(photos by Daria Gregg and Diane Alden, Videos by Diane Alden)
About five years ago, after participating in Diane Alden’s “I Love My Park” day, I decided to adopt a section of the Old Croton Aqueduct near my home in Ossining.
Thanks to volunteers and family, we cleared out a patch of overgrown vines and invasive plants. In order to not have them just grow back I got lots of cardboard and then layered wood chips on top to hopefully smother the “weeds” for a while. Invasives are pretty persistent and their seeds in the soil made it a test of my dedication to the cause. Year after year, I weeded regularly (once again with some help) and planted native wildflowers and grasses. It has become a study of natural succession. Some native plants have returned on their own without my help. I have to emphasize, this has to be an ongoing commitment for it to work, because the invasives are always lurking. Slowly, the work has become less tough, because if you make the native grasses and flowers thick enough, the invasives have a harder time returning. This year I feel truly proud of this little meadow and all the bugs and birds I see there now.
Watch the bees here:
Note: the redbud bush on the right which Daria grew from seed and the Pokeweed on the left