Every gardener knows that seeds, soil, sun, and water are important components of a successful garden, but without a powerful pollinator population, yields will be pretty puny. When compared to our 2009 start, the 2021 aerial view of the garden is amazingly different! There is over twice the number of raised beds, the “lower 40” doubled in size, and eight different garden areas dedicated to inviting, feeding, and hosting pollinators were created. Some areas doubled as cutting gardens, while others were reserved solely for specific visitors. From itty-bitty insects that buzzed from bloom to bloom to monarchs in search of milkweed and birds in search of seeds, insects, and other edibles, the garden kept its welcome mat open year-round.
In 2021, each pollinator area received updated, handmade signage. It is our great hope that these signs will be needed again soon!
is a “U” shaped raised bed made of 3 layers of cinderblocks that features almost sixty 6×6″ spaces, as well as 3 larger, open areas. Specific plantings vary by year, but are influenced by our members and visitors. All herbs here are for open sharing at any time, so a gardener can pop over to pick herbs for tonight’s dinner or harvest some to freeze or infuse in oil, vinegar, or tea. From the familiar fragrances of thyme, sage, and basil, to newer discoveries like shiso, over 50 varieties of herbs and edible flowers are found in the herb area.
Our queen and worker bees typically reside “down garden” just beyond the deer fence that protects the growing crops and pollinator plants. In November 2021, the two families of bees-in-residence were moved to a bee keeper’s home where we hope their month-to-month lease will not need to be renewed too many times!
Below: Two cuties watch a caterpillar eat milkweed.