This new, work-in-progress garden surrounds the recently installed kiosk in HFR’s Preserve and Bird Sanctuary.

Why white-flowering?

1. White flowers cool and calm. In a sanctuary, that’s important!
2.As dusk falls, colors fade while white pops!
3.The bloom color of many flowering native shrubs happens to be white!

Why native?  The reasons are many.  But the primary ones are:

1. For thousands of years, native plants, birds, insects and other wildlife have developed relationships that continue to this day.

2. Native plants have long and deep ties to Native Americans, just as Flat Rock does. Native Americans used native plants for culinary and medicinal purposes as well as shelter and basket weaving.  They used native berries for food, dyes and paints.

3. Native plants are most at home in a forest setting such as our Preserve. Prior to the arrival of European settlers, one half of this country’s land area was forested!

4. Though native plants are gaining attention, and garden centers are working hard to stock them, too few people appreciate them. Perhaps in its own small way this garden will increase awareness.

Why teaching? 

1. Children are especially open to learning in an outdoor classroom. HFR volunteers might someday conduct classes in this garden.

2. Imagine school children trying to guess the reasons for the common names of some of these native plants: Bowman’s root (Native Americans used the roots for medicines, and some colonists referred to Native Americans as “bowmen”); Inkberry (Civil War soldiers used the small dark berries to make ink); New Jersey Tea (during the Revolutionary War, patriots used the dried leaves to make tea).

3. There’s a chance that this garden might plant some seeds of environmental awareness! 


by Mickey Derr