Our first outing: a neighborhood walk to the ECCO center native plant garden.
The Redbud is an early bloomer that we saw in the ECCO Center garden. Flowering occurs before the trees' leaves form. Flowers are usually pink, but can have either white or purple foliage. Some wildlife feed on Redbud seeds and bees use the tree’s flowers for honey production.
Phillip Bauerle is the Master Gardener Coordinator for Penn State Extension and gave us a tour of the native plant garden at Larimer's ECCO Center. He pointed out the trees, flowers, and shrubs that will soon be bursting with color.
This tree has beautiful, papery bark. It will soon be full of leaves. The species is valued for its relatively rapid growth, tolerance of wetness and some drought, unique curling bark, spreading limbs and relative resistance to birch borer.
Here a LUNA participant is taking a closer look at the leaves starting to unfurl on this plant.
Red Twig Dogwood is a shrub for all seasons. Ovate green leaves cover its smooth green stems in spring. Leaves are joined by white floral clusters in summer, followed by creamy white or blue berries. It is most appealing in winter with its fire red stems.
Phil filling us in!
This LUNA participant is on his way to becoming a naturalist!
A Phipps educator taught us about pollinators and planting wildflowers we could bring home.