Sunday, September 27, 2009
Wildflowers in the rain
Today I fulfilled one of my duties as a Minton Stable Garden Steering Committee member by supervising a work day. I don't know if the term "supervise" accurately described my role. It was more like I was Queen Elizabeth, Terry (or Allan or Kim) was the prime minister and the other 8 workers trying to get their hours in were a very effective House of Parliament. The objective today: advance work on the wildflower/habitat area that was begun last month on the MSG grounds.Terry and Asa, who are also on the Steering Committee, are the coordinators of this project. Prior to today, they had convened a planning meeting and held a work day a week ago to break ground of the two roundish plots. One had been completely dug up while the other was covered in newspaper and compost to kill off the grass and prevent weeds from returning. Today, Allan and Kim provided most of the native perennials and could identify them and recommend optimal places for them to be planted.Shortly before work began, around noon, I met with Terry to review what needed to be done and put out the signup sheet. After a morning of checking the weather forecast (100% chance of rain!) and trying to determine whether or not to continue plans for the work day, we stood on the grass with a light rain falling, figuring if no one appeared, we'd postpone it a week. But there was no guarantee that next Saturday's weather would be more conducive to planting, and there were a few gardeners out there who really needed their work hours (4 each season is the requirement). Sure enough, a few minutes later, they came, gloves in hand, ready to work. And this is really the best time of year to divide and plant perennials, and the people who were passionate about this project were eager to get them in.The variety of natives included milkweed, beebalm, lobelia, aster, purple coneflower, and even blueberries. Anyone in the area interested in more detail could stop by and read the little markers that a worker diligently provided for each. Asa stopped by later in the session and was quite impressed; given the weather and projections of low turnout, she thought there'd be about a half dozen plants in the ground. But we had the plots pretty much covered, leaving one small area open for new inspiration.