Crow’s Nest: Volunteers clean up

March 9, 2022

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

Volunteers cutting back garden plants and raking leaves

Photo: Cody Hudgens

Our top-notch volunteers joined us last week to jump-start the process of spring cleanup in the gardens around the visitor center at Crow’s Nest. They cut back perennials and raked out excess leaves, and then we cut some invasive plants in the woods nearby.

What we did differently this year, and which lent itself to having many hands’ help, was hand-cutting the perennial stems well above the ground—eight to twelve inches—and bundled all of the cut stems to set in the woods intact. This better protects the insects that have eggs or larvae in the stems, the better to preserve the natural food web intact. (horticultural practice is usually to cut the perennials back much closer to the ground and discard the cut stems).

There is a little weeding, dividing of perennials, and routine maintenance left—which more volunteers will help us do—but the garden is substantially prepared for spring. Thank you all!

Volunteers line up for a group photo at garden cleanup

Photo: Daniel Barringer