Gardening at RVS&TC!
It was a wonderful, wonderful summer for the gardens at the Rose Valley Pool! As the cooler weather arrives I especially appreciate that we had so much time to enjoy our magical setting, and each other, through Labor Day.
Below is a list of some fun, hard-working natives that have been recently planted (and a few that are not so recent). I will resend this info when the Pool opens next summer, but in case you are curious now, come down and have a look, many are outside the gate. I hope you share my excitement and will treasure the beauty of these wildlife sustainers for years to come!
Inspiration to use these indigenous plants came from Doug Tallamy and his “Homegrown National Park” concept, which he shared with the Rose Valley Garden Club and friends.
Beth Noto and I soothed painstakingly removing the nasty invasive, Bishop’s Goutweed, and designing the new entrance beds with plugs purchased through the North Creek Nursery wholesaler. Funding for these plants and the container flowers came from Margaret Christensen, and the log border was designed and installed by Peter Dijstelbloem in under an hour!
New garden bed on your left as you approach the gate.
Paw Paw Trees (Asimina triloba)
PawPaws are the largest native edible fruit and are the sole food source for the zebra swallowtail larvae. Roger Latham donated our three saplings from his yard. These tropical looking trees will produce fruit in about four years and should reach over fifteen feet. With luck they will even spread into the woods so there will be enough of the custard-tasting fruit for everyone!
Whirled Tickseed (Coreopsis ‘Zagreb’)
This hardy native forms part of the foundation of the new garden. The soft fern-like mounds of Coreopsis will greet us as the Pool opens on Memorial Day, with bright yellow small flowers soon appearing and persisting throughout the summer. This cheerful flower is repeated inside the gate in the garden across from the guardhouse.
Oak Sedge (Carex Pennsylvanica)
The other plant making up the foundation of the entrance garden is Pennsylvania Sedge. This delicate arching native grass will fill in and accentuate the other plantings.
These striking rose-purple daisy-like flowers will be heavy bloomers starting in July, they are still blooming now in late October! The native Purple Coneflower is again repeated inside the gate in the garden across from the guardhouse.
Obviously not native, but this annual is a fun addition until the PawPaw trees mature.
Purple Poppy Mallow/ Wine Cups / Callirhoe Involucrata
The magenta cup-like blooms of Poppy Mallow form the brilliant show-stopping native ground-cover which greets on the left you before you enter the gate.
Hydrangea Macrophylla ‘All Summer Beauty’
This Mophead Hydrangea is not native, they were “extras” from the row by the Baby Pool, which has delighted us with their bold blue mopheads for seventeen years, selected before we were aware of the crucial benefits of indigenous plantings. The photo is by the Baby Pool, circa 2013, but they were just as glorious this summer!
Path up to the tennis courts.
Indian Wood Oats (chasmanthium latifolium)
This native grass was chosen to keep unwanted invasive plants from taking over, and to prevent erosion on the way up to the tennis courts. Their fluttering seed heads will reach over three feet tall, spreading through the hillside.
The garden inside the gate.
Lace-Cap Hydrangea (hydrangea arborescens ‘Haas Halo’)
This newly introduced native variety of hydrangea should be quite happy with the morning sun on the pachysandra hillside on the far side of the Big Pool and to the left of the stone fireplace. Thirty tiny plugs were scattered there and around the grounds by Kevin Motsch and Peter Dijstelbloem. Little white flags mark them, their roots now have time to get established before winter and we hope to see some bushes emerge in the spring. The soft white blooms will be a treat for years to come, for humans and insects.
Have you had the pleasure of sitting by the four-square court and witnessing the busyness of the butterflies on the bushes planted by Linda Doyle some years ago? A few plants were also added previously by Linda along the stream to help with erosion issues. These fragrant native August bloomers are magnets for hummingbirds and butterflies.
White flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies, then give way to button-like seed pods.