What’s Up in the Garden?
In 2016 St. Michael’s applied for and received a matching grant from Arlington County’s StormwaterWise program to remove turf grass and install conservation landscaping on the steep hill on either side of the stairs on the Ivanhoe Street entrance. Meadow plants, native to our region, and adapted to the dry, sunny location were chosen with the objective of having something in bloom throughout the growing season. In addition to providing a visual burst of color, the roots of these plants help absorb stormwater that otherwise would sheet off of turf grass, into the sewers and into the Chesapeake Bay.
The hillside filled in remarkably quickly with no additional watering of the plants beyond the first month and some, such as the Orange coneflowers (Rudbeckia fulgida) and Bee-balm (Monarda didyma), have spread far beyond where they were initially planted. This fall we’ll be dividing up some of the perennials and relocating some to other garden beds around the church, including along the Jefferson Street stairs. Please take a moment to observe the active community of native bees, butterflies and other pollinators benefitting from the food supply provided by these native plants!