Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Garden for Today and Tomorrow

Work with your natural environment to shape a garden
that will thrive. Photo by Robert Ayers.

It is very satisfying to step back at the end of a day spent gardening and admire all that you have accomplished. You’ve enriched your soil, pruned existing plants and helped your new plants settle in so they can delight you with their flowers.

Now it’s time to consider tomorrow and beyond.  Ask yourself: How can I build a garden that works with the forces of nature and not struggle against it? Gardening becomes so much easier when you consider nature a partner.

Begin by considering your garden from various viewpoints:
     - How is the soil—is it healthy, with microbes and organic material?
     - How does water move through your garden? Does it travel rapidly, with little chance to soak in? Or does it stay in place for days at a time?
     - What is the history of your garden area? Was it built upon long ago, or recently? Was it farmed?
Are there a number of existing plants, and what types are they?
Whether you grow vegetables or flowers, you can learn how
to work more harmoniously with your garden. Photo: R. Ayers.

The answers to these questions provide a starting point so you can create a garden that is unique to your site and takes advantage of the natural forces already at work.

“Easy Steps to a Resilient Garden” is the perfect Duke Gardens class to address these questions and more, for gardeners at all levels. The class will meet for two Tuesday sessions, Nov. 1 and 15, from 6:30-9 p.m. Instructed by Jan Little, landscape architect and director of education at Duke Gardens, the class will focus on harnessing nature to make your life easier.

We will discuss water harvesting and how you can minimize the amount of supplemental water used (and paid for) in your garden. You will learn simple methods to assess your existing soil and determine how best to improve it for plants.

Lastly, we will consider your garden dreams and how they match up with the existing situation. This will help you match your garden to the site and have a garden that is healthy and thriving without a lot of toil.

Spend more time admiring your garden and less time maintaining it!

For more information about "Easy Steps to a Resilient Garden," or to register, please email or call 919-668-1707.

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