Thirty volunteers made Wes’ dream of creating an Audubon At Home Wildlife Garden at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Boulder become a reality.
Two long, narrow berms measuring 3700 sq. feet edging the parking lot and roadside were transformed on May 12 th/13 th with the planting of 279 Xeriscape plants that will soon attract birds, butterflies, moths, spiders and other wild creatures. Forty-five tons of local river rock was brought in for mulch along with six tons of cobble for edging — a whole lot of shoveling and heavy work by some very committed volunteers. River rock was chosen since it stays in place – as compared to wood chips – and retains soil moisture, an important factor since these berms do not have irrigation. To help the plants settle in, Bev and a few volunteers will water, as necessary, over the hot summer months.
The plants selected for the garden are low water users and hardy survivors. The “Memorial Garden Plant List” is available here on the web site.
Bev provided beverages and lunch which was greatly appreciated and a nourishing repast from all the hole digging and rock laying. One Earth Landscape was hired to dig holes in the rocky soil and help with the rock mulch placement, much to the volunteers relief.
This is BCAS’s first project in “Wildscaping”, creating healthy, diverse habitats that feed, shelter and nurture birds and other creatures. In partnership with Audubon Colorado, BCAS is committed to this new national initiative that is really a program for optimists – people who believe that the actions they do can have a positive impact on the world around us.
You can learn more about Wildscaping from the book “Colorado Wildscapes,” the habitat landscaping guide that helps people become backyard stewards – by reducing pesticide usage and removing invasive plants, protecting water supplies by using waterwise native plants and limiting the use of high-water grasses such as bluegrass. The habitat landscaping guide is now available through the Audubon Rockies website.
Wes’ spirit was very much a part of this gardening project and we’re sure that once the plants start attracting birds and butterflies, his memory will stay alive through the years as the wildscape flourishes and sustains the wild creatures he so enjoyed, respected and loved.
We join with Bev in thanking all the hardy volunteers who worked and worked over the two days to create this wildscape. Our sincerest thanks to Susan J. Tweit for the garden design and plant selections. The plants were purchased from The Flower Bin in Longmont and High Country Gardens mail order in Sante Fe, NM.
As the garden progresses, we will update the photos to show you how the wildscape is flourishing. Anyone interested in doing a similar garden for a church, school or in the community can contact us directly.