Virtual Tour—Evolution of the MM@JAAA/CEC Gardens & Groves

Examples of some of our conservation landscaping initiatives—including 24 Native Plant Demonstration Gardens and Groves—can be see on the campus of Mary Moss @ J. Albert Adams Academy, 245 Clay Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401. Since the MM@JAAA/CEC Gardens and Groves are located at a middle school, plus 9th grade, visiting hours during the school year are after 5 p.m., and anytime on the weekends and during the summer. Please note that dog walking is prohibited on school grounds. Directions

Beginning in 2002, the gardens and groves have been installed by countless students and adult volunteers. Over time, as the gardens have matured, some gardens have been altered to reduce maintenance. Native plant installations on school grounds especially need to be designed with long-term maintenance in mind. An important lesson learned over the years at MM@JAAA/CEC is that native herbaceous perennials—although they have beautiful flowers and great wildlife habitat value—generally have higher maintenance requirements for schoolyard habitats. For example, herbaceous perennials need to cut back annually and divided every three to four years. And planting beds may require more intensive weeding.

On the other hand, native trees and shrubs aka woodies—which provide tremendous environmental benefits—often entail less maintenance and may be more appropriate for school grounds. Over the years, we’ve developed a growing awareness of maintenance issues and the greater long-term survival potential of woody plants versus herbaceous perennials on school grounds.

1. Bayscape (top 4 photos); 2. Highbush Blueberry Rain Garden (bottom 2 photos)
1. Bayscape (top 4 photos); 2. Highbush Blueberry Rain Garden (bottom 2 photos)

Dragonfly Garden
3. Dragonfly Garden (formerly, the Butterfly Garden, planted with herbaceous perennials) was transformed by reducing the size of the garden and planting it with Virginia Sweetspire shrubs to reduce maintenance

3. Xeriscape planted with herbaceous perennials was transformed into the Virginia Sweetspire Xeriscape to reduce maintenance
4. Xeriscape (formerly planted with herbaceous perennials) was transformed into the Virginia Sweetspire Xeriscape to reduce maintenance

5. Rock 'N Rain Garden (front section altered to reduce maintenance)
5. Rock ‘N Rain Garden (front section altered to reduce maintenance)

5. River Birch Rain Garden
5. River Birch Rain Garden

7. Oak Grove, initial planting Earth Day 2007 with Governor Martin O'Malley
7. Oak Grove, initial planting Earth Day 2007 with former Governor Martin O’Malley

8. Redbud Row & Dogwood Grove; 9. Waterman's Garden (lower right photo)
8. Redbud Row & Dogwood Grove; 9. Waterman’s Garden (lower right photo)

10. Restored Riparian Forest Buffer
10. Restored Riparian Forest Buffer

11. NAACP Freedom Grove
11. NAACP Freedom Grove

12. Outdoor Classroom
12. Outdoor Classroom

13. Berry Patch Rain Garden
13. Berry Patch Rain Garden

14. Paw Paw & Persimmon Grove
14. Paw Paw & Persimmon Grove

15. Sweetbay Magnolia Rain Garden
15. Sweetbay Magnolia Rain Garden (herbaceous perennials were replaced with Inkberry shrubs to reduce maintenance)

16. Sweetfern Xeriscape (herbaceous perennials were replaced with Sweetferns to reduce maintenance)
16. Sweetfern Xeriscape (herbaceous perennials were replaced with Sweetfern shrubs to reduce maintenance)

17. Former Asphalt Swale Rain Garden
17. Former Asphalt Swale Rain Garden (coconut fiber biologs have been replaced with stone berms)

18. RainScaping Education Station, at the entrance to the...19. Bertina Nick Rain Garden
18. RainScaping Education Station, at the entrance to the…19. Bertina Nick Rain Garden

20. Baywise Rain Garden
20. Baywise Rain Garden

21. Master Gardener Shade Garden
21. Master Gardener Shade Garden (this half-acre, former dump and invasive species site has been completely transformed)

22. Shade Rain Garden
22. Shade Rain Garden

23. Glenwood Street Rain Garden
23. Glenwood Street Rain Garden

24. Catch-All Rain Garden
24. Catch-All Rain Garden (coconut fiber biologs have been replaced with stone berms)