Goals of our landscaping efforts include increasing the kinds and numbers of plants, which increases biodiversity, while minimizing
maintenance, and of course being attractive. More plants, especially appropriate natives, means more creatures that depend on them, which we then get to enjoy. Landscaping and gardening in the immediate environs of the office has been our focus so far, as our time and resources allow.
In the remodel of the house much of the original foundation planting was overgrown and had to be removed. Fortunately for us, there remain beautiful large borders of a variety of perennial bulbs such as German iris and surprise lilies from the Harris plantings which are well suited to our goal of low maintenance. Existing blueberry bushes were relocated and more added so that we now enjoy more than enough berries for all of us. Tomatoes, cantaloupes, and peppers are a few vegetables we’ve successfully added to the old vegetable garden plot.
We started simple with annuals such as zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers, and though not native, they are much loved by pollinators, birds – and us! In spring of 2020 we began using appropriate native trees and shrubs for establishing a low maintenance landscape with more habitat value for wildlife. Our first pollinator buffer was planted in 2020 and was not only pretty but a prime destination for many needy insects. The buffer includes not only flowers for insects, but the host plants they need for their young to eat, which is critical for their survival. We hope to expand the buffer as space allows. Additional plantings are planned this year and will include native azaleas and Phase I of a pocket woodland that includes a number of native trees and shrubs that provide habitat and food for wildlife for many years to come.