Staff members of the Brandywine Conservancy and Brandywine River Museum will be planting more than 5,000 “landscape plugs” will turn three barren areas near the museum in Chadds Ford into thriving native plant communities on July 23, 24 and 25.
In three areas of former turf grass, there will be more than 50 different species, including those that grow well in moist to dry soil in full sun, to those that grow well in moist to wet soil in full shade. The plantings will strengthen the ecological health of the Chadds Ford campus with what will become a habitat for birds, bees and butterflies.
The plantings will also reduce storm water runoff and improve the quality of water in the Brandywine, and will lower the facility's carbon footprint by reducing the amount of turf grass that is regularly mowed.
The area to be planted is near the Environmental Management Center building, across from the museum parking lot. All the species are native to the eastern mid-Atlantic area.
Native grasses will include Big Bluestem, Switchgrass, Indian grass, Little Bluestem Grass, Purple Love grass and Tufted Hairgrass. Species with flowers include those that bloom early in spring, like Marsh Marigold, Prairie Phlox and Golden Ragwort; those that bloom in summer, like Culver’s Root, Butterfly Milkweed, Bee-Balm and Threadleaf Coreopsis; and those that bloom in fall, such as Smooth Aster, Slender Goldentop, Gray-headed Coneflower and Autumn Alumroot. Switchgrass has roots that can reach 10 feet deep, providing high drought tolerance, and allowing storm water to more easily infiltrate the soil.