In 2020, we began transitioning the landscape around our 118 Cliff Road office to a native plant garden, to help educate the public about the importance and beauty of native plants and boost the ecological value of our office landscape. With a generous grant from the Nantucket Garden Club, and a landscape design created by a board member, we removed large areas of invasives and replanted with native shrubs, trees, and grasses around our office entrance. These base plantings will be augmented with additional native plants grown in our greenhouse to add diversity and color.
We also created a large informal wildflower meadow with seed collected from our properties and plants grown in our Tupancy Links greenhouse. In 2021, the wildflower meadow came into its own, with drifts of native rabbit tobacco (Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium) stealing the show and a high species diversity (94 species, about 75% native), ranging from orange milkweed and asters to yarrow and native grasses. In the coming years we expect to see several of the slower-growing species add color to this display. The wildflower meadow has a meandering mown path for easy viewing, and has already become popular with office staff. A surge in butterflies, bees, dragonflies and birds in the meadow area through the 2021 season demonstrated the impact of converting this area from a dense tangle of invasive shrubs to a biodiverse early successional landscape. Both the wildflower meadow and the more formal landscaped areas are open to the public, so feel free to come enjoy the plantings and the educational signage year-round.
We encourage you to stop by the 118 Cliff Road NCF office to see how native plants could be a great addition to your home landscaping projects. Enhancing home landscapes across the island helps provide connections between conservation properties and to boost wildlife habitat across the island.
For more information about using Nantucket native plant species in your yard, and examples of selections suitable for a variety of habitat conditions and uses, click here for information in the Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative’s Landscaping with Native Plants on Nantucket pamphlet.
Check out our Science Blog to learn more about this landscaping update project as it continues to evolve. Stay tuned for developments as we add more informational signage and events centered around these new plantings!
Click on this to see the Native Garden Educational signs that are on displayed at the NCF office funded in part by the Nantucket Garden Club.