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Mostly Native Vegetable, Herb and Pollinator Garden

Description

This garden is a constantly-morphing area filled with practical and beautiful plants!  We built the cedar bed in 2015 or 2016, and planted typical summer vegetables.  We planted an oregano plant that is still thriving today, along with many shorter-lived herbs.  

In 2018, we expanded the garden to include lots of pollinator plants.  We removed an invasive nandina shrub and, in 2019, an ash tree infested with Emerald Ash Borer.  These removals gave us space to plant more pollinator plants and herbs.  

In 2020, we added a small fence to exclude rabbits, and added many native pollinator plants.  Most of our time in 2021 has been focused on maintaining existing plantings, including continually removing sprouts from the nandina we removed years ago.  

We rotate the vegetables we plant in the garden each year to reduce insect and disease pressures.  This year, we planted Purple-Hull Peas (Vigna unguiculata) to introduce some nitrogen into the soil and to give it a rest from being over-planted with the same crop families year after year.  We allowed kale we planted in 2019 to reseed itself in the garden and it’s grown happily in the shade of the trellised peas even through our hot summer. 

The garden is home to TONS of local wildlife, including frogs, lizards, many different bees and butterflies, and chipmunks.  We find lots of birds in the garden.  Phoebes love to perch on the posts in the spring, and Goldfinches love the seeds we leave for them over the winter.  A Ruby-Throated Hummingbird visits the nectar daily, along with lots of other pollinators.  We also find lots of predatory insects like Red-Footed Cannibal Flies and a wide variety of Dragonflies and Damselflies.  

Plant List (of permanent and semi-permanent plants):

 

  • Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa and Monarda didyma) (native)

  • Short-toothed Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum muticum) (native)

  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) (native)

  • Scarlet Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus) (native)

  • Stokes Aster (Stokesia laevis) (native)

  • Various native purple asters (exact spp unknown)

  • Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) (native)

  • Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) (native)

  • Wild Indigo (Baptisia alba) (native)

  • Black eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) (native)

  • Short’s Goldenrod (Solidago shortii) (native)

  • Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens ‘Major Wheeler’)

  • Dwarf Yarrow (Achillea millefolium ‘Little Moon’) (somewhat native)

  • Wild Violets (Viola sororia) (native)

  • Coreopsis (spp. unknown - probably native)

  • Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans)

  • Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena globosa)

  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

  • Thyme (Thymus vulgaris

  • Catnip (Nepata cataria)

  • Pomegranate (Punica granatum ‘Salavatski’)