Spring’s Popping Up at the Teaching Garden!

Teaching Garden March 2016    Teaching Garden March 2016-2    Teaching Garden March 2016-3

Prunus Persica, “Patio Peach” in full colorful splendor at the Zen Garden. A surprise plus: Its scent is lovely!

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A pretty drift of blooming daffodils.

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The bee skep at the Children’s Garden. What an eye-catcher!

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A redbud with a close-up of the buds

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Behind the stone bench is a Mountain Mint just starting to leaf-out. It’s surrounded by a wire fence to keep the hungry deer from lunching on it. By mid-summer, you won’t be able to see the structure of the bush because of how full it will be AND it’ll be covered in happy bees, butterflies and other bugs.

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So many drift of daffodils showing off their colors that I felt you would want to just enjoy the view before they’re gone for the season.

 JG (sitting in for Bev)

Let’s Do This!

The Master Gardener Volunteers have the “Let’s Do This” attitude and were busy with all the spring tasks that need to be done in the Teaching Garden.

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Despite the 36 degree morning temperature, everyone worked together to hoist the Martin House along with the individual gourds or luxury condos as Master Gardener volunteer, Bill, likes to say.
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His observations over the years is that the birds prefer the natural gourds since they have more space for the birds and their nests.  Last year there were six nests; each year the number increases.  We’re looking forward to their return since the Martins are a great asset to the garden.   They work very hard to eat insects as they fly about the garden.   The Martin House and gourds are cleaned during the winter with a solution of bleach and repainted every year.  Only acrylic paint is used (never use oil-based) and white is the birds’ preferred color.  The base of the pole is a snake guard – our way of protecting the nests.  Last year the houses were put up two weeks later due to the cold weather we were having.  (See Teaching Garden blog for April 9, 2015.)
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This is the fourth year that the garden has maintained rain barrels.  This water comes in handy to the far reaches of the garden, like the Woodland Garden.  The swing has been set up to let people sit and relax after working in the garden or to just sit and admire the garden view.
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The garden is experimenting with attracting bees (great pollinators!) and have set up two types of bee homes to see which one they prefer.
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Deer are nice to look at but their damage to the garden plants is not appreciated.  Jannell, in the Native Bed, pruned out the red twig dogwood where the deer rubbed their antlers; pruning will help encourage growth.
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Jannell said that a branch that had a praying mantis egg sac on it was pruned by mistake so they reattached it to another limb.  Hopefully the eggs inside will not realize and will emerge when the warm weather comes.
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Ruth, in the Fragrance Bed, has her bags of tricks she uses to discourage deer.  The ring over the daylilies protect the emerging plant from being nibbled. Deer love new tender growth.  She also sprays Bobbex on the plants, a natural, environmentally-friendly solution.  Various tricks are used to deter deer and one must remain vigilant.
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The Master Gardeners from the Cooks’ Garden were busy digging potato beds. They are planting more than they did last year because who doesn’t like potatoes and they are so easy to grow as Master Gardener volunteer Amye says.  They planted three varieties that will be harvested at different times so there will be a constant supply of potatoes. Planted are Red Norland (early), Kennebec (midseason) and Russet (late).

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wp-1458651976883.jpg  Refreshing, spring blossoms!

-bv

Rebirth of Spring!

The Teaching Garden was abuzz with Master Gardener Volunteers on Tuesday, their first day in the garden for 2016!  They were busy assessing the various flower and vegetable beds as well as clearing debris from winter.  Signs of new life are everywhere.  The most thrilling find was a baby box turtle in the Herb bed.   We’re thinking this baby is the result of the “Turtle Love” photo (see the post from September 2, 2015.)
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A cold compost pile was started with new bales of straw.

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The compost volunteers were busy with their piles to mulch.
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New furniture was purchased and will grace the garden setting.

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Some items overwintered well such as purple cabbage, kale and Brussel sprouts.
These were protected under a row cover (see picture posted August 19, 2015.)
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The title of this post is ‘Rebirth of Spring’ (thanks to Ruth, Master Gardener Volunteer, for suggesting the title) and is fitting seeing all the new growth!
wp-1458051114063.jpg   wp-1458053579074.jpg   wp-1458053367103.jpg   wp-1458052584618.jpg  Redbuds are getting ready to show us their color!

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Four kinds of Hellebores are in bloom in the Woodland Garden. The green flowered ones are native.

The Master Gardener Volunteers will be working in the Garden on Tuesday mornings and Saturdays (weather permitting).  If you can’t make it to the garden, keep abreast by viewing the PWC Teaching Garden blog.  There is always something new happening!  It is wonderful to watch nature at work with the encouragement of the volunteers!wp-1458051332665.jpg

-bv