Home Medford News “Dig” Your Garden After Series of Medford Leas Programs

“Dig” Your Garden After Series of Medford Leas Programs


Gardeners throughout Burlington County and the surrounding area can refresh their gardens this fall by attending a series of free programs hosted on Medford Leas’ two campuses in Medford and Lumberton. Participants can learn from experts, chat with fellow gardeners, and participate in a “plant swap” to revitalize their craft. After all, what better way to learn about gardening than from fellow gardeners?

Plant Swap: A Time to Refresh Your Garden,” offers attendees a chance to share their extra plants and acquire new ones, while gaining knowledge and friendship with like-minded gardeners. Rejuvenate a well-established clump of perennials or dig up plants and make room for something new by attending the event on Friday, Sept. 30, at the Lumberton Campus Community Center from 10:00 a.m. until noon.

Perennials, small shrubs, and houseplants are welcome in the swap. Plants need to be in a container and, if possible, should be labeled with the name and type of conditions for the plant to thrive. Garden books and tools also can be swapped.

After swapping plants, gardeners should attend a special “Gardening Guru Series” to encourage their flora to thrive! On three consecutive Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. in the Medford Campus Theater, Medford Leas will host gardening experts. Participants are encouraged to come to one or all of the talks.

Beth Davis of Waldor Orchids will speak on Wednesday, Oct.26, about orchids, which is the largest family in the plant kingdom. Davis is a third-generation orchid grower; Waldor Orchids, located in Linwood, has been family-owned and operated since 1925.

“There are over 25,000 species and 110,000 orchid hybrids,” said Davis, whose workshop is for the novice and more experienced orchid growers. “Orchids are rewarding and interesting houseplants, not to mention the blooms are just stunning. Their flowers come in almost every color, varying shapes and sizes, and can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. Armed with a little of the right culture, knowledge, and windowsill, you could be enjoying their beauty!”

Attendees will learn basic growing information and see a hands-on potting demonstration, experience a variety of plants, and can purchase orchids.

The following Wednesday, Nov. 2, Bruce Crawford will speak about “Sexy Native Plants for Your Garden.” He will debunk the weedy myth of native plants and their aesthetic value, as well as fascinate participants in the range of colors and textures available. Crawford will demonstrate how to grow a native plant from a seed.

“Native plants provide food through pollen and nectar for our native pollinators, which many of the plants from other parts of the world do not provide. Our native plants also provide food for many larval stages of insects, as well as habitats,” said Crawford. “Bottom line — our native plants help support the lives of our native pollinators and insects! Often, many gardeners simply are not aware of all of the various native species that are both available and serve as reliable and stalwart plants for the home gardener.”

Crawford owned a garden design business for nearly 25 years, specializing in plantings for year-round interest. Now, he is the Director of Rutgers Gardens, the botanical garden for Rutgers University, and an adjunct professor in Landscape Architecture for the university.

During the final class on Wednesday, Nov. 9, Kathleen Gagan, owner of Peony’s Envy and writer and nationwide lecturer on peonies, will speak on the lush flower. She will present a vibrant pictorial introduction to the types available, as well as speak on how to design a peony garden, and select, plant, and care for the peony. A limited number of plants will be available for sale following the program.

“Peonies are not a lot of work,” said Gagan, who noted that her lecture is for gardeners of all levels. “Honestly, peonies are a weed — you plant them and they grow. Peonies were the first things that I succeeded in growing, which speaks to the ease of the plant. They’re not poisonous, but deer don’t eat them and they’re a long, long-term perennial. They grow forever. A peony is something you can invest in and not lose your investment. They’re beautiful.”

“Plant Swap: A Time to Refresh Your Garden” and “Gardening Guru Series” are part of a series of programs being offered by Medford Leas this fall. There is no cost for either program, although participants must register for the Plant Swap by Sept. 30, and the Gardening Guru Series by Oct. 14. For a full listing of Pathways to Learning at Medford Leas programs, or to register for a program, visit www.medfordleas.org or call (609) 654–3588.

Medford Leas is a nationally accredited not-for-profit community, guided by Quaker principles, for those who are aged 55 and older, with two campuses. The Medford Campus is located at 1 Medford Leas Way. The Lumberton Campus is located at 180 Woodside Drive in Lumberton.

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