Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cottage Garden...Progress Report

A few weeks back, I wrote about the new landscape plan designed for the front of the Naturalist's Cottage.  Since that time, we've made a few minor changes to the layout and narrowed down our plant selections based on color, bloom time, and growth habit.  As it stands now, the landscape plan looks like this:

After a couple weeks of being on hold (due to our busy educational programming schedule), I finally started to plot out the location of the fence posts and began to dig holes.  Lots of holes.  33 to be exact.  And after a lot of sweat equity, the posts were in place and the "deer" fence went up.

The next step involved removing all of the existing fencing from around the various plant beds - split rail around the pond garden, picket fence in front of the cottage, and various installations of plastic fencing to fend off deer browse.

This past Thursday, Margi (our excellent landscape designer) marked the layout of the new planting beds and path as shown in the landscape plan above.  The following day, I was able to rent a sod cutter in town to remove the large quantity of grass that existed within the planting beds.  In just a few hours time, I was able to cut and roll all of the unwanted sod.  As the photos illustrate, the new landscape is begining to take shape.

The above photos were taken from the roof of the Naturalist's Cottage on July 3.  Since then, all the sod has been carted off the site and I've started to cover the bare soil with a layer of wood chips to conserve soil moisture and prepare the beds for planting.

As it stands now, we have a number of shrubs to begin planting once the weather breaks a bit.  Specimens we're currently prepared to plant include 10 inkberry, 4 highbush blueberry, 3 summersweet clethra, 3 fothergilla, 1 smooth witherrod, 1 oakleaf hydrangea, and 1 blue hydrangea.  For complete list of the plants we intend to use, click on the Cottage Garden Project tab above.

If you are at all interested in this project, feel free to stop by the sanctuary and see it for yourself.  If you'd like to help us complete the project, contact the sanctuary office and let us know how you'd like to help.  We can use some helping hands (i.e. spreading wood chips, planting, transplanting, etc), plant donations (nursery stock or your garden transplants), or a monetary donation.  Donations of funds and supplies are tax deductible!

-Adam Zorn, Naturalist

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