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by Terry Harding, Community Gardener
The gardens may be sleeping this time of year, but that doesn’t mean everything else is at a standstill! In 2018, the Botanic Garden will be moving forward with the actual planting of the Secret Garden. Plant selections have been made by Laurel Voran and Maria Tucker and are on order for spring delivery. Last fall, our work crew, affectionately called Possum Lodgers, worked to dump, spread and level soil to be ready for plants. The theme is Asian and will feature a new tree that replaces the Chinese chestnut that had to be removed due to poor health.
Work on the Fire Wise Garden will continue with plantings. Most of the hardscape has been completed including a walkway from the Rain Gardens area to the top of the hill, where a beautiful view of the Historic Barns Park awaits anyone who makes the walk.
Even more exciting, plans for the Healing Gardens will soon be executed, with Tom Hogge, Nelson, Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, coming to view the site and gather info to incorporate into the design. In addition, the labyrinth will be moved in line with the sugar maple allee and other gardens will be designed including a Native American medicine wheel garden.
The Botanic Garden officially opens April 1st and that’s no joke! There will be new items available for purchase once Mike McNulty gets back to work. Docent training will take place and of course our Garden Angels will be busy doing cleanup planting—both great volunteer opportunities for Master Gardeners to get volunteer hours.
Stay tuned for what is to come at the Garden.
by Nancy Denison, Advanced Extension Master Gardener
A packed house was eagerly attentive to Angie Lucas from GT Regional Land Conservancy as she introduced the method of wildflower identification using the Newcomb Key. I do like to know my flower names but had never heard of this method of identifying plants. So, I appreciated learning about another tool that can be carried around in your back pocket. Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide by Lawrence Newcomb uses a key system to identify wildflowers, flowering shrubs and vines in the northeast and north central part of North America. By using observations of a plant’s type, leaf and flower, one can use the key numerals to determine the name of the plant.
Angie offered several additional resources for plant identification: Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy website (gtrlc.org), Michiganflora.net, an app called INaturalist and the book Fern Finder by Barbara Hallowell.
Thanks to Angie for an enlightening evening!