In June, the Living Landscapes committee of the Green Team completed a native garden project at the Chester County Art Association. The CCAA is located at 100 North Bradford Ave. in West Chester, PA. See map of the location of the site below:
The two garden plots are on the north-facing side of the building and by the parking lot. Additionally, the committee renovated the two large planters on the CCAA’s back patio by replacing the soil and planting edible herbs and native plants and put in a mix of native and hybrid plants in the garden beds. Some of the native perennials added to the garden beds included: Solidago “Fireworks,” Eupatorium dubium “Baby Joe,” and Tiarella cordifolia. The plants included in the plots are diagrammed below (drawing by Julie Morse).
These plants should bring beautiful textures and colors all year long and attract a wide variety of pollinators to the area, as well as fend off local deer that might be tempted to eat the new plants.
The project was completed over several weeks with the volunteer help of Laurie Moran (CCAA), Julie Morse, Megan Schraedley, Courtney Finneran, Eric Schraedley, Jacqueline Alnes, Gus Shrevelius, Chris Pugliese, Craig Mikus, Sara Getz, and Mary Manning. Special thanks to Julie Morse for leading the committee by coordinating donations from local nurseries and providing incredible expertise in landscape design for the site.
Donations of plants and reduced cost for plants contributed by Manor View Farm, North Creek Nurseries, Sam Brown’s Nursery, Organic Mechanics, and Aronimink Golf Club for helping us with plant material for our work in planting pollinator-friendly gardens at the Chester County Art Association.
Challenges/Triumphs: This project experienced several challenges including first, figuring out how to source plants economically and efficiently. For example, we received generous donations from nurseries that were geographically far from the planting site, complicating our carbon footprint in creating the garden. Second, the site itself is located in significant shade throughout the day, and therefore we had to be thoughtful about what plants would thrive in this location. Third, we had difficulty figuring out how to water the plants once installed; the site did not have an easily accessible outdoor water spigot and therefore, we’d recommend always talking with your partner about how they will practically care for (weed, water, fertilize) the garden once installed.
We had success in sourcing mostly native plants which will thrive in the climate and conditions of the site. Additionally, our partners (CCAA and board members) were very open-minded about the site plans and plants we suggested – this is not always the case and we felt incredibly lucky to work with such flexible and passionate partners. Finally, we installed the garden in only one day instead of over the course of two or three days thanks to the high number of motivated volunteers who joined us for the planting. We recommend sharing information about planting events early and often with potential volunteers!
Download pdf here.