Somerville’s Blessing of the Bay

Earlier this November, Offshoots’ design and horticulture teams, alongside Larry Weaner Landscape Associates, conducted a site visit at Somerville’s Blessing of the Bay to assess vegetation performance in one of our designed native meadows. This transformative project aims to convert a traditional lawn into an all-native pollinator meadow. During the recent monitoring visit, our team was thrilled to observe numerous intended native species flourishing across the site. This positive development marks a significant turnaround from the uncertainties we faced just months ago.

Before 2022, this area of Blessing of the Bay was overrun by traditional lawn grass and undesirable volunteer species like crabgrass and plantain. Following the removal of existing vegetation and soil preparation by the Offshoots team, the initial meadow seeding occurred in the summer of 2022. However, the timing coincided with severe drought conditions in the Boston area, delaying seed germination until cooler weather in late fall. This, coupled with early winter frost, further challenged plant survivability.

By spring of 2023, our expectations for seed germination were not met, with predominantly volunteer species and few planted varieties observed by late May. To combat weed encroachment, we conducted a second overseeding round in November 2023, complemented by the planting of nearly 2,000 live dormant plugs. The recent progress at the site indicates the effectiveness of the latest overseeding efforts. We remain committed to monitoring the meadow’s evolution and anticipate further establishment in the coming year.

  • Aquilegia canadensis
  • Asclepias incarnata
  • Asclepias tuberosa
  • Carex spp.
  • Chamaecrista fasciculata
  • Eragrostis spectabilis
  • Hypericum punctatum
  • Lespedeza spp.
  • Penstemon digitalis
  • Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium
  • Schizachyrium scoparium
  • Solidago spp.
  • Zizia aurea

Check out the light-up firefly sculptures that were installed in the meadow last year!