Ecology + Design

GJL Designs Pollinator Garden with Rye High School Students at Wainwright House

A new garden is on display at the Wainwright House entrance in Rye, NY.

The project was spearheaded by Delia Bajuk, a Rye High School junior  and president of the RHS environmental club, who took an interest in supporting pollinators and biodiversity locally. Delia contacted Green Jay in the winter of 2022 with her idea of developing a pollinator garden at the public and highly visible Wainwright House.

Wainwright House, a historic mansion and now public event space in Rye, NY.

“So, it was the coronavirus, and I was looking at everything, I was looking at the bees, the birds and the hummingbirds, and I thought to myself wouldn’t it be great to have an area where we can bring this all together,” Delia explained.

Rye High School Student Volunteers, including Delia (center).

“My mom, she was on the board of Wainwright. This is a beautiful place that really fosters love for the environment, love for Rye, so I figured, why not put one right here?”

Pollinatro Garden Design Plan by Green Jay Landscpaing

Green Jay’s Nature Design Studio completed the design over the winter and provided Delia with a budget for the plant material; Delia worked on securing funding and student volunteers for the install. Rye Rotary was a significant doner for the project and half a dozen young women and the environmental club advisor showed up on an unseasonably hot and humid Saturday to put in the sweat equity.

Step one, dethatch turf from new garden area.
Students incorporating new topsoil to the garden area.

The design is (as usual) heavy on native plants, starting with a specimen tree, the ecological powerhouse that is River Birch. According to Doug Talamy’s research, Birches support over 413 species of Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) and countless species of birds.

The River Birch is underplanted with a smattering of native woodland perennials including one of our favorites, Turtlehead. The rest of the bed is filled with native grasses and full sun perennials that pollinators flock to.

Plants placed in designed layout, ready for planting!

RHS students helped with every stage of the install, from turf removal, to topsoil and amendment incorporation to planting and soil drenching. Jay offered mini lectures on soil amendments, soil analysis, the importance of soil microbes, biodynamic planting with the moon, and biodiversity. Checkout our Instagram reels (@greenjaylandscaping) for video recap and behind the scenes footage!

Students get planting at a new pollinator garden in Rye, NY.
Student volunteers work alongside Green Jay Landscape Design to install a new organic pollinator garden.
Delia soil drenches the planting with yucca and biostimulants to help offset heat stress on this ninety degree planting day.

Be sure to stop by the Wainwright House (260 Stuyvesant Ave, Rye, NY) and check out the new pollinator garden – first bed on the left as you enter the front gates. They offer workshops on a range of topics from sound baths to stand up paddleboarding.

Happy Summer!

Green Jay Landscape Design

Where Design Meets Ecology


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