If you’ve ever visited Machimoodus State Park, you have no doubt seen a sizeable area bounded by rocks between the kiosk and the pond with signs in and around it that say “Growing Soon.” You’ve likely noticed that it has gone through several changes in the last few years and you’ve probably wondered what exactly is going on.
Several years ago, our group was asked by the Park Supervisor if we would be willing to re-establish a “garden” that had been created when the property was still privately owned but had been neglected since becoming a state park. We agreed without hesitation, anxious to improve the appearance of what was becoming an overgrown tangle of invasive weeds and dumping ground for dog poop and nipper bottles. One of the most fervent advocates for this project was Ginger Tullai. In addition to being one of our group’s founding members, Ginger was a tireless voice for the parks and the environment, a dedicated horsewoman, as well an avid gardener. Unfortunately, Ginger lost her battle with cancer before this project could come to fruition.
She is the inspiration for this project and we proudly dedicate Ginger’s Garden to her memory and her lifetime legacy of good works. It is our sincere hope that this garden will inspire others to act on their passions in the same manner that Ginger inspired so many of the lives that she touched, both human and animal.
Motivated by the existing field of milkweed nearby, we aim to create a space where pollinators ( and other creatures ) can thrive. Hummingbirds, bees, wasps, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, other insects and even some birds and animals play an important role in the environment by carrying pollen from one plant to another. Ginger’s Garden will provide a sanctuary for these too often overlooked and essential beings whose populations are under threat from loss of habitat, increased use of pesticides and herbicides and invasive non-native species. Once completed, we hope to have the Garden certified as a MonarchWayStation by MonarchWatch.org. It will then be included in the online listing of Monarch Waystations worldwide, and will receive a certificate bearing a unique Monarch Waystation ID number.
Inside the garden, there are many large, immoveable boulders. We have embraced these natural features by preparing planting beds around the boulders. We removed almost all of the poison ivy and bittersweet and used cardboard to mitigate future growth. We repurposed the logs from the old pole barn at Sunrise resort and used them as boundaries for the new planting beds. We are finally ready to start planting and we are pleased to provide an opportunity for the community to get involved by adopting a “Boulder Bed”. Adopters can be individuals, businesses, families, classrooms, organizations, teams, groups, anyone or group with an interest in gardening and a desire to help the environment. A full packet of information, including Garden rules and a list of appropriate plants, is available on request. We can be reached via email, on Facebook and Instagram, or by phone at 860-615-9119.