Butterfly Gardens at the Gloucester HarborWalk

Working in collaboration with architect Chris Muskopf from Cambridge Seven Associates, I designed the gardens for the award-winning Gloucester HarborWalk.

See all awards here

My design intention was to help further the vision of Cambridge Seven Associates and the city’s planners to join the diverse areas that comprise the HarborWalk into a cohesive, functional, attractive, and educational walkway. Additionally, I designed the gardens to be low-maintenance habitats to benefit pollinators.

Gus Foote Gloucester HarborWalk Garden © Kim Smith 2012 copy

My focus remains on beautiful plantings indigenous to Cape Ann and North America that provide sustenance for birds, bees, and butterflies, while also creating four seasons of interest.

Joe-Pye hellenium Gloucester HarborWalk Kim Smith 2012Hellenium and Baby Joe-pye

Read what reporter Glenn Collins had to say about the HarborWalk in the August 13th, 2014 New York Time’s article, “Polishing Its Past and Preparing Its Future.”

“This year Massachusetts designated four new cultural districts on Cape Ann, based on their museums, galleries, restaurants, performance spaces and artistic communities. Visitors can now download a free Cape Ann Cultural Districts smartphone app, to access a bonanza of web information and self-guided tours. This summer, 20 new “story posts,” bringing the total to 42, afford a walking encyclopedia of information. They are affixed to granite bollards situated strategically on the route (GHWalk.org).

The posts are part of the Gloucester HarborWalk, a free, multimile, historic, civic and artistic public-access walkway that zigzags in and out of historic locales, piers, plazas, docks and parks. Call it stealth wayfinding, since it affords an intimate view of the harborfront, giving access to the town’s history — and the water itself — without disturbing the working port, or cutesifying it.”  For the complete article click here: “Polishing Its past and Preparing Its Future.”

Great Spangled Fritillary Coneflower Gloucester harborwalk ©Kim Smith 2012 copyGreat Spangled Fritillary Nectaring at the Coneflowers, Gloucester HarborWalk

Of particular note and a major component of the horticultural master plan are habitats created to help support the migratory species of birds and butterflies that travel annually through the region. Cape Ann lies within a largely unrestricted north-south corridor for migratory species of birds and insects and, in particular, Gloucester’s easternmost point is a unique and important destination along the Monarch Butterflies annual fall migration.

Monarch Butterfly Seaside Goldenrod Gloucester HarborWalk Kim Smith 2012Monarch Butterfly Nectaring at Seaside Goldenrod at the Gloucester HarborWalk Gardens During the Monarch’s Annual Fall Migration

Visitors to the garden gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between native wildflowers and pollinators.

Seaside Goldenrod Autumn Gloucester Harborwalk ©Kim Smith 2012Seaside Goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens)

Through showcasing the natural beauty of the HarborWalk Garden’s wildflowers and pollinators, visitors are inspired to locate and identify the tremendous wealth of flora and fauna found on Cape Ann and to translate that information to their own gardens.

Tulip Poplar Gloucester MAThe tulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera) planted at St. Peter’s Square were selected not only for their great beauty and because they are excellent shade trees, but because of their historical significance relative to Gloucester. Tulip poplar is the primary wood used in the nation’s premier organ building studio, Gloucester’s own CB Fisk, and remains today the wood of choice for ship masts. The foliage of the tulip tree is one of the caterpillar food plants of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly.

Gloucester HarborWalk Magnolia virginiana ©Kim Smith 2012 copyMagnolia virginiana

The Magnolia viginiana planted at the I4-C2 Connector Garden is also one of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar’s food plants, as well as the food plant for the stunning Cecropia moth. Magnolia virginiana, like much of the flora growing throughout New England, was nearly collected to extinction. For this reason, the New England Wildflower Society was founded in 1900 to educate, promote, and conserve the region’s native flowering shrubs, trees, wildflowers, and ferns.

Cecropia Moth male Magnolia virginiana ©Kim SmithMale Cecropia Moth on the Foliage of Magnolia virginiana

Veronicastrum virginicum Culver's Root IGloucester HarborWalk Gardens. ©Kim Smith 2013Culver’s Root (Veronicastrum virginicum) at the Gloucester HarborWalk Gardens

Links to posts about the Butterfly Gardens at the Gloucester HarborWalk ~

Monarchs at the HarborWalk Zinnia Patch

“Goonies” ~ Free HarborWalk Summer Cinema Every Wednesday Night

Thanks So Much to Our Friends of the HaborWalk, Old and New

Check Out the Native Wildflowers at the HarborWak Before the Screening Of Wizard of Oz

The Gloucester HarborWalk Receives Yet Another Prestigious Award

Gloucester HarborWalk Gus Foote Dedication

Gloucester HarborWalk Tulip Tree Image to Travel Around the World

Come Join Me for a Tour of the Butterfly gardens at the Gloucester HarborWalk

Wintry HarborWalk at Dawn

Before and After Photos of the Gloucester HarborWalk

Beauty in Gloucester

Johnny Linville and Friends of the HighLine

Visiting Liv in Brooklyn: Gardens at the HighLine, Battery Park, and the Bosque

Welcome Tulip Trees!

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Before photos of the future site of the Gloucester HarborWalk Butterfly gardens, taken in the fall, 2011.

I4-C2 Gloucester HarborWalk Garden -2 © Kim Smith

I4-C2 Gloucester HarborWalk Garden © Kim Smith 2012I4-C2 Gloucester HarborWalk Garden © Kim Smith © Kim Smith Photo 2012 copy

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Seaside Goldenrod Gloucester harborwalk ©Kim Smith 2012Seaside Goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens)

Purple Prairie Clover Dalea purpurea Gloucester HarborWalk Garden © Kim Smith 2013Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea purpurea) Gloucester HarborWalk Garden

Coneflower Bee Gloucester HarborWalk Kim Smith 2013Myriad Species of Native Bees Nectar from the HarborWalk’s Wildflowers

Please note that the butterfly and pollinator garden at the Gloucester HarborWalk is no longer in existence. The garden is now managed by Generous Gardens and has evolved using primarily non-native Eurasian-centric plants.

Gloucester Harbor Panorama ©Kim Smith 2015

3 thoughts on “Butterfly Gardens at the Gloucester HarborWalk

  1. Pingback: My New Website | GoodMorningGloucester

  2. lise

    What a transformation or, shall we say, a metamorphosis resulting in the coherent scattering of light. Thank you!

  3. Pingback: (Hopefully) Dispelling Some Misconceptions About the HarborWalk | GoodMorningGloucester

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