Grow For It!: Master Gardener demonstration garden coming in 2014

By From page B3 | October 02, 2013

Robin StanleyAre you someone who likes to learn by doing?

Do you wish you could see gardens full of plants that are particularly well suited for the West Slope climate?

Do you want to learn how to garden using sustainable methods?

Would you like to teach your children (or yourself) about gardening, with the guidance of trained volunteers to support you?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you will be excited to know that the El Dorado County Master Gardener demonstration garden will be opening before you know it.

After five years of planning, negotiating and building, the first Open Garden and Planting Day for Master Gardeners was on July 18. Master Gardeners anticipate being ready to start the planting of the individual gardens this fall and look forward to holding the grand opening next year.

If you are someone who regularly attends our free weekly public education classes or if you have attended one of our bi-annual plant sales, you are probably already aware of the new demonstration garden that Master Gardeners have under construction on property owned by the El Dorado County Office of Education.

In recent weeks, classes have begun featuring a short presentation on the progress of the demonstration garden. We believe that the people we are already educating will be some of our biggest supporters.

Although the garden will be beautiful, more importantly, it will be a place where new ideas and cutting edge, research-based techniques will be featured. It will provide opportunities for the public to learn through hands-on experience, working and learning along with Master Gardeners.

From vegetables, to native plants, to shade plants, to a kids’ garden, the plan is to develop a collection of 14 gardens that will teach people from the West Slope, and similar foothill locations, how to create a garden and/or landscape that is beautiful, sustainable and affordable.

Master Gardeners are grateful that we have partnerships with the El Dorado County Office of Education, Folsom Lake College, El Dorado Center and the Cameron Park Rotary Community Observatory.

Cameron Park Rotary contributed funding and labor for the construction of the Japanese tea house.

Sierra Greenhouses donated a greenhouse and Holt Industries has loaned heavy equipment. These, and other supporters and donors, will be listed on an attractive plaque at the entrance to the garden.

Many local nurseries have donated plants for the semi-annual plant sales, the major source of funding to date for the garden. In fact, last week’s Mountain Democrat article about the plant sale (available on the Master Gardeners’ Website, listed at the end of this article) also provided lots of great information about the demonstration garden.

Want to learn more about the garden? Check out the link to the demonstration garden page on the Website. If you would like to arrange a presentation for your group or club about the new demonstration garden call the Master Gardener office and leave a message for Joan Jenkins, public outreach coordinator.

Master Gardeners offer free public education classes on a variety of topics on most Saturday mornings. The Oct. 5 class, Starthistle Control, will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Veterans Memorial Building, 130 Placerville Drive in Placerville. Master Gardeners appreciate the generosity of the Veterans management in sharing their space with us for most of our classes and we hope the public will support the wonderful breakfasts, open to the public, on the first three Sundays of every month.

In addition to the classes, Master Gardeners are available to answer home gardening questions Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon by calling 530-621-5512. Walk-ins are also welcome. The office is located at 311 Fair Lane in Placerville. The Website is Sign up to receive the online notices and e-newsletter at Master Gardeners is also on Facebook.

Robin Stanley

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