Earth Day

Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and my thoughts go to our seventh principal: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are part. Our focus on use of native plantings on RRUUC grounds will allow us to model this web. The native plants will attract and feed our native insects, which will attract and feed our native birds and mammals. We are a part of the web also, and our hope is that our grounds provide a place for us to find peace and reconnect with the natural world.

Recently emerged Jack-in-the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) produce bright red berries in the fall that feed birds and mammals.
Last year we transplanted three small Golden Ragwort (Packera aurea) plants to our rear grounds. We are hoping these plants can be a groundcover and out-compete the English ivy. They are an important early season nectar source for pollinators.
The springs on our grounds are lined with several species of sedge (Carex sp.), many of which are forming blooms now. Birds eat the seeds, and they are host plant to several species of butterfly.
Our grounds host multiple colonies of Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum). Most of the plants have a single umbrella leaf, but the few that have two leaves produce a white flower in late April. Deer browse the leaves, and turtles eat the fruit.
Nature can be very resilient. I found these Fleabane (Erigeron sp.) growing in the compost bin beside our garden.
That’s all for this week. I’ll go out with this Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium). It is one of the most common understory plants on our grounds. The white flowers produce high-energy fruit for birds in late summer.