The native gardens at the Hatchery are home to close to 50 native plants. Some of these plants are found wild on other parts of the Hatchery property and some are from other parts of the Northeast. The variety of plants is meant to show you how vast our selection is of native plants and how wonderful they are. Many provide us with beautiful foliage, wonderful fall color, berries, interesting bark, fragrant flowers and a whole seasonal medley of interest that will hopefully inspire you to consider a native garden for your own yard.
Here are brief explanations of the different areas of the garden:
The Dry Meadow
This area is home to perennials that like dry and poor soil as well as a good amount of sun. The palette used is meant to enhance and embrace the orange color of the safety buoys which were once used at the hatchery. Some unusual plants, like rattlesnake master, are used here for architectural interest and grasses also add another dimension to the planting. The area is anchored by a native Magnolia that has sweetfern and bearberry as edging along the path from the back of the main building.
The Rain Garden
This area begins at the road where switchgrass creates the edge. The switchgrass edge will help ward off deer and creates a defining border for the rain garden. River birches and red twig dogwoods create the backdrop for the wet meadow. The meadow is a mixture of later blooming perennials including asters and brown-eyed susans. Close to the building, the rain garden is anchored by a Shadblow tree that also pays homage to the American shad raised by the hatchery.
The Mixed Border
In front of the path and along the walk beside the fish holding tank is a mixture of trees, shrubs and perennials. Flowering begins in spring and continues all season long, while foliage helps to hold interest throughout the growing season. A variety of shrubs including swamp azaleas, blueberries, ninebark and summersweet make this a low maintenance garden.