Standing on the boardwalk in the Regional Garden, you can see the relationship between water,
plants, and wildlife. An abundance of water increases an area’s capacity to support life. The
plants growing along the stream are more dense and lush. They provide more food and shelter for
wildlife than those in the drier areas uphill.
Look for a bald cypress tree rising to your left. This tree thrives in swampy places, including
Virginia’s Great Dismal Swamp, because it grows well in waterlogged soil.
To your right, notice the tall trees with brown papery bark standing on the water’s edge. These
river birches grow along streams and in floodplains where they tolerate periodic flooding and
help control erosion.
In spring, tall green shoots of pickerelweed burst through the pond’s surface. Its purplish flowers
bloom throughout the summer, attracting insects seeking their nectar and pollen. In winter, you’ll
see the plant’s dried stalks.
The stream and pond help support abundant wildlife in
the garden, including dozens of species of