Eldersburg Library Bay-Wise and Native Plant Garden

In May 2007, Master Gardeners and Tom Sheets, a volunteer who continues to support the annual mulching efforts, gathered to plant the native garden at the Eldersburg Library. Since then, the Master Gardeners have used the library plot as a perfect space for a demonstration garden to teach the patrons of the library about the importance of native plants in the landscape. They have adapted, changed, moved, removed, added, pruned and nurtured to demonstrate the care of a Bay-Wise garden to protect the Chesapeake Bay. The garden has flourished: the Monarch caterpillars and butterflies amaze the young patrons of the library, the swallowtails are in residence, the bluebird box has been home for many broods, and toads like to lurk in the mulch.

The garden began when the library obtained a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation  to establish a native garden to attract birds and beneficial insects. The library requested the assistance of Carroll County Master Gardeners to create a Bay-Scaped butterfly garden and bird sanctuary at the entrance to the library. Andrea Kowaleski and Rose Norseth, after completing a course entitled “Native Plants of the Piedmont Area”, spent many hours and months researching and designing the garden. The design of the garden is an educational resource for patrons of the library who want to learn more about Maryland native plants, Bay-Scaping and protecting the Chesapeake Bay.

Since the inception of the garden, plants have been moved or replaced, but the basic layout and concept remain the same. The garden team has enlarged the area in front of the library portico and installed a nectar garden for butterflies and bees. The drive-thru area has also been planted with native plants and pollinators. The garden continues to showcase the use of native plants in the home landscape