JOHN’S NATIVE PLANT NATIVE PLANT TEACHING GARDEN
2022 LATE SPRING/SUMMER MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
This is the seventh growing season of the Native Plant Teaching Garden at St. John’s Church! The Native Plant Teaching Garden was established in 2015 as a collaborative project between St. John’s Church and St. John’s Preschool. It has grown to include almost 50 different types of plants that provide habitat for wildlife, including birds, butterflies, bees, many other types of insects, frogs, and more. A list of plants in the Native Plant Teaching Garden is on the last page of this document. The Native Plant Teaching Garden is located between the Education Building and the Church, and also adjacent to the lower parking lot. Most of the plants are native to North Carolina. The Native Plant Teaching Garden also includes three bird feeders with suet, black-oil sunflower seed, and thistle, and it includes other habitat features such as two artificial ponds that provide water for visiting wildlife, and “frog-house pots” that provide shelter for reptiles and amphibians.
The plants, and the wildlife they attract, are doing great, but your help is needed to keep the garden thriving and looking beautiful during the hot and dry late spring and summer months. Whatever you do is appreciated! No expertise with gardening is required. A goal of this Native Plant Teaching Garden is to spread a love of gardening with native plants to benefit wildlife, so the fact that we are all learning what works and what doesn’t work is one of the objectives!
The guiding force behind this garden is Helen Holt, and she is the ultimate expert, leader, and positive energy behind this successful garden. In addition, there are MANY members of St. John’s that have contributed to the garden over the past 7 years. This year I (Cathy Brittingham) have volunteered to help with the administrative task of organizing the late spring/summer maintenance schedule. Please feel free to let me know at any time if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions. The best way to reach me is by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southern Sundrops, Native Plant Native Plant Teaching Garden, May 2021
- Wish list items: bird food (thistle, suet and black oil sunflower seed).
- Please bring any other tools that you will need (clippers, bucket, pruners, spade, weeder, broom, handgrip for tightening garden hose connections, insect repellant, sunscreen, drinks).
- Watering: There are five garden hoses, one garden hose nozzle wand, an upper level and lower level irrigation system, a rain gauge, a handheld watering jug, and a rain water barrel. Three of the garden hoses are for connection to the spigot located near the HVAC units at the door leading into the church hallway from the Education building. The fourth garden hose is connected to the rain water barrel which is located at the lower back corner of the garden adjacent to the Education building. Two of the hoses are connected to the spigot, another hose is curled up in the bushes by the door that leads directly into the Sanctuary, and another hose is curled up by the rain water barrel. The irrigation system brings water throughout the garden, and is operated by connecting it to the spigot with the appropriate garden hoses.
Weekly maintenance tasks include:
- Water. This can be done with a hand held garden hose and/or the on-site irrigation system. Plants should be watered on an as-needed basis, and this is a judgment call depending on whether the plant is newly planted/transplanted versus well-established, and depending on the amount of recent rainfall. All of the plants in this garden are tough, native perennials. They may look wilted and even start losing some leaves, but that’s just nature’s way of protecting the plant: the fewer leaves needing support, the less moisture the roots need!
- Rain gauge. Please check the rain gauge near the bird feeders to help determine how much rain the garden has received, then empty it so it is ready for the next rainfall.
- Orange flag. Indicates transplants within the past 6 months which should be given a thorough soaking (approximately 60 seconds) once a week if no rain.
- No flag. For the rest of the garden, the plants will be okay if they go approximately two weeks with no rain. If it has been more than two weeks without rain, please give the full garden a thorough soaking.
- Ponds. Fill the 2 ponds that are adjacent to the Education Building with water.
- Weeds. Remove weeds if time and conditions allow. Please remove as much of the weed’s roots as possible. Please adhere to the no-chemical objective. If no chemicals are used, you can place the weeds in the woods behind the Education building (after walking towards the street and then to the left past the large walnut tree). There are a number of brush piles in the woods already that serve as “rabbitats” for little critters.
- Bird feeders. There is one for suet, one for thistle, and one for black oil sunflower seeds. Kenille is taking the lead on ensuring the bird feeders are stocked, but if you would like to bring some supplies to fill them as well, that would be appreciated!
- Bigger maintenance needs. Please don’t hesitate to let someone know if there are any maintenance needs that may require more resources (time, people, funds). For the 2022 growing season, the best contact is Cathy Brittingham at email@example.com.
Catmint, Native Plant Native Plant Teaching Garden, May 2021