Ross Lake Park Garden Journal

Please join us as we keep you up to date on what’s growing in our native shrub and pollinator garden. It’s a great place in Long Branch for finding solitude as you gaze over the lake to the Ross Island Stone Hut.

March 26

The garden in late March shows the stems and seed pods of last summer’s perennials. Dried leaves helped to protect plant roots during winter, returned nutrients to the soil and provided a home for moths and insects.

Last summer, we planted grasses on the opposite bank of the lake, seen in the distance.  These prevent erosion and are the are the beginnings of another garden requested by the neighbors.

After surveying the garden,  we decided it was time to prune summersweet clethra now, before new growth appears. These plants bloom only on new shoots. Pruning stimulates new growth.

Spent hydrangea blooms need to be removed. Cut back to the first new bud on the stem.

March is the time to prune shrubby dogwoods such as blood twig and red-osier. Remove some or all of the brown stems.  Young stems are bright red.

As we leave, we need to think about saving the brush removed from the butterfly garden, since  butterflies lay their eggs on and inside the hollow stems. Caterpillars will emerge if we pile the brush together in a separate part of the garden.


Neighbors working together to restore our watershed.