Live Green: Poplar Hill Mansion
SALISBURY, MD- If you visit the Poplar Hill Mansion – you can now see a new attraction: a pollinator garden. This new addition helps them be part of Salisbury’s Bee City, while offering pollinators a home. Plus, it also has a historical significance to the mansion’s beginnings.
Poplar Hill Mansion is creating a lot of buzz with it’s new pollinator garden. It’s a joint project between Salisbury University students, the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Wicomico Women’s Club. Mansion Curator, Sarah Meyers, tells me this garden has been built at what is actually considered Salisbury’s first hospital.
“This was the home of a surgeon. Dr. Huston would have had an extensive herb garden, which they would’ve called a physics garden, where he would have grown herbs for his medicinal practice. And one of the other things he would’ve done is kept bees for honey. Honey was also used in medicine back then,” said Meyers.
All of the plants found at the garden would have been grown by Dr. John Huston himself, the owner of the Mansion in the early 1800s. Plants like baptisia, for blue dye, and bronze fennel, which provides shelter for monarch butterfly larvae.
“Something new that is coming in is iris. Iris root was used a lot to be stemming blood flow. And one of the things that we have to remember of this time period is that they were still doing bleeding,” said Scheid.
Plus, these plants offer food and shelter to the pollinators. In return, the pollinators fertilize the plants and help them grow. Chairman of the Mansion’s board Dave Scheid explains that pollinators are crucial to plant fertilization. He credits S-U students with the idea for designing the garden.
“This year’s class based it on designs on an 1825 embroidery from the Abbey Aldridge Rockefeller collection from Williamsburg of a bee skep. This is technically a bee hive made out of straw,” said Scheid, who is also a Professor of Practice at Salisbury University.
With this new addition, Poplar Hill Mansion is proving that even a historical house can continue to make history and pave the way for a greener Delmarva.
Representatives from Poplar Hill Mansion say that you can help volunteer at their pollinator garden or make donations to help them with new additions. For more information or to schedule a tour, please visit their website or find them on Facebook.