Mariton: A Yard Experiment
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager
In the spring I released a section of the lawn and let the grass grow tall. It is an area that is very visible to visitors and I got many positive comments. Over the summer I started thinking about the area and perhaps leaving it semi-wild.
This summer I was buying birdseed for the Bird Blind at my local garden shop, Bluestone Gardens. I shared my idea about releasing the section with my good friends at the store to see what they thought. Without batting an eye they offered a bunch of native wildflowers if I wanted to introduce them into the area. I held off, because it was very dry right then.
A few weeks ago, we mowed part of the area down low and removed the cut grass. Now that we are beginning to receive some rainfall again, I approached my friends about the natives. She told me to back the truck up, and she started pulling flats off the benches. In the end, Bluestone Gardens donated over sixty potted plants like goldenrod, milkweed, asters, and grasses to Mariton.
I planted them randomly around the area we had cleared. I also plan to harvest seeds from Mariton’s fields to do a frost planting next winter. If I like the results of this experiment, I will probably expand the area next year.