Thursday, May 29, 2014

Reflection Garden Steering Committee Meeting
May 27, 2014
Attendees: Sue Carlson, Cindy Coy, Vera Jones, Lynn Luesson, Marti Szczur, Pat Thomson

Thanks to a bit of a rainstorm dampening our meeting site at the CS Pavilion, we fled to Cindy Coy’s house (after a detour to the closed Black Bear CafĂ©), Once together and dry, we covered a lot of topics.  Here is a summary:

   Summer watering strategy – To ensure that our new plants make it through the summer, we decided to have volunteers take 1 or 2 weeks of ‘watering duty.’ To aid in the process, Pat Thompson came up with the brilliant idea of gathering up a bunch of large plastic cat litter containers (or other large plastic containers) that we can punch a small hole or two in the bottom, fill ‘em up, and let them slow drip on the plants.  We’d like at least 20 to use on new trees.  Got any?  Call Marti Sue, or Jill for pick up or dropping off.

    Water Duty Sign Up (to date)
-  May 26 – June 7 … Cindy
-  June 8-21 … Sue Carlson
-  June 22-July 5 … Vera
-  July 6-19 … Marti
-  July 20-Aug 2 … Pat Thompson
-  Aug 3 -16 … TBD
-  Aug 17-30 … TBD
-  Sep 1-14 … TBD
-  Sep 15-28 … TBD
Plants will need a good soak every week. If Mother Nature provides this soak, lucky you! Knowledge of watering process can be handed off from person going off-duty to person going on-duty.
    Budget status
    Since the meeting, Cindy has received more donations, which brings the total up to $900! We’ll start paying off the loan from Szczurs and buy some berm mulch. Speaking of which …

    … there was consensus to use pine straw/needles for mulching the berms.. Cindy is going to research places to buy and cost of pine straw.

   Berm planting – It was decided to go ahead and plant the berms this summer with donated plants. Berm “Captains” J were assigned, and they will be responsible for overseeing the collection and planting of the designated plants for their berm.  They will solicit help on an ‘as needed’ basis from the volunteer pool. Berm Captains may want to supplement an additional plant to their berm, using Jill’s compiled list as guide (e.g., complementary plant with Bleeding Hearts.) If so, just send out a memo to Jill Toop and Marti Szczur, so we can maintain an updated plant list and plan.

            BERM CAPTAINS
-       Captain Cindy: Columbine/Wild Ginger Berm
-       Captain Marti: Ferns/Black Cohosh Berm
-       Captain Jill: Christmas Fern/Green ‘n Gold (Lynn will provide the Green ‘n Gold)
-       Captain Lynn: Grey Beardtongue and Bleeding Heart Berms

    We agreed that the river stone placement around the center boulders needs to be extended. Lynn took the lead on this.  (However, if you are over at Garden weeding, planting, or watering, you can carry a bucket over while there … just did that this morning.

    Lining pathway with rocks – Marti will coordinate with Nancy to bring some “good looking” rocks over and begin to line walk way. We can refine it as needed.

    Pat checked with Mark McQuarry (bench craftsman), and he will engrave his benches for us.  Pat will coordinate the engraving timing and fee with him.  Goal will be to have benches engraved and moved on location by August 1. NOTE: We’ll need some strong mountain men to help with moving benches. Two benches are at Pat’s and one is at Jill’s.

    Entry design – Marti will develop a draft design for landscaping around the entry trees.  May be that this area will be a entry area rock garden island, rather than beginning of walk way. Whatcha think?

     Permanent stone entry rock/engraving – There was consensus to buy a largish entry rock engraved with “Wintergreen Reflection Garden” and place it in corner of berm on right of pathway. Marti and Pat will consult with folks at King Custom Engraving about providing/engraving this rock.  We will also get a few small “Shhh …” rocks to place around. [Note – looking into drones to circle area and buzz any misbehaving visitors … yes, I am kidding.]

    Space where the river stones are staged will need to have some planting, as it is a perfect spot for an understory tree/shrub … perhaps a Nine Bark, Viburnum or Spirea.  Lynn is going to take a look at the NF inventory to see what might work.

    After meeting, some of us went over to view David Hockstein’s garden.  He has artistic rock arrangements scattered throughout his woods.  It gave us some thoughts/ideas about how we might want to extend the garden into the woods using stone features rather than plantings.

Phew … did I capture it all?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Landscaping cloth and mulch is down

Today's "laborers" were awesome. The garden crew included Georgia Orphan, Vera Jones, Nancy Schwiesow, Betty Kane, Bob Scott, Lynn Luessen, and me, Marti Szczur. [Sad to say, Sadie Szczur was not much help.]

Thanks to Nancy for taking the photos for us.

We tackled putting down the landscaping cloth and mulch in the central area and entry path. Completed, except for refining the curves. Plus, we scattered some of the river stone around the boulders ... it is looking good.

Planting the berms are our next task, which means transplanting and/or buying plants based on our plan.

Steering Committee will meet soon to discuss next steps and see where we are fund-wise.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Updated Reflection Garden Planting Design (as of May 11, 2014)

Work Day on Friday

We had a productive one hour work session on Friday to put down landscaping cloth and mulch in the garden’s center area. Those in attendance included Jill, Bob, Georgia, Pat, Dane (yes, some young muscle!), Joe and Marti.  We used up the available cloth and covered maybe a third of the to-be-mulched area.  I’ll call Gary on Monday to request some more landscaping cloth.  He is able to buy it at wholesale costs and then pass along the bill to us without a markup.  We also moved some of the river stones to surround the center boulders and repositioned one of the rocks in the front left berm.

Here is recent snapshot of Garden with partial mulching completed.

You’ll also noticed some temporary signs up in garden.  I put these up for a couple of reasons …  first, in response to a broken beer bottle we found a week or so ago and, second, to identify to interested folks what is going on at on this site. Cindy notified the Wintergreen police to keep an extra eye out at site for beer-guzzling, bottle-breaking types.  Here is photo of sign at entrance ...

Next step … complete the mulching in central and path areas. I’ll be away next week. If Gary is able to get cloth next week, I’ll let you know and someone can organize a work session, or we’ll just wait until week of May 19th when I’ll schedule a session.  (Do I hear someone suggesting I go away for two or three weeks? :-)

When we plant berms, what do you think of using a different type/texture of mulch to cover plantings … i.e., to add a contrast from the walking area?


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Plant Group identifies initial plantings

We were to meet at the Reflection Garden to walk around and think about initial plants to place on berms, but it was raining.  Maybe stupid once, but not stupid twice. (Read earlier post to understand comment.)

So, we moved on to Jill's for our meeting.  Lynn, Vera, Georgia, Jill, Bob, Pat, and Marti discussed plant options and identified initial plants for berms -- Bleeding Hearts, Blue Bells, Sedums, ferns (Christmas, Sensitive, Marginal), Black Cohosh, Columbine, Wild Ginger, Grey Beardtongue, Green 'n Gold.  Looking for transplants from mountain gardens and/or donations to buy starter plants.

Next work session is on Friday when we will spread down landscaping cloth to control weeds in walking area and then begin to mulch.

Marti has action to update Reflection Garden plan.