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Start of the Season

The Native Gardens are starting out in great shape this spring thanks to our amazing corps of volunteers who participated in our bi-weekly garden mentoring sessions the past two Fridays, as well as students from our landscaping & gardening pilot program who came to the gardens this past Saturday for hands-on training led by NGBH co-founders Cathy Rees and Avy Claire.

Our first day out together on April 30 was rainy and cold, yet 19 volunteers showed up to tour the gardens and hear about ongoing projects, such as tending the green roof on the Summerhouse (grass was seeded last fall and is starting to grow), adding plantings to the woodland edge of the ADA trail, creating habitat berms with brush, building bog bridging on our trail, designing the entrance to the garden, improving plant signage, and, of course, the usual work of weeding, dividing, and transplanting.

Projects got off to a good start thanks to those who joined us on May 14 in the warmth and sunshine to tackle various items. Several volunteers set their sights on weeding and tidying up various areas of the gardens, while others took advantage of the springtime moment to transplant ferns coming up in the path where bog bridging will be installed. Volunteers by the Performance Hall took a break from their tasks to admire the intricacy yet simplicity of an abandoned bird's nest discovered in their midst.

Students from NGBH's pilot program in Sustainable Landscaping & Garden Management arrived on May 15 for a full day of hands-on training sessions including container planting, staking, weeding techniques, root pruning trees in preparation to be moved, dividing and transplanting herbaceous and woody plants, soil sampling, preparing a new garden bed, learning soil building techniques, making compost tea, using a pump sprayer, and building a compost pile. It was a very full day, and they accomplished a lot!

A second hands-on session for our training program will take place next weekend, and our next garden mentoring day is Friday, May 28. In the meantime, join us and some of our regional native plant propagators online on Thursday, May 20 at 7PM to preview some of the plants that will be available for purchase as part of our native plant sale on May 29. Keep an eye on our events page for these and other offerings. Happy gardening!


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