Why a Native Plant Garden?
Gardens have a way of renewing our spirit. Whether we are the planter or observer, the experience is singular in its capacity to impact. Gardens also have a way of renewing our planet. Native plantings and ecologically productive garden beds are our first line of defense in protecting the systems on which all life depends.
Central to the critical role of gardens in supporting us are pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and beetles. They are almost exclusively responsible for plant reproduction and the continuation of our food supply. Creating a native plant garden provides a patch of viable habitat for to nurture and sustain these vital pollinators.
Landscaping choices have meaningful effect on our urban ecosystem, including the population of birds and pollinators. In turn, once established, native plants generally require little maintenance, and are a beautiful addition to our campus in all seasons of the year. Reducing, or eliminating, artificial fertilizers and synthetic chemical pesticides and herbicides does not only help our urban wildlife, it also creates a healthier place for our residents, family, and community.
Launching the Initiative
In 2018, Sophia Snow Place resident Hugh O’Donnell generously gifted $50,000 of his estate to the enhancement of our outdoor campus. Mr. O’Donnell, a naturalist and life-time outdoor enthusiast, was a retired teacher from the Boston Public Schools. He is known to have visited almost every National park in the United States! His time with Sophia Snow included much enjoyment of our campus, particularly the vernal pool and Allandale Woods. His gift was intended to make sure that every member of the Sophia Snow community enjoyed the benefits of our natural world as much as he did during his stay. We will honor him by naming the garden in the front of the building the Hugh O’Donnell Memorial Garden.
Designing the Gardens
Sophia Snow place is fortunate to have the assistance of horticulturalist and author Jana Milbocker. Ms. Milbocker is the owner of Enchanted Gardens, a landscape design firm in MetroWest Boston. Her books include The Garden Tourist: 120 Destination Gardens and Nurseries in the Northeast, published in 2018, and The Garden Tourist’s New England: A Guide to 140 Outstanding Gardens and Nurseries, published in 2020. She is an avid gardener and plant collector, as well as a wonderful speaker.
How to Give
Sophia Snow Place is a tax deductible not-for-profit organization. Please send checks to Sophia Snow Place at 1215 Centre Street, West Roxbury, MA 02132. You also can donate online HERE.