URI Master Gardeners, Friends of the Waterfront launch Harbor Walk Planter Project in Newport

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Planters include up-cycled dinghies, Rhode Island native plants

KINGSTON, R.I. – June 1, 2015 – University of Rhode Island Master Gardeners and Friends of the Waterfront will launch the Harbor Walk Planter Project at Newport’s Perrotti Park, 39 America’s Cup Ave., on Sunday, June 7 from 1 to 3 p.m. At the event, URI Master Gardeners will demonstrate large-scale container planting techniques and discuss design options as they create this new landscape feature in the heart of downtown Newport.

The goal of the Harbor Walk project is to educate residents and visitors about public-rights-of ways lining Newport’s iconic harbor while celebrating the beauty and diversity of native Rhode Island plants.

The first of eight proposed containers is a repurposed, 8-foot rowboat that will be filled with organic soil and compost. Purple love grass (Eragrostis spectabilis), a native grass that blooms from summer to fall, mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum), one of the best nectar sources for native butterflies, whirling butterflies (Gaura Lindheimeri), a North American wild flower, and many other native plants in shades of silver, blue and white — reminiscent of the surrounding marine environment — will fill the planter. The design follows what Master Gardeners call the “spiller, thriller and filler” method of container gardens.

Gardeners interested in volunteering to maintain the planters throughout the summer (with guidance from URI Master Gardeners) are welcome to attend this event, as is the general public. Attendees will be rewarded with a unique learning opportunity as well as the chance to acquire a sense of ownership of this waterfront beautification project.

For more information about the Newport Harbor Planter Project, contact Friends of the Waterfront President Johanna Vietry at Info@NewportWaterfront.org. For information about Rhode Island native plants, visit the University of Rhode Island’s native plant guide at R.I. Native Plant Guide.