Marnie Lacouture, winner of this years Lifetime Volunteer Award is offering the second program for our In the Landscape of…. Series offered to RIWPS members only*. Stroll through 40 acres of woodland and coastal floodplain along the Wood River, part of a colonial homestead that Marnie and Peter Lacouture bought in Exeter, more than 40 years ago. The historic house had no electricity, fireplaces but no heat and primitive plumbing. There were a few abandoned Victory Gardens and a jungle of Japanese honeysuckle, trumpet vine, forsythia, periwinkle and lily of the valley.
Much of the land is a forest of pine, oak, red maple, cherry and beech; the rest is open fields used by woodcock, bluebirds, tree swallows and other wildlife. The Lacoutures have protected the land along the river with a conservation easement. They maintain several trails, and mow the meadows yearly, to maintain the warm season grasses and blueberry bushes. Plants like bayberry, gray birch, sweet fern, sheep laurel, goldenrod, huckleberry and others that grow in acidic dry conditions are abundant.
To the east, a creek and farm pond encourage wetland plants, spicebush and clethra, and a small grove of hemlock. Gardens around the house and barn have evolved from nonnatives and high-maintenance perennial borders to a native landscape, including dogwood, shad, ilex, viburnum and witch hazel underplanted with groundcovers and perennials.
Rain date, September 20.
Preregistration is required and we recommend you to this early as programs in this series have been sold out. Directions will be mailed out to registrants a few days before the program.