National Volunteer Week & Lemonade Walk & Talk

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April 15-21 is National Volunteer Week. I want to take this opportunity to recognize and thank all volunteers but especially our Union County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers. In 2017, we had 94 active Extension Master Gardener Volunteers who contributed 4195 hours of volunteer time in school and afterschool programs, Speaker’s Bureau, Successful Gardener, Ask a Master Gardener, the Teaching Garden, 4-H Nature Camp, and many other events. As the Horticulture Extension Agent, I work closely with these volunteers. They are folks who are passionate about gardening & the environment. They love to learn and then willingly share their knowledge with others in our community. I am proud of the work these dedicated volunteers contribute to providing educational programs for the citizens in Union County and I want to publicly recognize and thank them and let everyone know what a great group of volunteers they are. If you might be interested in becoming an Extension Master Gardener, give me a call at 704-283-3729 to learn more.

Coming up this Thursday evening, April 19, at 6 p.m., the Union County Extension Master Gardeners will host a Lemonade Walk & Talk at their Teaching Garden located at the Union County Ag Center, 3230 Presson Rd, Monroe.

The Teaching Garden has three areas – the Cottage Garden, the Woodland Garden, and the Heritage Trail. Each is distinctively different. The Cottage Garden is located in full sun and includes ornamental shrubs, perennials, a medicinal bed, and a bed with vegetables. There are also a few fruit trees in full sun along the front edge of the Teaching Garden. The Woodland Garden showcases plants that tolerate dry shade once established and is a cool respite on a hot sunny day. It includes an Arbor for sitting to view the garden, a children’s fairy garden, and an excellent example of a technique to slow rainwater runoff to prevent soil erosion. The Heritage Trail is a work in progress and will eventually traverse through the wooded area beyond the Woodland Garden as a loop trail about 1 mile long. It features plants native to the North Carolina Piedmont. Boy Scouts and several Eagle Scout projects have helped to develop the Heritage Trail with benches, and trail and bridge building. The plan is to one day be an offshoot connected to the Carolina Thread Trail.

Come out and meet us at the greenhouse for this event. You will see and learn about plants that grow well in the NC Piedmont. The Teaching Garden is free to visit and is open dawn to dusk 365 days a year.