Jay Ramsey (right) and crew Mauricio (left) and Mike (center)
On Tuesday, Jay Ramsey and his hard-working and dedicated crew from Farm Creek Landscaping, Mike and Mauricio, spent the morning whipping the HarborWalk Gardens into shape for Saturday’s Gloucester Garden Tour. I will be giving guided tours of the butterfly gardens at the HarborWalk on Saturday at 1:00 and at 2:00. The tours will begin under the Tulip Trees in St. Peter’s Square.
Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea purpurea)
One of the more fanciful North American wildflowers that you’ll see on the tour is the Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea purpurea), which is just beginning its florescence; typically July through August. With elegant, thread-like ferny foliage and charming one-inch flowerheads, this member of the Legume Family (Fabaceae) also adds nitrogen to the soil. The seeds of Dalea purpurea are enjoyed by many songbirds and the nectar-rich rose-purple and gold flowers are attractive to myriad species of butterflies and bees. Purple Prairie Clover grows well in average garden loom, as well as sandy soil, and it is often used for erosion control. Dalea purpurea grows a deep taproot and, once established, it is nearly impervious to drought.
Visit the Gloucester Garden Tour website for information on ticket sales.
Echinacea and Bee at the HarborWalk
Congratulations and thank you to Mayor Kirk, Sarah Garcia, Chris Muskopf, Jay Ramsey, and including everyone involved (there are many, many more than named here–these are the people I have had the pleasure to work with on the project) for having the vision, courage, tenacity, and talent to create Gloucester’s Harbor Walk.
Gloucester Harbor Walk ~ View of Gus Foote Park
The Harbor Walk is nearing completion. Despite the plethora of unforeseeable problems with the landfill at I4-C2, and current drought, the walk looks gorgeous. Come, take a stroll!
Gus Foote Park Last Year at this Time. What a difference–the build phase of the project was accomplished in only a few short months!
I will be bringing GMG readers more ‘before and after’ photos, as well as information about the native plants habitat gardens (and how you can translate that information to your own garden), in the coming months.
Jay Ramsey with his crew Mauriocio Tuquerres and Mike Rogers planting hawthorn Crategus viridis ‘Winter King’ at Gus Foote Park.
Yesterday Jay Ramsey and his crew planted the garden at I4-C2 and two trees at Gus Foote Park. Jay (Farm Creek Landscaping) suggested the hawthorn ‘Winter King’ and project architect Chris Muskopf and I agreed it was a great suggestion. Jay has had good success with ‘Winter King;’ notably with the several he planted along a windswept bank of the Annisquam River. ‘Winter King’ is relatively disease and pest free (atypical for members of the Rose Family) and is noted for its profusion of white flowers in May and tight clusters of bright red fruits that persist through the winter. The fruits are usually not eaten by birds until late winter. Crategus viridis is tolerant of poor soils and urban conditions. Crataegus means strength and viridis refers to the greenish bark of the species, however ‘Winter King’s’ bark is more silvery.
The magnificent Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), also called Tulip Poplar or Yellow Poplar, is named and noted for its tulip-shaped flowers. Tulip Trees are native to the eastern United States and are relatively fast growing, without the problem of weak wood strength and short life span typical of fast growing trees.
Tulip Trees at the Gloucester HarborWalk Butterfly Garden
The foliage of the Tulip Tree has a distinct four lobed shape, with a beautiful fluttering habit when caught in the wind. Come fall, the tree is ablaze in brilliant clear yellow. Rich in nectar, Tulip Trees are a major honey plant of the east. In our region the tree typically flowers in June. The nectar also invites songbirds Cardinal and Gold Finch, as well as Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
Liriodendron tulipifera is one of only two species in the genus Liriodendron in the Magnolia Family.
Fun fact from wiki: Native Americans so habitually made their dugout canoes of its trunk that the early settlers west of the Appalachian Mountains called it Canoewood.
Tulip Trees (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Monday the Tulip Trees were planted at St. Peter’s Square and Tuesday was devoted to Whale Watch and General Store planting areas. Today we are tackling Gus Foote Park. You may notice a few bare spots; not all plants have been delivered. We’ll be adding more to the gardens as they arrive.
Jay Ramsey and his crew from Farm Creek Landscpaping are doing a top-notch job—professional and so enthusiastic. We are all so excited to see the installation of the city’s Harbor Walk gardens underway. I’ll be bringing you information on some of the native beauties we have planted and their value to the landscape and to wildlife. People often ask me why they have so few bees in their garden and I respond, “What have you planted for the bees and for all the pollinators?” When you plant for the pollinators, they will come!