It is summer at the Preserve, and I could not be happier to welcome you all to our lands and gardens. Earlier in June, I spent some time walking around the Asticou Azalea Garden with Mary and Santos. While the focus of our walk was on the multitude of rhododendron and azaleas, this Trillium erectum (wood lily) caught my attention as we walked along the garden pathways. If you want to locate this plant, or many of the plants at the Preserve, you will be excited to know that we are now sharing a database of our plants online. You can read more about it in this newsletter and by clicking the Garden Explorer link.
Speaking of the Asticou Azalea Garden, it opened for the season in mid-May. The early display of azaleas and rhododendron was remarkable and the later flowering shrubs and perennials will continue into the summer. The staff has done an extraordinary job getting the garden ready.
Thuya Garden opened earlier this week. The flower borders were recently planted and will continue to grow and mature throughout the summer season. The team at Thuya has added new native plants to support the pollinators and help to increase species diversity, which has been a focus at Thuya for several years.
The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden opens July 12 and tickets are available online. Be sure to go to gardenpreserve.org to make your reservation. The staff is busily planting the borders and preparing the rest of the landscape in anticipation of your arrival. We promise that every aspect of the garden will be as spectacular as ever.
Of course, the natural lands are open all year round and a wonderful place to immerse yourself in nature during these longest days of sunlight. The major restoration of the David & Neva Trail is continuing, so I encourage you to hike along the improved trail and bog walk sections, north of the meadow.. The natural lands team is also planting some experimental plots in the east meadow which you can read about in this newsletter.
The last thing I want to include is how grateful we at the Preserve are for your interest and support. We could not do this without you. As one way to say thank you, we added new member benefits this year including walks and talks with the gardeners at Asticou and Thuya, as well as more nature hikes with our natural lands team. If you are not already a member, just click on the link in this newsletter to join.
I look forward to seeing you in the gardens and along the trails this summer!
By Rodney Eason, CEO