Project Lead- Katy Cashman

Native Gardens

We meet the fourth Tuesday of each month March - October (refer to website calendar ) for garden maintenance.
In 2008 Madison Master Gardeners started a VA native plant garden at the Farmers Market location in Madison. The 100x10 foot garden is along a fence line at the rear of the Market. While the property is owned by the county, Madison Extension Service has been provided this property for use by the Farmers Market. The collocation of the Demo Garden with the Farmers Market provides the public an optimum viewing opportunity for the Demo Garden.
Brad Jarvis, our Extension Agent, prepared the bed for us, and we were able to use a nearby mulch pile from the county. Both sun-loving and shade loving plants have been planted. Initially, we had a shady area for shade-loving perennials, but since the county removed a large tree, our plantings there needed to be replaced. Some have struggled without the necessary shade, and we are always anxious to see what has survived once Spring arrives. In 2011, we purchased and planted a white fringe tree to eventually provide some shade for the shade-loving perennials.
Some of our plantings are: redbud, dogwood, American holly, river birch, clethra, spice bush, itea, swamp hibiscus (which so far has done well considering our sunny, dry location), VA rose, catmint, red buckeye and many small perennials.
The biggest challenge is to water the plants during droughts. Hoses have to be run from a nearby county house and each plant hand-watered. Volunteers, led by several different project leaders since the Demo Garden’s inception, have planted, pruned, mulched and weeded the bed as needed. Our initial signs didn’t weather well, or were stolen, but we now have some new ones, made by Connie Deatherage, which hopefully will hold up better.