The Enhanced Lawn Garden
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This garden provides contrast with the other ecologically rich gardens by clearly presenting a typical, status-quo suburban backyard; mostly turf, with a specimen tree and some flowers and shrubs along the edges. Working within these limitations, plant choices and maintenance still encourage a more responsible approach to a backyard. The turf is kept long, without extra water or fertilizer. This allows other lawn species which many of us consider as “weeds”, that actually provide essential nutrients for wildlife, like bees, to bloom during periods where many perennials have not bloomed yet or have just finished. The statuesque white pine damaged by ice storms has been pruned to encourage wildlife to use as natural perch for preening/grooming, viewing the surroundings, hunting or resting.
The lawn provides open space for tours and groups to gather, and is regularly used by photographers and birders. The wall of conifers and shrubs on the edge of the trail offers a good source of berries and cover for many birds and small mammals. Lawns are a component of four of the five gardens and are very important for family recreational activities as well as to wildlife. Some wildlife species have adapted to this new habitat. Robins, starlings and Chipping Sparrows hunt for insects and earthworms here. Skunks dig up and eat June beetle larva that feed on the grass roots. The large white pine already offers shade and the needled carpet below provides some visual change from the lawn.
Needless to say, this “garden” is not as biodiverse or as attractive to wildlife as the other four gardens, but it is a display of how even the simplest of settings can still support a vast variety of local wildlife.
Featuring a central Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) for birds to use a natural perch, this garden also includes beautiful blooming lawn species such as Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica 'Spring Beauty') Fern-leaf Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa 'Bacchanal'). For all plantings intended for this garden, download the revitalization plant list PDF below. Note that over time the actual plants may change!