Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens

Tucked behind the big red barn in Derwood, Maryland is the Montgomery County Master Gardener Demonstration Garden.  I like to choose a quiet afternoon to visit this favorite spot of mine and I leave with lots of great ideas.  The Master Gardeners who maintain all the well-loved bits and pieces of this demo garden are always trying new things and planting different kinds of vegetables. It's an excellent place for gardeners of all levels of experience to visit.  My last visit was on the day of their bustling open house when I gave a talk on growing and cooking Asian vegetables.  Good thing the speaker before me was running late because I got to take a quick tour led by my friend Erica who blogs at Rogue Eggplant and also on the Grow It Eat It blog.  Check out all there is to learn:

In this African Keyhole Garden, made with the free compost bins our county provides, a central tower is continuously fed with kitchen scraps.  The compost that is created provides nutrients for the plants growing around it.  

Below: a lush headstart on spring vegetables using hoops and row covers.

The cute Children's Garden below is filled with plants with animal names.  

Straw bales, pallets, and plants growing inside!

Above: a lovely little pond.  Below: a theme I somehow missed, but it sure is well-marked, isn't it?!

A beautiful, colorful salad table!

Below: one of several beds maintained by special groups.

The annual spring open house is a wonderful event with plant sales, casual tours of the demo garden, experts on call to help with plant issues, workshops, crafts and activities for kids and tons of giveaways like seeds and this adorable popsicle stick pre-labeled and stuck with seeds below - ready to just push into the ground and grow!

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