Gray birch (Betula populifolia) is a common species that has a lot of potential for managed landscapes. It is a fast-growing tree that can thrive in poor soil and a valuable host plant for Lepidoptera.
American witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) blooms late in the fall just as most other plants are going dormant. These delicate blossoms remain in flower for a month or more, but just who are its pollinators?
Mayflower or trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens) is much beloved for its fragrant flowers, which bloom early in spring. But did you know that our state flower was once in danger of disappearing from the Commonwealth?
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) and northern bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica) are quite different in habit and typical growing conditions, but both have tremendous potential in designed landscapes.
Originally published in the Belmont Citizens Forum, April 2023
Transitioning your garden to be more native, wild, and welcoming to pollinators and birds does not need to be an overwhelming or expensive undertaking. In fact, you can get started by being a little lazy!