Sunday, August 10, 2008

B&B - Landscaping with Native Plants

“Since Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B was open in 2001 we have been mowing a lot of lawn, Barbara Young, the B&B’s inkeeper stated. “Now in an effort to cut-down on this mowing, we are experimenting with replacing some of this grass with native flowers and plants.”

Paul Hlina, who operates Leaning Pine - Native Landscapes, volunteered to assist in this effort. Paul has pioneered shoreline restoration and wildlife habitat enhancement project throughout northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. .

Armed with plants from Paul’s nursery, wheel borrows, shovels and power drills for digging planting hole, Paul and crew spent two days restoring approximately 150 square feet of the B&B’s 800 square feet of lawn to native plants and flowers. The crew first laid down a layer of newspapers to cover the grass, wet the newspaper, then covered the paper with a layer of screened dirt followed by straw. Finally the native plants were planted in six-inch intervals.

According Paul, “we should know by next summer how the project is going to work.”

“If successful” Young went on to state, “more of the lawn will be returned to native plants. Over the years we have burnt-up a lot of gasoline not to mention our labor in mowing the lawn, reducing what we have to mow by better then 15% is certainly a step in the right direction and just part of our continue effort to make our business more sustainable.

As an interesting side-note, Paul has hiked the entire Superior Hiking Trail, skied the entire Banadad and ran Grandma’s Half Marathon. While this might not seem unusual unless you consider the fact that Paul did it on crutches. You see he was injured many years ago in an automobile accident and now get around on crutches.


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