We are pretty much done for the year at the Demonstration Garden, and I think most of us are glad for a little time off. There will be a few more things done at the Annex, but nothing big until the new year.
The original Demo Garden, all 26 beds, is sleeping until spring. There are some problems that have come with age: Beds M and N are both infected with Symphylans, and our Raspberry bed soil contains that nasty Phytophthora Root Rot. Neither have proven easy to eliminate, although we’ve attempted several things. We will leave those beds fallow in 2019.
Fortunately, construction of vegetable beds at the new Annex has gone well. There are now 15 raised beds built, filled with soil, and covered with burlap bags for the winter. Three of them have sturdy poles installed for trellising, and will be planted with caneberries this February. In the edible department, the Annex also has table grapes and hardy kiwis planted, although neither will contribute to the 2019 harvest. In addition, there is a roughly 20’x20’ area that will be used in 2019 to demonstrate (we hope) dry land farming. Between the two gardens we hope that 2019 will top even our banner 2018 harvest for food donations to local food pantries.
When we started working in the Annex, we named the perennial beds simplistically: A, B, C,..., but a problem was soon obvious. The original garden uses the same simple naming convention, and we want to be able to combine our reports for both gardens. This gave us a second chance at naming the Annex beds. The raised beds for vegies are named 1N - 7N on the North row, and 1S - 8S on the South row. In both cases, “1” is at the west end of the row.
The perennial beds were more fun to rename. We wanted two character names that reflected something about the beds. Here’s what we came up with:
Starting in 2019, we’ll be using the new abbreviations when talking about Annex beds. Looking at the names of the gardeners in the above table, it is clear to me that our decision to devote at least half of the Annex to perennials has indeed attracted gardeners who had not participated at the Demo Garden in the past.
Before leaving the bed names, I want to give a shout-out to Denise Spellman who did such a magnificent job with the Color Circle this past year. The Color Circle is not a perennial bed, but is intended to be redesigned each year with annuals to provide color to the garden. The beauty it brought to the garden this year was especially welcome as so many other beds were just getting started. Each year we will ask 1 or 2 interns who have joined the demo garden crew to design it for the next year. Merry and Margaret, now veteran Master Gardeners, have accepted the challenge for 2019. Thanks to Denise’s efforts they’ll have quite a challenge indeed!
Looking through the list of abbreviations, the only one missing is the one for the Greenhouse- GH. Hopefully, with everyone’s support, we’ll be able to add that soon! It will make a huge difference in our efforts not just to be gardeners, but to be Master Gardener Educators.