Farm & Garden: Floral divas and community garden celebrations

The wonder of a cuke: Harvest early summer vegetables, taste edible garden treats and visit with the chickens at Beaverdam Community Garden's festival. Photo courtesy of Beaverdam Community Garden.
The wonder of a cuke: Harvest early summer vegetables, taste edible garden treats and visit with the chickens at Beaverdam Community Garden's festival. Photo courtesy of Beaverdam Community Garden.


Beaverdam goes big

If you've always wanted to lend a hand in a community garden, but aren't quite ready to make a weekly commitment,  stop by the Beaverdam Community Garden at the YMCA on Saturday, July 13, for a hands-on kind of festival.

Check out the garden's raised beds and edible forest garden while soaking up the bounty of early summer. Everyone is invited to pick up a trowel to plant herbs, propagate plants, mulch pathways and prepare beds for fall.

If the weather cooperates, many vegetables will be ready to harvest, including beans, summer squash, tomatoes and flowers. Chickens will strut their stuff as community members help the garden reach its summer peak. Attendees can take the magic home with a seed swap and plant-dividing opportunities.

Garden coordinator Justin Holt has big plans for the festival. "I hope to get more people connected to the garden and to develop relationships with people and organizations in the community." He encourages the public to "enjoy just being in the garden" while drinking herbal tea and meeting other garden-lovers.

The festival will be held Saturday, July 13, from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at 201 Beaverdam Road. Info: jholt@ymcawnc.org.

Divas of the garden

Some plants are sweet and accommodating; some aren’t. Once a field of wildflowers is established, it practically grows itself; and daylilies can make any highway shoulder their home. But the garden world is also populated tricky, demanding flowers that require special accommodations and lots of encouragement.

Buncombe County Extension Master Gardeners will lead a class on garden divas that "delight us with their beauty and then confound us with their tempers." Camellias, daphnes and roses are just a few of the vainest flowers that demand a lot more than gentle watering and a little fertilizer to thrive.

Camellias like moisture, but revolt in wet conditions. Daphne shrubs are poisonous and require garden gloves whenever they are touched by humans hands. And who could forget the fickle rose? Learn to master these Southern belles, and discover the best ways to choose, plant and grow these finicky lovelies.

The class will be held on Wednesday, July 17, at 10 a.m. Extension Master Gardener Judy Deutsch will lead the program at the EMG office, 94 Coxe Ave. Free. Info and registration: Joyce.Plemmons@buncombecounty.org or 255-5522.

Creating a butterfly wonderland

Butterflies do more than delight us with their beauty. They also play a key role in pollination. And much like bees, butterflies face many modern threats, including loss of habitat and pesticides.

Reems Creek Nursery in Weaverville will host a class on establishing butterfly-friendly habitats as a way to engage the entire family in the natural world. The nursery encourages the public to "help out mother nature by inviting butterflies and other useful pollinators to feast in your yard."

The class will be held on Saturday, July 13, at 10 a.m. at Reems Creek Nursery, 70 Monticello Road, Weaverville. Free. Registration requested. Info: http://www.reemscreek.com or 645-3937.

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