In mid-September, the Middletown Garden received a donation of over 7000 pollinator plants from Casertano Greenhouses and Farms in Cheshire. Plants included butterfly weed, goldenrod, salvia, blanket flower, sedum, and scabiosa.
With the planting season near its end, the challenge was how to put these plants to good use. Since the Garden Club had in past years installed two pollinator beds at Harbor Park, President Maria Holzberg created a plan inspired by garden designer Piet Oudolf to add new beds along Harborpark’s east facing slope. Town gardener Patsy Mylchreest enlisted the services of Middletown’s public works team and turf was stripped to create over 400 feet of planting beds.
The public response to this project was enthusiastic. Over the course of six hours, more than forty volunteers showed up on planting day, including Garden Club members and Middletown Pollinator Pathway participants. An Eagle Scout candidate also mobilized Boy Scouts to join in the effort. By the end of the day all beds had been installed, with hundreds of plants to spare.
Middletown Pollinator Pathway member Kathy Meyering has arranged to have these surplus plants distributed to several local organizations, as well as to individuals at the Middletown Farmer’s Market. Credit goes to Casertano Greenhouses for making it possible to spread the word about pollinator-friendly properties.