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Published August 26, 2023

Watch How Our Garden Grows

By Katie Schortmann

Their final design provides a garden bed that is more physically accessible for visitors, staff, and volunteers. The height of the bed allows visitors to pull up a chair and enjoy sensory plants such as sage, lavender, and oregano. Edible flowers and butterfly host plants like cilantro, parsley and dill are also mixed with pollinator-friendly edible plants. They all grow together in the raised bed.   

This project highlights the importance of collaboration in efforts to make our community spaces both user-friendly and healthy for pollinators. Come by and take inspiration from this new container-style garden bed by visiting the Palmieri Pollinator Garden at the Nature Center and Aquarium. Many thanks to DownCity Design and their creative students! 

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is a native shrub that is flush with small yellow flowers in early spring. Beautiful, lemon-scented green leaves emerge in summer that create a habitat for stick insects and katydids. The ripening red spicebush berries in fall are nearly 50% fat, making them a valuable food for songbirds that need to bulk up before migration. Spicebush makes a wonderful replacement for the non-native forsythia and can be pruned into a tree or a shaped shrub.  

Red twigged dogwoods and winterberry shrubs also offer brilliant pops of red color in the dreary days of January. Holly bushes and other evergreens add structure to the garden space and provide animals with shelter from storms and hungry predators. 

LEARN MORE: Preserving Historic Cemeteries Lecture 

On November 4, 2023 at 1 pm, Audubon will host Betty and Carlo Mencucci for a lecture on their preservation work and the significance of caring for historic cemeteries on land trust and public properties. Enjoy a lecture in the barn, followed by a walk to see the restoration that they completed in the Fisherville cemetery. Visit the events calendar at to register. 

Katie Schortmann, Audubon Garden Coordinator / Environmental Educator 

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