8 Ridge Road,
Martinsville, Maine


Food, Plants, Gallery and Landscape Design in St. George, Maine

Wetland restoration

Posted on by Julie Wortman

We are doing a very different sort of landscaping project. We are working on recreating the wetlands at the site of an old quarry slag heap. Last year, the owner removed the thousands and thousands of tons of discarded granite that were piled up on the edge of a wetland. This year we are working with him to restore the vegetation for wildlife habitat. Most of the work we do is for people, with aesthetics as a prime consideration; this work is for wildlife, with a different sort of aesthetic.

Yesterday we planted red maples, red spruce, black spruce, white spruce and balsam fir in the upland areas of the site.

The digging was pretty tough and boney, but fortunately all of the plant material is fairly small, so the holes didn’t have to be too large. And we used the compost I’ve been making all last year and throughout the winter to add some organic matter to this arid site.

The other aspect of what we did was planting along the shore, on the islands and in the muck.

There were many challenges with this part of the project, from the tippy skiff we used to navigate the shallow water out to the islands to the trick of planting water lilies in mucky clay. I was the one who fell into the water while planting the lilies. Fortunately it was a good hot day.

Today we tackle the shrubs that will make the transition from the water’s edge to the upland plantings. Everything we are planting is indigenous to the area, and our hope is that, in time, this side of the wetland will look like the other side. This will be a fun project to revisit over the years to watch it mature.

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