Would you like to help us spruce up the pollinator gardens at the HarborWalk? The wonderful Maggie Rosa called last week expressing interest in helping care for the garden. We had a nice walk through the HarborWalk and talked about weed versus wildflower. Maggie has already made a tremendous improvement. If you would like to volunteer, I’ll be at the HarborWalk on Sunday morning from 7am to 8:30, before the podcast, and happy to show anyone interested how to identify the wildflowers. Please feel free to comment in the comment section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Thank you.
I only wish we had before photos but trust me when I say the weeds were waste high!
Thank you to Harbor Walk Friend and Volunteer Amy Kerr, who contacted Sean Nolan of Extreme Truck and Auto Repair, who got in touch with Andrew Butler of Leatherneck Landscaping. Sean, Andrew, and a crew member mowed, weed whacked and raked, despite the extreme heat and humidity. They did this on a volunteer basis, absolutely free of charge. Andrew and Sean plan to stop by several times a month to lend a hand and I just can’t tell you how grateful we are for the help.
Amy also reports that Sean and Andrew help greatly with many community clean ups around town.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, and ninety nine thank yous more, to Lynn Bird, Amy Kerr, Andrew Butler, and Sean Nolan for your tremendous help with the HarborWalk.
For giving up another Sunday morning to help at the HarborWalk. I am so thankful for your continued help, especially this spring with our daughter’s upcoming wedding. You are doing a tremendous job. I just can’t express how greatly appreciated is your time, energy, hard work, and thoughtfulness. Thank you also to Lise Breen, Amy Kerr, Leslie Heffron, and Beth Chiancola for your help many Sunday mornings this spring.
Through working on the HarborWalk I have met some of the nicest and most kind hearted people one could ever hope to meet. If you would like to lend a hand and come work with the amazing Friends of the HarborWalk, email me at email@example.com.
Today we planted patches of butterfly, bee, and songbird attracting annuals. I am so proud of the job George and Charles accomplished–64 plants all on their own!
Thank you Lynn Bird, Amy Kerr, Catherine Ryan, Charles and George for an awesome and fabulous job! We spent the morning weeding and getting the HarborWalk beds ready to plant butterfly attracting annuals. Lynn, Amy, and Catherine are just amazingly helpful and super hard workers. With special thanks to Charles and George for their enthusiasm and wonderfully positive attitude. The boys pitch right in and just really attack the worst of the oversized weeds–we especially enjoyed the funny names they’ve assigned the most offensive weeds, names such as tidy whities!
Gloucester HarborWalk Volunteers Lynn Bird, Amy Kerr, Catherine Ryan, George, and Charles
Yesterday while in Boston to meet with clients at their home on Comm. Ave, I couldn’t help but take a snapshot of the glorious saucer magnolias blooming along the avenue. I wished I’d had more time because just as I was leaving, the sun began to poke out. The stunning display that you see lining the south-facing side is the genius of one woman and when I have time, will write more about her brilliant accomplishment to which we are all the beneficiaries, more than fifty years after planting!
Magnolia soulangeana Commonwealth Avenue Boston
At the Gloucester HarborWalk Gardens, we planted two species of magnolia adjacent to each other. Many arboretums, such as Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum, plant several species within the same plant family in close proximity to provide an opportunity to learn by comparing the differences and similarities. I wanted our community to enjoy a mini-arboretum experience by planting two of the most beautiful magnolias that grow well in our region, the saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana) and sweetbay magnolia (M. virginiana). Stop by in the coming weeks to visit our gorgeous magnolias in bloom. M. soulangeana will bloom first, followed by M. virginiana.
The Friends of the HarborWalk will be back at the HarborWalk this Sunday (tomorrow morning), beginning at 9am. We’ll meet in front of the Gloucester House. Come lend a hand–its work, but fun with this growing great group of community-spirited friends. Everyone is welcome!
Please leave a comment in the comment section or feel free to contact me if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In my garden design practice, the topic of deadheading flowers comes up often, especially at this time of year. The habitat garden is designed for people and for pollinators and the objective is to find a balance between the two. Esthetically speaking, to some, a garden only looks its best when every plant is tidily trimmed and every spent flower blossom removed. But to a hungry bird on the wing, an expiring sunflower or cosmos is bird food. Some plants should be deadheaded and pruned however, the next time you get a jones to neaten a plant, take a moment to look at it from the perspective of a songbird.
Black-capped Chicakdee ~ Poecile articapillus
I like a bit of unruliness in the garden and don’t even deadhead cosmos any longer. They will continue to flower whether deadheaded or not. A few weeks ago while working with several of our wonderful HarborWalk volunteers, I was explaining what plants to deadhead and what plants not to deadhead, and why, when at the very moment that I was speaking those very words, three brilliant cadmium yellow goldfinches flew on the scene and began devouring the seed heads of a nearby coneflower!
American Goldfinch Eating Cosmos Seeds
And too, a batch of Echinacea not only provides mid-winter sustenance to hungry birds, the seed heads sure look pretty silhouetted by new fallen snow.
Thank you Beth, Lynn, Frieda, Catherine, Mary Jo, Lise, Susan, Deborah, and Roger for a super meeting and weeding this morning. Thank you to all our newest “Friends of the HarborWalk” members who, although could not make it this morning, have expressed interest in helping.
If you would like to join the Friends of the HarborWalk, please email me at email@example.com. In September I am giving a close-up photo workshop, in the garden, to all our Friends of the HarborWalk members. Date to be determined.
You do not need to be an expert gardener to join. Membership is open to all, and we’ll give you on-the-job training, no worries!
Note to Lucinda: I could not retrieve your email address from the comments. Please send me an email and I will add you to the mailing list. Thank you.
Look who joined us while weeding and meeting this morning at the gardens, an American Lady Butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis), and she was nectaring from the ginromously tall New York Ironweed (Veronia noveboracensis), a true North American native beauty and fabulous source of nectar for butterflies and bees.
Yesterday afternoon and evening while weeding at the HarborWalk butterfly gardens I encountered a gorgeous male Summer Azure butterfly, lots of friendly Red Admirals, and myriad bees. If you are there at the HarborWalk tonight watching the The Wizard of Oz, stroll through the gardens and have a look at these beautiful native wildflowers in bloom today!
You may notice some bare spots in the garden, which will soon be filled! Hose spigots were just installed this week at the gardens and we now have an improved way to water!!!!! Up to this point, for the past several years, Lenny Linquata has graciously allowed the city to hook up hoses and fill watering cans at his restaurant spigot.
Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
See previous GMG posts for more information about Gloucester’s Summer Cinema:
Dear Friends of the HarborWalk,
I couldn’t decide if the title should read “Help with the HarborWalk” or “HarborWalk MugUp” and as you can see, opted for the MugUp, but we do need help, too. Several beds need weeding and I have a modest batch of annuals we’d like to get in the ground, just as soon as possible. The goal is to whip the butterfly gardens into shape before Fiesta. If you are interested in lending a hand, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment in the the comment section so we can get an idea of how many fabulous homemade Brother’s Brew doughnuts I should purchase! We are meeting at 9am Sunday in front of the Gloucester House Restaurant. We will have some spare tools and please feel free to bring your own. You don’t need to be a gardener and kids are 100 percent welcome.Thank you.
Very best wishes,
While weeding yesterday morning, there were several species of small butterflies flitting about, including a number of Spring Azures. Lots of bees were spied, too. The native Magnolia virginiana and sweet thimbleweeds are in bloom and and a good bunch of Purple Prairie Clover is becoming established. Stop by and take the opportunity to learn about some of our native beauties planted at the HarborWalk.
What a challenge to try to schedule HarborWalk cleanups during the month of April! There’s just one more border along I4-C2, thanks to all our super awesome volunteers, and most gratefully to Lise Breen, who very kindly and all by herself last weekend cleaned up the other half of I4-C2. I will be there Sunday morning at 9am, unless it is raining buckets! Everyone is invited, you don’t have to be a gardener to lend a hand, and we will have extra hand tools and lawn and leaf bags. We hope to see you there!
Blue skies and warm weather are predicted for tomorrow’s HarborWalk Cleanup. I hope to see you there! You don’t need to be a gardener to pitch in; everyone is welcome!
The order for milkweed seeds and asters in being placed on Monday so please get your orders in before then. Thank you! Read more about the Cape Ann Milkweed project here.
I am presenting 2 lectures this coming week, Monday on Butterfly Gardening in Shrewsbury and Wednesday evening on The Pollinator Garden in North Reading. Please visit the events page of my website for more information.
Reader Dawn Puliafico writes about her recent visit to the Gloucester HarborWalk, “Hot day today! The gardens are lovely! We saw 2 Cabbage White, 1 American Lady, 1 Broad-Winged Skipper and 1 Clouded Sulphur. Not much activity…still nice to see though! We weren’t there long! Too hot! Thanks for your advice! We appreciate it!”
Thank you for writing Dawn.
Monarch Butterfly Nectaring at the Echinacea