Pinehurst Greenway Pollinator Habitat Garden, Moore County
Design – Planning
The land for the garden at FirstHealth was donated by FirstHealth Hospital. When the garden was first completed, we had a large sign at the front naming all our donors and contributors. Lowes hardware and a few other businesses helped us with soil amendments and some materials.
Existing vegetation in the proposed butterfly garden area needed to be killed or removed in order to plant desired vegetation. For success, the site must be free of perennial weed species prior to planting. This is most easily accomplished using several treatments of herbicide after the plants have greened-up in the spring. There were a few desirable plants located in this area that can be protected from the herbicide by covering them with milk jugs or plastic bags during the herbicide application. This may be more trouble than it’s worth since very few native plants occur there.
Once the bed is free of weedy vegetation, it is recommended that several inches of compost be added to the soil. The soil in this area is very sandy and the plants will need some organic material in order to establish themselves. A roto-tiller is recommended to work the compost into the upper 8 to 12 inches of the soil. There is a gas line (and possibly other utilities) running through the center of the planting bed so the utility companies should be contacted prior to any digging or roto-tilling.
Once the bed has been satisfactorily prepared, planting (seeds or plants) can begin. Preferably, potted plants should be planted in the spring or fall. Seeds should be sowed according to instructions from supplier. Since the area is rather large it is recommended that mass plantings are made of each species chosen. It is recommended that potted herbaceous species be planted approximately 10-12 inches apart. Trees (if used) should be planted 10 feet apart.
The greenway committee designed the garden. The committee also picked the plants to be put in the garden. A boy scout ,who was earning his Eagle Scout certification when the garden was started, and troop prepared the site, found where chosen plants could be purchased and then planted them.
Part of our mission as a committee and our purpose as a part of the Pinehurst Conservation Commission is to monitor, maintain, protect, and enhance the natural wildlife habitats along the Greenway Trail. The Butterfly Garden falls within our jurisdiction. To sustain consistency of our mission along the trail, we must ensure the following:
- Planting of native plants, non-native lantana and few butterfly bush plants which are designed to attract butterflies
- Ensuring identification of plants within the plot through careful planning, plotting, and planting
- Ensuring a design that takes maintenance, erosion, aesthetic balance (pleasing to the eye), security, and habitat enhancement into consideration
- Maintaining control of budget expenditures and approval of all phases of the project.