July 2015 archive

Our Butterfly and Perennial Garden

Marie's inspirational perennial garden

Marie’s inspirational perennial garden in 2012

Wendy and Ellen’s side of the garden with nutsedge and other weeds, prior to renovation

 

 

 

 

 

 

The gardens on the Elmwood Road side of the Narberth Train Station had become an eyesore with no one tending to them.  In 2009, Marie Kelly, (a  N.I.C.E volunteer,  Narberth Area Garden Club member and graduate of the demanding Barnes Arboretum horticultural training program), single-handedly took on the garden on the left side of the path facing the station and made it into a breathtaking perennial garden.  A few years later, in 2012, Garden Club members Wendy White and Ellen Briggs, became so impressed with her beautiful garden that they took on garden on the other side of the path.  That garden was choked with a very tough weed called nut sedge and also a lot of debris such as black plastic mulch, white marble chips, old cables,  etc.  We are extremely proud to say that, although more than one expert advised us that it is impossible to get rid of well entrenched nut sedge without use of a chemical pesticide, we eradicated it by hand digging–no pesticides were used, even organic ones.

Monarch caterpillar in our Butterfly Garden

We hand picked out all the other foreign objects buried in the garden and then planted a butterfly garden which included host and nectar plants for Monarch butterflies (as well as plants for other types of butterfly).   We received certification as a Monarch Waystation (which we considered very appropriate to the commuter train station where the garden is located!!) in 2014.

Throughout, the project has been financially and morally supported by N.I.C.E (the Narberth Improvement and Clean-up Endeavor), so the gardens are a joint project of Narberth Area Garden Club and N.I.C.E.  See below for a gallery of the gardens over time:

 

Marie's inspirational perennial garden as it was in 2012 Butterfly Garden before renovation, 2012 to explain why the garden is a mess and what the plan is Fall of 2012:  after replacing the nutsedge-laced topsoil we removed with mushroom soil, we laid out a grid to aid with garden design May 2013--here you see bags of free wood chips we are ready to make our wood chip path! Garden with wood chip path ready to plant, May 2013 May 2013, Ellen & Wendy at the garden Wendy planting, May 2013
Summer 2013--tropical milkweed and cleome in bloom July 2013, butterfly on tithonia
September 2013:  Probably a Blue Mud Wasp, nectaring on tropical milkweed Sept. 2013, a Monarch nectaring on annual milkweed in the butterfly garden September 2013:  Our Tithonia grew to be 7 feet high September 2013---we discover monarch caterpillars on our milkweed September 2013  Spring 2014: Hyacinths from long ago September 2014 Sept 2014--sunflower Sept 2014--rabbit with Homestead Purple verbena Sept 2014--Zinnias February 2015 July 2015, Narberth Station butterfly garden
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Fall of 2012: after replacing the nutsedge-laced topsoil we removed with mushroom soil, we laid out a grid to aid with garden design