers, offered to research and write an article for this blog so that we can all know more about it and understand best practices for managing it. .
We continued our walk to the pond and listened to a frog, saw many seedlings of bittersweet and made plans to return for a "Bittersweet Eradication Workshop" soon. And we ended the walk at the site of our proposed summerhouse and patio mosaic.
* plants that would fare well in this sunny, dry spot:
summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)
bayberry (Morella carolinienis; syn, Myrica pennsylvanica)
flowering raspberry (Rubus odoratus)
bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)
bearberry (Arctostaphyllus uva-ursi)
water avens (Geum rivale)
blue vervain (Verbena hastata)
cardinal-flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
and we added New England aster from our nursery (seedlings transplanted during one of our early spring work sessions — it was discovered growing on the edge of the woods)