Planting Collington’s First Flower Meadow

Contributed by Alice Nicolson and Marian Fuchs

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On Friday 8 December, 18 months after Jane Engle, Peter Pfund and Alice Nicolson first walked with a meadow guru around campus to evaluate the status of the various meadow areas, native plants were being installed on the slope below the beehives (on the way to the community center) to form the first flowering meadow on campus – the first of many, perhaps.

“A year from now this will be a thing of beauty,” said the supervisor of the six men doing the soil improvement and planting.  The project planting guide gives a glimpse of how things will look.  The plan for the left half of the 3000 sq ft meadow is shown below.

The large circles marked Rc will be dwarf sumac shrubs.   The smaller dots will combinations of butterfly weed, milkweed, switchgrass, white beardtongue, slender mountain mint, little bluestem, Virginia spiderwort and heartleaf golden Alexander.  (Stirring and delightful names!)

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Another portion of the planting guide, shown below, shows the color scheme of the flowers and the foliage, and their bloom time.

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Preparing the meadow was hard work.

The meadow will consist of native plants, accustomed to growing in our campus soil.  So the workmen did not improve the area.  Instead the existing lawn grass was killed and each new plant had a hole drilled to receive it. (See the man drilling above right.)  As each section was planted, a light layer of mulch was spread (see above left). This willl be the only addition to the planting area. For the first year or two the meadow will be hand-weeded, but after that it will need only a single spring mowing and once-over to remove any invasive tree seedlings.

The meadow already has people who care for it.  Snow covered the meadow the day after it was planted, but once the snow melted, the area dried quickly and our new horticulturalist, Kyle Olsen, was seen staying late to give the entire meadow a good watering.

Naming is a nuanced issue here at Collington, but many of us will always think of this area as “Jane’s Meadow.”

A Brand New Bridge

Contributed by Marian Fuchs

There’s been plenty of infrastructure work at Collington this year – new road, new HVAC, new roofing.   Somewhat less visibly, we also got a new bridge over the Collington Pond.  Here are some pictures, tracing its construction, which took a couple of weeks, with rain checks.   One neat new feature is the addition of little lights along the bridge rails.

Improvements on the Cemetery Trail

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For many months members of the Weed Warriors (previously “Lakes and Trails”) have been requesting repairs to the trail leading to the grave-sites that has become rutted over the years.  Finally, a crew from Ruppert Landscape, guided by Kyle Olson, a recent addition to the Collington Staff, has now constructed new runners and gravel leveling at critical points.  Many thanks are due to Jacob Kijne, who provided expert advise for the placement of runners to divert water runoff. Weed Warriors have since then covered particularly muddy spots with hay matting.  Hopefully the trail will remain easy to tread even after rainy days.  The final leg of the project awaits the completion of the Landing, our new restaurant, at which time tailings from the construction road will be reutilized to cover the remaining problematic areas.

Click here for a PowerPoint Guide of the complete trail, courtesy of Dorothy Yuan.

Another Delightful “Bond” Cocktail Hour

By Marian Fuchs
Saturday evening saw another delightful “Bond” cocktail hour.  There was music with a beat and swing, there was delicious (and free) beer and cider brewed by the dynamic duo of Chris Ramsey and Denny Klass assisted by Peggy Latimer and Lois Brown. Delicious finger food was prepared by Exec Chef Stephanie Tolson.

Here are pictures of just four of the many people whose talent and charm made the happy hour in the new-and-improved courtyard so enjoyable.

 

 

Collington blooms at the end of summer…

By Marian Fuchs, photo editor

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It’s been sad to see the leaves turning so early this year.  But Collington still has plenty of flower viewing left for you to enjoy.  Here are some examples from the Hilltop Garden, which you can visit for yourselves, ideally in the early morning of a sunny day.

 

In addition to the marigolds, cosmos, asters and daisies, there are still a few sunflowers, and lots of zinnias in full bloom.  Below are a few samples.

And some other close-up blooms…

There are still multi-colored morning glories along the garden fence…

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And a number of flowers whose names I do not know…

 

Many thanks once again to our talented photo editor and to our amazing gardeners!  Our community is more beautiful because of your efforts.