Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Native Pollinator Garden Update (22 April 2016)

Last week I finally got around to cleaning out the pollinator gardens at the Saginaw Chippewa Academy, Morey Public School Academy, Winn Elementary, and the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum.

Because these gardens are filled primarily with plants that bloom late-spring through fall, there is not a lot going on in them right now.  Here are a few pictures.

Winn Elementary

Winn Elementary - looking south toward the school's main entrance

Winn Elementary - looking north into the garden

Like all of our gardens, the Winn garden is a certified Monarch Waystation

I found a surprise in the Winn garden - a pair of Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) hiding in the leaf litter and other debris.  It's nice to see a new species using the garden, but this seemed to be an odd location for these frogs.

A wood frog hiding in the Winn garden

Morey Public School Academy

This is the first year that the plants in this garden have not been trimmed down in the fall.  This allows more of the seeds to fall within the garden, helping to fill in blank space.  I will be curious to see what pops up this summer.

Morey PSA - looking northeast into the garden

Morey PSA - this garden has a more formal design

Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum

It's always interesting to see what kind of reaction I will get when I go to work on the garden at the Discovery Museum.  Their staff has changed repeatedly over the past few year, so while the people in the back (director, education coordinator, etc.) know me, many of the people in the front (play facilitators, etc.) do not.  When I show up with pruning shears, shovels, rakes, etc. and start doing things in the garden, I sometimes get a reaction.  Because of this, I try to do maintenance here when the museum is not open.

I am excited to see how this garden looks this year.  This will be the third full growing season (it was originally planted in the summer of 2013) for this garden and many plants are just now reaching their potential.

Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum - looking west into the garden

Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum - looking eastward toward the museum entrance

I didn't take any pictures of the Saginaw Chippewa Academy garden.  This is a major transition year for this garden.  The portable classroom that bordered this garden was removed this past fall/winter.  This will have two major effect.  First the garden is now exposed to day-long sun.  Previously the classroom blocked the sun starting in mid-afternoon.  Second, lots of water used to run off the classroom roof onto parts of the garden.  Overall this means that this garden should be much drier than in past years.  I don't know exactly what will happen, but I am excited to find out.

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