For years, the Master Gardeners volunteers have designed and maintained demonstration gardens located at the Dutchess County Farm & Home Center in Millbrook.
Our gardens are created using techniques that all gardeners can learn from and apply to their gardens at home. We deal with many of the same problems (deer, drought, etc) everyone else has. Our goal is to teach the public environmentally friendly ways of solving these problems, including mulching to reduce weeds and conserve soil moisture. We thank Duffy Layton Contracting in Stanfordville for the wonderful loads of compost mulch they donate to us each year.
The Sustainable Attainable Garden is based on simple design principles to achieve a sustainable, low maintenance, high performance, seasonal garden - attainable by the average home gardener. Garden structure, flow, continuity, seasonal interest, maintenance and simplicity are key design points.
In addition to the above design principles, a set of criteria for plant selection was developed focusing on the county’s climate/climate change, soil pH and conditions, wildlife, native plant performances, maintenance and esthetics.
We have three Shade Gardens located on the corners of the building under hemlock trees. The soil is these gardens can be very dry and filled with roots from the hemlock trees. Plants have been established which thrive despite these conditions and are beautiful throughout the growing season.
The demonstration gardens do indeed meet our objective to provide outreach gardening education for the community, encouraging gardening together for all ages, reaching home and urban gardeners, and creating economic, social and environmental benefits.
We also have a composting demonstration area. This area features different types of composting systems suitable for home use. When you visit, you will also see our Nursery Bed. This bed is used to grow annuals for our plant sale & gardens as well as to temporarily grow a few extra perennials.
Our gardens are open to the public sunrise to sunset during the growing season. Once planting is finished, all plants are labelled and accompanying handouts are available at our kiosk. Free garden tours are given by appointment. To set up a tour, please contact Joyce Tomaselli. Donations are greatly appreciated.
Last updated June 11, 2015