By Faye Mahaffey
OSUE Brown County Master Gardener Volunteer
Ohio’s official botanical garden of native plants, the Heritage Garden, showcases Ohio’s natural history in a series of gardens representing Ohio’s five major physiographic regions that include the Till Plains, Bluegrass Section, Allegheny Plateaus, Huron-Erie Lake Plains and the Glaciated Allegheny Plateau. The Ohio Governor’s residence, located in Bexley, is the location of the Ohio Heritage Garden.
After completing my Master Gardener training in 2006, I was contacted by a good friend who happened to be the Horticulturalist at the Ohio Governor’s residence. He knew that I needed to complete 50 hours of volunteer work in order to become an official OSUE Master Gardener and he hoped I would come to the Heritage Garden to help organize lists of donated plants, etc. I have to admit I was pretty excited to meet then First Lady Hope Taft and see what was happening in the Heritage Garden. In November 2006 Pam Bennett, State Coordinator of the OSUE Master Gardener Volunteers, developed the Heritage Garden Ambassador Programs to assist with the promotion of Ohio’s first garden, as well as the use of native plants. I was lucky enough to be nominated as the Ambassador to represent Brown County.
A new group of OSUE Master Gardener Volunteers have recently started training and Dale Dyer, OSUE Brown County Master Gardener Volunteer, will be ready in January 2016 to present a program about the Ohio Heritage Garden and its newest additions. You can contact Dale by phone at 937-515-4030 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every second and fourth Wednesday of the growing season a group of volunteers help to plant, weed and work on other projects in the Ohio Heritage Garden. We call ourselves the “Governor’s Gardeners” and enjoy working together in the different parts of the Heritage garden and learning about all the different plants and trees. This past week we started putting the gardens to “bed” for the season. Some gardeners look for work in the shade, some love to prune, others enjoy working with the roses, and some of us love to venture into a new area of the garden to learn more about the plants growing there. Last year volunteers traveled from 14 counties to donate more than 1,900 hours of their time.
Tours of the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden are on Tuesday and are free. To schedule your group tour, please visit the website at www.friendsohio.org.
I spent several days in my own flower beds this past week attacking the growing population of Canada Goldenrod. Then I had fun and planted some native plants in the “bone dry” ground. We really need some rain.
Hope to see you at the fair!