Summer Blooms, Berries, Bees in West College Courtyard

Following the principles of permaculture, the student group WILD Wes (Working for Intelligent Landscape Design at Wesleyan) has transformed the West College Courtyard — once an eroded hillside with compacted soil and diseased trees — into complex ecosystems that provide food, attract insects and requires minimal resources and maintenance. The students also are working on a terraced garden near Summerfields. Follow the group’s progress on their blog.

Pictured are summer blooms, berries, bees and other bugs thriving in the garden on July 8. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

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A yellow jacket collects pollen from a yellow cone flower.

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Since 2010, WILD Wes has worked to replace conventional energy-intensive lawns on campus with scenic, productive and engaging gardens.

Blueberries.

Blueberries.

Beetle on a purple cone flower.

A Japanese beetle discovers a purple cone flower. WILD Wes suggests controlling beetle populations by hand picking them off of plants, especially in the morning, when they are less alert. “They really are just your typical college kid in insect form,” said WILD Wes member Rina Kremer ’15.

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Blackberry, ripening.

A bee on beebalm.

A bee on bee balm.

Poppy.

Poppy.

Queen Anne's lace.

Queen Anne’s lace.

Woodchip paths lead garden-goers around the courtyard.

Woodchip paths lead garden-goers around the courtyard.

A beech tree provides a shady nook in the garden.

A beech tree provides a shady nook in the garden.

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Plains coreopsis.

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Bee collecting pollen from a cosmos.

Cone flower.

Cone flower.

The courtyard.

The courtyard.

Bee balm.

Bee balm.

Olivia Drake

Olivia (M.A.L.S. '08) is editor of the Wesleyan Connection newsletter and campus photographer. I have two dogs, five chickens and 30 house plants. I like snow, photographing firemen and enjoying "stinky" cheeses. Send me your story ideas to newsletter@wesleyan.edu. 

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