What better way to celebrate Earth Day (April 22) than a clean-up of the Riparian Demonstration Buffer Garden (otherwise known as the 4H Buffer Garden)? A small, but stalwart group of BRFAL Master Naturalists and Franklin Co. Master Gardeners spent several hours on the 20th pruning, raking and removal deadfall from the five beds that make up the garden. The Demonstration Buffer Garden, located at the Skelton 4H Center next to Smith Mt. Lake (SML) in Wirtz, VA, was designed by Leslie Santapal in 2005. Trees and shrubs were placed in 2006, followed by native grasses and perennial flowers in 2007. The purpose of the garden is to inspire SML homeowners to utilize buffer strategies to reduce run-off into the lake—to “slow and filter the flow” while providing food and habitat to wildlife. Nearly twelve years later, the trees (river birch, lacebark elm, red bud, dogwood and magnolia), shrubs (viburnum, grey owl juniper and inkberry holly) and native grasses are thriving—so much so, they shade out the perennial flowers and need a haircut!
(Words and pix by Beth Pautler)
|Beth & Paul breaking their backs|
|Nelda Looking happy|
|Jean making progress|