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Chatham Mills Pollinator Habitat Project Photos

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Photos and text by Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent.

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planting porch bed

Pepe and the crew get the trees and shrubs planted first – this was on December 9. They applied compost directly on top of the old mulch and planted into that. To the left of the porch we put more sassafras and also some native pepperbush, Virginia sweetspire, and oakleaf hydrangea.

planting long bed

The tree on the right is a gorgeous sourwood from Silk Hope Nursery. The guys are also planting inkberry and Abelia. Abelia is not native but pollinators love it.

collection of plants

December 16: Here’s a look at some of the many perennials we planted. Sizes ranged from 3 gallon to one quart! All of the plants are drought-tolerant but were watered their first year to get established.

Lauri Lawson

My friend Lauri Lawson from Niche Gardens was my partner in laying out all the perennials. That was the really fun part! I had sketched it all out on paper but once you get the plants in front of you and are standing in the beds, you get to be creative in combining plants. Lauri also provided invaluable feedback on my design. Most of the herbaceous perennials came from Niche Gardens.


After Lauri and I placed the perennials the crew got to work planting.


This wall was begging for some lovely vines so I enlisted Bobby Roberson of Roberson Creek Farm in Pittsboro to build a 21 foot long custom cedar trellis. It is beautiful! We planted 3 different cultivars of our native honeysuckle, all blooming at different times (the hummingbirds will love us!). Other vines include the native climbing aster and passionflower.
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