Down & Dirty – The Volunteer Gardens

By Karen Ditoro—Chair, Volunteer Gardens Committee
Hello all. Thank you to all members, old and new, who came out last year to work on our volunteer gardens. Countless hours have been spent on the time consuming but ultimately rewarding tasks of weeding, trimming, water-ing, planting, mulching and finally, putting the gardens to bed. It has been a pleasure working alongside everyone!

MDHS maintains gardens at Allendale Long Term Care, Milton Main Library, and Deborah’s Home. In addition, we do one-time projects such as the tulip planting at Victoria Park to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. The gardens, founded and designed by Society members, are an attraction for Milton residents and visitors alike. Even though the Society no longer maintains the Millennium Garden at the Milton Visitors Center and Town Hall Garden, they are beautiful examples of stunning, mature gardens that welcome people to Milton.

Our focus this year was maintenance and filling in areas where we lost plants to the drought of 2016. The rain this year made weeding a never-ending task! Both gardens at Allendale, the front entrance circle and the main courtyard, look great. We removed some of the orange daylilies and added grasses in the front circle. In the back corner of the main courtyard, we added a gingko tree, hydrangeas, heuchera, and sedums. Allendale is such a rewarding place to work – residents and employees alike really enjoy and appreciate the gardens. At the library we added grasses for fall interest and movement, and barberry along the border for color. In May, we had a beautiful display of Canada 150 bicolor red and white tulips, single color red and white tulips, and daffodils in Victoria Park to commemorate Canada’s 150. Many of you will remember planting the bulbs on a very cold, wet day in November 2016.

Please consider joining us in 2018. Our season begins in April/May (weather permitting) with the opening of the gardens and concludes in October/November with putting them to bed. Everyone, from novice to experienced gardener, is welcome to join us for a variety of activities including weeding, planting, pruning and mulching. There are a variety of ways to help; work-days, two-week maintenance, or on-call. The work days are a mix of teach-ing and doing and we try to schedule these activities for a time when most people are available. This year we are adding teaching seminars, where we will discuss plant ID, tools, and different gardening tech-niques. We will also be having prize giveaways at various times throughout the season.

Signups begin in February/March at the monthly meetings or contact us . As Jennifer always says, “Many hands make light work”. See you in the garden!