Native Plants to Protect Waterways

Native planting

Last October our lake association contracted with a landscape architect to design 3 gardens of native plants. She did the designs and our volunteers did the plantings.

The plants went in in October–late October if I recall. They all survived and with no additional help from anyone so far as I can tell (note the browning on the pine) they are pretty much thriving.

native planting

The one unfortunate thing is that with the exception of the publicity last fall, there is nothing to explain these plantings and why they are there. Each one is slightly different. And as you’ll see in a minute, people can’t abide a vacuum–someone planted marigolds in the third one! It’s not “wrong” per se but it does sort of defeat the idea that these are “native” gardens.

native garden with marigolds

This is the garden with the marigolds. Perhaps someone was afraid there would be too much weed creep. Who knows? Obviously who ever planted the marigolds didn’t understand the idea of the native gardens and that’s what’s upsetting to me. Or maybe he or she felt that natives and annuals could mix happily–and that’s fine.

But since these were planted with the idea of showing homeowners which natives would make nice riparian barriers, clearly the marigolds do not belong. Oh well.

And clearly we need a little bit more education so that everyone understands what the gardens are doing here. Or else we will have homeowners continuing to use potentially invasive things along the shore–or worse yet, nothing at all!

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