Site work begins

Towards the end of the summer of 2018 I began researching suitable wildflower sites on the edge of the park, and securing approval by Parks (ie. Stephanie Thayer). In November the Parks Department felled the sick tree that was on the chosen location for the wildflower garden. At the same time they cleared the corner of the park where it stood, just next to the Children’s Playground on Van Cortlandt Park East. The soil appeared worn out so we asked Parks for some mulch which they delivered in a big heap. My husband and I spread it over the site to help suppress the existing, dormant invasive weeds and improve the soil. The site was then left to its own devices for the fall and winter, or as they say – Let nature take its course.

This was the beginning of our small experimental flower garden. We had not received any funding except a promise of a small amount from the Woodlawn Taxpayers Assoc.

I heard of a grant that was directed towards park improvements done by volunteers, ie. the Capacity Grant sponsored by the City Parks Foundation. Stephanie Thayer suggested I apply so I did and while waiting for the result I began researching where to find wildflower seeds, how to plant them and how to achieve optimal results within our park environment.

One company that was highly recommended by gardening enthusiasts was the NE Seed Co. located in Connecticut. They fortunately had a great informative web site facilitating my searches.and a very understanding person (thank you Maureen) who answered my many questions. Eventually, after receiving the go ahead on the grant I ordered seeds from them. The seed packets were:

Monarch Butterfly Wildflower Seed Mix, Native Perennial Wildflower Seed Mix, Northeast Native Wildflower Seed Mix, Super Short Wildflower Seed Mix.

When I did order and received the hermetically sealed packets my heart was racing with delight and wonder that this project was finally on its way.

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