Friday, June 19, 2020

Tour M R Gardens - In person, six feet apart

M R Gardens is a one-of-a-kind experience. The hour-long tour is appealing to folks of all gardening levels, aims and interests….

Whether they visit to enjoy the varying shapes, textures, scents, sounds, butterflies and other critters flying or scurrying through the farm;

...Or experience walking among the array of fruit trees, medicinal herbs and vegetables;
Plum and apple trees in early spring

...Or learn about the unique Microbe Rich style of building garden beds, creating homes for beneficial microbes, which do the bulk of the gardening work;
Vegetable beds created by layering leaves and mushroom compost on top of cardboard, letting it decompose over winter. Raw wood chips are used for pathways so that we can avoid walking in beds, ensuring less compaction and proper aeration of soil.

...Or view what M R Gardens nursery's native perennials look like mature, full-size, during their season of bloom;
Baptisia in front; Coreopsis (yellow) in background

...Or appreciate the beautiful passive solar greenhouse, in which no additional heat is needed other than solar gain to grow plants;

Greenhouse faces south to capture the sun's heat. 

...Or understand how to create an attractor garden to keep the vegetable garden a healthy balance;
Carolina Lupine frequently attracts pollinators.

...Or find out how swales capture rainwater runoff, limiting the need for irrigation;

...Or see how we’ve put into practice some of the most innovative techniques in ecological landscaping, such as incorporating plants that come up naturally, using groundcovers, or designing with plant interaction in mind.

Groundcovers such as Chamomile surround newly planted Paw Paw seedling

Anise Hyssop, Columbine (red), Sundrops (yellow) and Lavender (background)

Visitors first get an overview of the entire farm, which might seem quite complex and extraordinary to beginners. But then they’ll also hear simple advice so they can easily take the first steps to creating their own garden at home.

Experienced gardeners or landscape designers should let us know about their background, and we’ll dive into discussion about growth habits, plant interaction, and groupings, as well as point out some of the more rare, unique varieties we have at the farm.

In any case, we tailor the tours to each of the participants’ needs and interests. They leave with worksheets on how to build their own Microbe Rich beds, with specific directions for varying sites and vegetation types. They also get a list of the farm’s fruit varieties, proven to be suitable for the local climate.

We host up to five people at a time, for a total cost of $40. Sign up here and contact to schedule the day and time. If social distancing guidelines for COVID are still in effect, we'll remain six feet apart.
Can't make it in person? Visit the M. R. Gardens YouTube page for latest videos of:
our native and medicinal perennial bed at front of the farm; and the orchard.