I just gave a slide talk called Attracting Bees and Butterflies at the Horticulture, Education and Research Center at the University of Vermont in South Burlington which focused on the development of a Pollinator Garden which I’ve been involved in for a couple years. The talk showed the progress of this project from site work to installation and showed many of the beneficial plants that form the collection; afterward I led participants around the garden to look at both individual plants and at how they were arranged and grouped in the borders.
In late Fall the garden is at its peak with asters, anise hyssop, sweet coneflower, sedum, helenium, coneflower, goldenrod, and a variety of grasses which give bulk and texture to the borders.
This summer we had unusually hot weather and a long drought and it was evident which perennials suffered - those that prefer moist soils looked the worst (Joe Pye weed, swamp milkweed, monarda) - let’s see if they come back next spring.
The Pollinator Garden is a project of the Friends of the Horticulture Farm, a non-profit organization that helps support the collections at the HREC (known as the Hort. Farm). Since its redesign in 2014 I’ve been a volunteer consultant helping to manage the garden which was designed as an Outdoor Classroom. I love being part of the VT Master Gardener work days and teaching others about ecological landscaping. My good friend Sarah Salatino at Full Circle Gardens has continued to be a resource for this garden and has introduced me to many new native plants.
Fall asters are peaking now - and what a great source of food for butterflies and bees!