Unity June 2021 Newsletter

Unity Landscape Design/Build
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Projects Completed
Over the course of the month of May, Unity wrapped up a series of restoration projects around the mid shore funded by a Chesapeake Bay Foundation grant. Unity began work in Oxford MD, creating a large bio-retention area at one of the town's newly renovated parks behind the community center, followed by two swale restorations in town to increase storm water containment and reduce flooding. We then went to Easton where a new 3,400 square foot bio-retention swale was created for a future Easton Public Works storage yard, a re-forestation project for the Hickory Ridge community, and the restoration of two existing bio-retention areas at the intersection of Washington Ave and Dutchman’s Lane.

 

Unity then went to Maryland Avenue in Cambridge and restored the existing eight bio-retentions and replanted them with new native plant material. Finally, there were two new meadow establishment projects in Queen Anne’s County, one at Batt’s Neck Park on Kent Island, and one at Conquest in Centreville. These projects are all examples of Best Management Practices (BMP’s) which improve water quality and prevent erosion across the Eastern Shore.

 

Lucas Lees
Coastal & Environmental Design 
Unity Landscape Design/Build
Unity Church Hill Nursery
In May, Unity Church Hill Nursery and Unity Landscape collaborated with ShoreRivers and Kent Attainable Housing, Inc. to landscape their Garnet House. Unity Landscape created the design and then installed the plant material along with some volunteer help from the Garden Club. Some of our Unity-grown native plants together with donated and purchased native plants including but not limited to Magnolia grandiflora, Magnolia virginiana, Viburnum dentatum, Clethra alnifolia, and landscape plugs such as Iris versicolor, Penstemon digitalis, Baptisia alba, and more were used to ensure a River-friendly yard. (Photos courtesy of ShoreRivers)
Using native plants which are adapted to our climate and soils while also making sure to choose the right plant for the right place helps control and filter storm-water runoff, prevents erosion, provides habitat and food for local wildlife, while also adding aesthetic appeal to your yard. Planting natives is also one practice used in xeriscaping “a form of landscaping that focuses on reducing or eliminating the need for supplemental water from irrigation.” The dry spell we just experienced reminds us of the importance of water-efficient landscaping. Reducing lawn and bare ground and planting more native trees, shrubs, perennials, and native ground covers help shade and protect the soil, keeping the soil cooler and reducing evaporation of moisture from the soil. Some plants that like part shade and which make good ground covers are wild stonecrop (Sedum ternatum), lyreleaf sage (Salvia lyrata), lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina), Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica), woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata), creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera), dwarf crested iris (Iris cristata), and foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia).

Not sure what plants you need? First, figure out what conditions you have, and then please stop in and take a walk around the nursery. Come find one of us and we’ll be happy to show you around and answer your questions. Or, if you want to walk through at your own pace, we have descriptive signage to help you figure out what plant would work best for your spot. We’ve organized our plant material by growing conditions so, for example, plants that thrive in dry soil and full sun are all in the same area vs. plants that prefer shade and moist soil. If you already know what you need, you can give us a call or check our inventory online at www.unitynursery.com.

Nursery plant production is in full swing. We are potting up new rounds of shrubs and perennials and have a fresh batch of landscape plugs now ready from what we seeded this winter. These you can buy by the individual plug or by the whole 50-count tray (and receive a volume discount). When planting a larger area, plugs are easier to transport and quicker to plant. And, while they are smaller than a one-gallon plant, they establish and grow quickly. 

Food production here at Unity is going strong. We still have a good variety of herb and vegetable plants available for your own home gardens. Heat-loving crops like sweet potatoes, ginger and watermelon have been planted. New crops are coming ready each week. We have a fresh bed of scallions and baby carrots now ready. Snow and sugar snap peas may be ready within the week, and tomatoes growing in our high tunnels are just starting to ripen. We have high expectations for blueberries this year. The bushes are loaded with unripe fruit, and we just covered them with row cover to try and prevent the birds getting to them before we do. Keep an eye open for the announcement of fresh, organically grown blueberries. We look forward to seeing you at the Chestertown Farmers’ Market or here at Unity Church Hill Nursery.
Theresa Mycek

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