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A Butterfly Polyculture and Planting a Productive Hedge

A Butterfly Polyculture and Planting a Productive Hedge

Week 19 – ESC Project – The Polyculture Project

As part of our ESC project we are maintaining and developing community spaces. The centre of our town, Shipka, was fairly recently developed to include a main plaza with a stage where numerous events take place throughout the year, particularly in the summer months.  Surrounding this area is a green space with several beautiful mature deciduous and evergreen trees, such as Horse chestnut – Aesculus hippocastanum, Linden – Tillia sp-  and Fir – Abies sp. Recent renovations to the park have included making pathways, planting more trees and installing new play equipment for children. It has a relaxed yet formal feel to it. We had an idea to design a polyculture for the park that will attract a range of butterflies, add a splash of colour to the area and appeal to children.

Type of Polyculture: Perennial – Amenity
Main Function: To attract butterflies in the central community garden near a child’s playground
Secondary Function: To be aesthetically pleasing
The plants we selected were; Buddleia davidii – Butterfly bushPhlomis russeliana – Turkish Sage, Lavandula angastafolia – LavenderOriganum vulgare – Oregano and Echinacea purpurea – Echinacea. In a small design exercise, one of the ESC team, Ruxandra, was to illustrate the design and consider the following criteria when thinking about plant selection and placement:
  • The main function  – to attract butterflies throughout the summer months, so we’re looking for overlapping and extended bloom times to maximize the butterflies’ visits to the polyculture.
  • Hardy to zone 6 or lower
  • Drought tolerant
  • Low maintenance
  • Predominantly sun-loving plants
The ESC crew have played an active role in supporting the community by weeding and watering the existing plants in this area, a task that is usually carried out weekly by the local mayor’s team…

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