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Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

Garden Curator Notes - Summer 2009

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden & Bird Sanctuary

by Garden Curator Susan Wilkins

Violet WaySpring was delightful at the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden. Despite the dry weather, an abundance of native flora provided an inspired display of blossoming beauty in April and May. Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Wild Flower Garden, we purchased more than 1,400 wildflowers, native grasses and sedges for a planting project on the hillside adjacent to Violet Way trail (section shown at right). Among the species planted were: Wild Columbine, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Dutchman’s-breeches, Silky Wild Rye, Wild Blue Phlox, Zigzag Goldenrod, Wild Geranium, Beak Grass, Tall Bellflower, Wild Ginger, Large-leaved Aster, Jacob’s Ladder, Plains Oval Sedge, Bottlebrush Grass, Blue Cohosh and Red Baneberry

Due to the dry weather, we watered the new plants frequently. In addition, Soil Moist was used to ensure that the delicate new additions had the moisture they needed to establish themselves in the Garden. Soil Moist is mixed into the soil in the planting hole before planting so that it can surround the roots of the new plant.

Once watered, this polymer product expands as it fills with water. Over a period of time the product releases moisture into the root zone of each plant. We’ve had great success with the use of this product during the past few years and are pleased that we can use it as a tool to encourage plant health.

In addition to the Violet Way planting, a second spring planting took place in the wetland area. Garden staff members and three hardworking student volunteers from Breck School planted 145 trees and shrubs in the wetland and wet woodland areas.

These trees and shrubs included Tamarack, Speckled Alder, Balsam Fir, Black Spruce, White Spruce, Buttonbush, Bog Birch, Bitternut Hickory and Coralberry. The simple but essential act of planting the next generation of trees throughout the Wildflower Garden has been one of my most treasured experiences as curator. Knowing that we are planning ahead to maintain the continued ecological integrity of the Wildflower Garden is immensely rewarding.

Thank you again to the Friends for the generous donation for the spring 2009 Violet Way planting project. Each season the Garden grows more beautiful with the support of and varied efforts carried out by the Friends.

Below: An example of new plants inserted into the existing hillside undergrowth along Violet Way, late spring 2009.

Violet Planting in 2009
Full Plant List

Eight plants imaged below.

Total cost to the Friends of all plants was $2,869.

Aster, Large leaved
Baneberry, Red
Bellwort, Large-flowered
Bishop’s Cap
Blue cohosh
Celadine Poppy (Wood Poppy)
Dutchman breeches
Early Meadow Rue
Elm-leaved goldenrod
Jacob’s Ladder
Poke Milkweed
Sweet Cicely
Sunflower, Woodland
Tall Bellflower
Tall blue Larkspur
Turk’s Cap Lily
Wild Blue Phlox
Wild Geranium
Wild Ginger
Zig-Zag Goldenrod

Bottlebrush Grass
Beak Grass
Silky Wild Rhy
Plains Oval Sedge

large-leaved aster
Bigleaf Aster
Eurybia macrophylla
Early Meadow Rue
Early Meadow Rue
Thalictrum dioicum
Elm-leaved Goldenrod
Elm-leaved Goldenrod
Solidago ulmifolia
Poke Milkweed
Poke Milkweed
Asclepias exaltata
Wild Blue Phlox
Wild Blue Phlox
Phlox divaricata
Wild Geranium
Wild Geranium
Geranium maculatum
Woodland Sunflower
Woodland Sunflower
Helianthus divaricatus
Zigzag Goldenrod
Zigzag Goldenrod
Solidago flexicaulis