Sunday, March 29, 2015

Forest Hills Revitalizes Clubhouse Landscaping, Adds Butterfly Garden

Over 70 plants were used for the
Forest Hills butterfly garden.
Butterfly garden complete.
Photos by Margaret Rauwald.
By Margaret Rauwald 
FHGC Program Chair, FHNA Board 
Spring is in the air and a major overhaul of new plantings surrounding the clubhouse is ready to emerge showing many new colors and textures with four-season interest. Through the support of the Forest Hills Neighborhood Association, it was unanimously voted to fund the new landscape project by replacing a misfit of overgrown trees and shrubs neglected for many years.

The volunteer effort of the new clubhouse landscape was designed and directed by Margaret Rauwald, Forest Hills resident, board member of the FHNA and newly elected board member of the FH Garden Club. Greg Sims, President of was awarded the job and his crew provided all the labor, organic soil, triple-shredded mulch, pruning, and a new drip irrigation system. Their expertise was instrumental in implementing the final design plan.

The most exciting area to take note of is the left side of the clubhouse where poison ivy thrived under an overgrown evergreen is now a natural butterfly garden with over 70 sun-loving perennials including a dwarf crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica x fauriei 'Tonto') and variety of evergreens. (See plants listed below.) Families can enjoy this special garden and through the warm months hopefully spot butterflies as they walk to the playground and shelter. This extends to a small new plant area, which flanks the walkway from the parking lot to the main clubhouse doors.

Front of the clubhouse now hosts Liriope muscari ‘Royal Purple’ along the very narrow foundation areas and tucked in for added height is an Ilex Crenata ‘Sky Pencil holly’. Center front are Japanese Hollies (Ilex crenata 'Green Lustre'), Nandina ‘domestica', Gardenia jasminoides ‘Frost proof', and low-spreading Loropetulum ‘Purple pixie‘ takes front row. To add some spring and fall neon magenta color, look for Loropetalum chinense ‘rubrum blush’ with flowers to delight and burgundy foliage turning some to a deep green later in summer. (The young loropetalum and gardenia took a beating this winter so we're crossing our fingers on their revival.) The far ends each host a beautiful Hinoki False Cypress (Filicoides fernspray), an open-branched pyramidal form with gracefully arching branchlets.

No Southern landscape is complete without easy to grow, constant blooming ‘Knock-out Roses’! We added a group of Knockout ‘Double pinks’ next to the existing tall funky evergreen (variety unknown), which was skillfully pruned to bring out its architectural character. (Unfortunately, our recent ice storm did some additional pruning, but it’s still a gem.) Of course we also had to include a Camellia sasanqua--a more sun tolerant variety ‘Kanjiro’--tucked in next to the far right kitchen entrance along with some additional perennials. Small but sure to be mighty in few years is a Cercis Canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ Redbud tree which will add to the burgundy and spring/fall bright neon magenta accents. 
The Forest Hills clubhouse grounds received
key areas of beautification.

Butterfly Garden Perennials: 
No Southern landscape complete
without a few hardy 'Knock-out roses'.

  • Abelia ‘Canyon Creek’
  • Achillea  x ‘Summer Pastels, Paprika’ 
  • Agastache ‘Grape Nectar’ hummingbird mint) 
  • Aster dumosus ‘Woods Pink’,
  • Buddleja davidii ‘Blue Chip & Blacknight’ butterfly bushes
  • Coreopsis ‘Red Satin’, 
  • Delosperma cooperi ‘Ice plant’, 
  • Echinacea ‘Harvest Moon’,
  • purpurea 'Magnus',
  • Sombrero ‘Lemon yellow’ coneflowers
  • Kamtschatium Sedum 
  • Lantana camera ‘Miss Huff’ & ‘Confetti’ 
  • Muhlenbergia capillaries ‘Pink Muhly grass’
  • Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hamelin dwarf Fountain grass’ 
  • Penstemon x 'Red Rocks Beardtongue', 
  • Phlox subulata ‘Fort Hill’ 
  • Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldstrum Black-eyed Susan’
  • Salvia ‘Amistad’ 
  • Salvia leucantha 
  • Salvia microphylia ‘Hot Lips’ 
  • Sedum tectractinum 
  • Solidago rugosa ‘goldenrod’  
  • Verbena 'Homestead Purple'   

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