The Garden of Native NH Plants located at 11 Recycling Center Road, Lee, NH, was created in October 2006 by two Strafford County Master Gardeners, Carolyn Bassage and Gael Grant. Along the way, several other MGs together with Lee residents have volunteered their time and effort.
Today, it is still funded and maintained by Master Gardeners from Strafford County.
The Garden contains native plants, bushes, and trees as well as blueberries and grapes that are both available for picking by residents of Lee.
Information about the plants themselves:
- The Eastern Hemlock is a conifer which means that its seeds are produced in cones.
- Three American Chestnut trees were grown and donated by Mr. Kevin Shenefiel of Lee. There are two remaining in the garden, and they are registered with the American Chestnut Foundation.
- The Tulip tree also known as a yellow poplar, is named for the shape of its yellow blossom. It is a volunteer, which means that it came from the compost used when creating the garden.
- Some Black Gum trees found in NH are over 500 years old. Their dark blue fruit is edible but has an acid taste.
- Paper White Birch had many useful purposes to the Native Americans as well as being our NH State Tree. It was planted on October 3, 2018, by Mike Gregory, Cub Master, and the Lee Pack 459, Boy Scouts, Abnaki District, Daniel Webster Council as part of their Wolf Council Fire Adventure.
- June Pink Azalea was propagated from seed and donated by Mr. Bob Hart. He is a Lee resident and “Friend of the Garden.”
- Maple Leaf Viburnum got its name from the shape of its leaves that mimic the maple tree. It produces flat clusters of white flowers that turn into purple berries.
- Arrowhead Viburnum has arrowed shaped leaves and flat clusters of white flowers which turn into red berries.
- Winterberry produces lovely bunches of red berries in late fall and lasts through the winter.
- Both high and low bush Blueberries are great for making pies, jam and eating fresh.
- Clethra or Sweet Peper Bush produces spiked white flowers in summer.
- Elderberry produces flat clusters of white blossoms which produce purple berries that can be used for jelly or wine.
- Lupines are a member of the pea family producing purple, pink, white and yellow spiked flowers that attract butterflies.
- Concord Grape Vines donated by the Rheinhold family and are planted on the arbor and along the fence can be used for juice, jelly or wine.
In May 2019, a butterfly garden, that was registered as a Monarch Waystation, was added by the Strafford County Master Gardeners. Annie Gasowski, Carol Doering, and Linda Seedner, Jacqueline Bruhn, Jean Olson, and Judy Von Feldt worked on the design, planting, and maintenance of the garden.
The butterfly garden includes the following plants:
PERENNIAL, QUANTITY, BLOOM TIME, COLOR, SIZE, SPACING, HOST PLANT FOR
- Lupine, Lupines Perennis, (3), May-June, Purple, 2′ H, 1-1.5′, Kamer Blue, Frosted Elfin, Eastern Persius Duskwing
- Butterfly Weed, Asclepias Tuberosa, (2), June-August, Orange, 2-3′ H X 2′ W, 1.5-2′, Host for Monarch, Queen, Hairstreak
- Rosemilk Weed, Asclepias Incarnata, (1), June-August, Pink, 3-5 H X 2-3’W, 2′, Host for Monarch & Queen
- Small Yellow Wild Indigo, Baptista Tinctoria, (3), June-August, Yellow, 2-3′ H X W, 2-3′, Frosted Elfin, Wild Indigo Duskywing, Orange Butterfly
- Wild Bergamot, Monarda Fistulosa, (3), July-Sept, Purple, 4′ H, 2-3′, Host for Hermit Sphinx Moth
- Blazing Star, Liatris Spicata, (3), July-August, Purple, 2-4′ H X 1.5′, Host for Glorious Flower Moth
- Black Eyed Susan, Rudbeckia Hirta, (3), June-Sept, Yellow, 2-3′ H X 1-2′ W, 2′,
- New England Aster, Symphyotrichum Novae-anglae, (3), Aug-Oct, Purple, 3-6’H X 2-3’W, 1-1.5′, Host for Pearl Crescent Butterfly, Northern Flower Moth, Gorgons Checks-pot
- Smooth Blue Aster, Symphyotrichum Laeve, (3), Aug-Oct, Blue, 4’H X 1-2 W, 1-2′, Host for Pearl Crescent Butterflies
- Showy Goldenrod, Solidago Specioasa, (3), Sept-Nov, Yellow, 3-5′ H X 1-2′ W, 1-2′, Host for various moths
- Giant Coneflower, Rudbeckia Laciniata, (3), August-until frost, Yellow, 4-5′ H
- Mexican Sunflower – annual, Tithonia diversifolia, (3), July-Sept, Orange, 4-6′
- Mixed Zinnias – annual, (18), 18″
During Pollinator Week, June 17-23 2019, an Insect Hotel was made from all natural products from the Lee Recycling Center to recognize the importance of and celebrate the role pollinators play in our food system.