This is the overall plan for the beachside of the property. To get oriented, note that #12 is the Croquet Court.
How to use this Guide…
The guide is arranged in sections as follows:
- Latimer Terrace
- Dining Room Edge
- Wildlife Garden (between east side of dining room, the East Tower pool and the dog park)
- Flagpole Garden (in front of the building near the parking lot)
- Widget’s Garden, along the back of the West Tower Garage
- Meditation Garden
- Lawn Swales (to be included later)
Each section is introduced with a plan and/or a photo.
Each section includes photos of and information on selected plants!
Why does the new landscape at WCCB sport so many “native” plants?
Native plants were found here before European settlers arrived. Having been part of the local ecosystem for millennia, they are well adapted to the environment, so they generally require less fertilization, pesticides or watering than ornamental plants. They withstand our harsh conditions—wind, salt spray, sandy soils and occasional droughts.
Very importantly, native plants provide food. Plants are at the bottom of the food chain, using chlorophyll to lock up the energy of the sun. When insects eat the leaves and then get eaten by others, e.g., birds, the energy passes up the food chain.
Here’s the twist. As Doug Tallamy, at the University of Delaware, explains, many of our insects are fussy eaters. They only want to munch on native plants. So, if there are not enough native plants to feed caterpillars and other insects, there will not be enough food for the rest of the food chain.
THE CONCERN: Last year, Science Magazine reported nearly 3 billion North American birds have disappeared since 1970—a decline of nearly 30%. Even our backyard birds like blue jays and swallows have seen a dramatic decline. Also, Tallamy reports a 45% decline in insect populations over the past 40 years, which he attributes to the “widespread displacement of native plants,” among other things.
GOOD NEWS: Tallamy reminds us that about 73 percent of the continental United States is privately owned, so landowners can lead conservation efforts. We can make a difference! Adding native plants to our landscape will provide food and shelter needed to sustain birds, butterflies, insects and other wildlife we cherish.
Photo: Tiger Swallowtail feeding on Joe Pye Weed, to be planted in the Wildlife Garden. Its caterpillar feeds on Sweetbay Magnolia, already planted on the Latimer Terrace.