Ecological Landscape Design in Ballston Spa, NY
Sometimes a strategy ecologically savvy landscape designers use to decide what to plant where on a property is to observe what plants are already growing. The observation can be used as an ecological indicator. The new butterfly garden in Malta, NY, installed over the past week was subject to this ecology centered landscape design technique.
This Asclepias tuberosa (Orange Butterflyweed) volunteer plant was present at the north end of the beds. Asclepias tuberosa is a larval host plant for Monarch butterflies. The decision to add 7 more Orange Butterflyweed plants was a cinch. We know how beautiful they are. And also, they are nearly guaranteed success based on a wild eco-type self-selecting to exist there. Finally, the benefit to the ecosystem of building new Monarch butterfly habitat is an unparallel win.
Asclepias tuberosa in bloom.
Elsewhere in the existing gardens we noted Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) and Fragaria sp. (Strawberry). More strawberries were added underneath the Crabapple tree. We then simply applied compost around the existing Yarrow to encourage its natural trajectory.
This low maintenance landscape design will attract many species of butterflies and offer habitat for them. The ecological landscape design includes many native plants that will act as a nectar supply for adult butterflies and larval hosts for caterpillars.
Designing environmentally friendly gardens in Saratoga County is a treat. The native plant selection in Saratoga is vast and the ecosystem of Saratoga County is spectacular.
The new butterfly garden in Malta, NY will be a positive influence on the surrounding ecosystem as birds move the seeds around to wooded edges. The natural habitat will become repopulated with more locally grown native plants.