Time for Wildflowers!!
At Gallant Woods Preservation Park
Guided Wildflower Tours
The Delaware County Master Gardener Association in collaboration with Preservation Parks of Delaware County will be offering public guided tours on The Wildflower Trail at Gallant Woods Park. 2151 Buttermilk Hill Road, Delaware, OH 43015
On the trail you will explore thirteen spring native wildflowers marked by signs with a painting of the plant, its common and botanical name, and a QR code so you can learn about the plant on your phone.
Join our DCMGA guides for an enjoyable stroll on the Acorn Loop as we identify these magnificent wonders of nature.
The April 28th date is reserved for Source Point. All other guided Wildflower Walks are planned for the following dates. Come join us. It will be a lot of FUN!!!
Thursday April 28th at 10:00
Sunday May 1st at 1:30
Thursday May 12th at 5:30
Friday May 20th at 5:30
Sunday May 22nd at 1:30
Self-Guided Wildflower Trail
On the trail at Gallant Woods Park you will explore thirteen spring native wildflowers marked by signs with a painting of the plant, its common and botanical name, and a QR code so you can learn about the plant on your phone. Learn more about the trail and the plants...
Ask a Master Gardener Volunteer
Answering the public's questions about gardening using science-based information is an important objective of the Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program. Submit your landscape, yard, and garden questions here.
Dig into a Book!
The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden
Most gardeners today understand the importance of incorporating more native plants in our landscapes for the broader benefit of our environment, but they may be challenged to design their outdoor living space with the whole picture in mind. The premise of this book is that by observing and understanding the natural landscape, with its interrelationships of species and layers of living organisms, and replicating those layers in our home gardens, we can create gardens that go beyond ‘decoration’ to sustain wildlife and support biodiversity.
True confession- I bought this book for the pictures. It’s full of incredible photographs, most taken by Rick Darke, of plants, birds, animals and other aspects of the landscape that illustrate the concepts the authors are teaching. If you were reluctant as a child to transition from picture books to chapter books, this book will satisfy your visual learning needs and reawaken your childlike sense of awe at the beauty, mystery and diversity of nature.
From a purely practical perspective, the last section of the book stands out as wonderful resource. It’s an 80-page plant list by region, keyed to 20+ ecological and aesthetic landscape functions (for example: cover for wildlife, nest sites for birds, pollen, summer flowers, fall foliage, shade/cooling). The Mid-Atlantic region is predominant, as it’s the home of the authors, but Ohioans will find mostly familiar plants on the list.
This book will interest both new and veteran gardeners. The authors clearly explain how landscapes really work, and why they’re important not only for people and their aesthetic pleasure, but for all the life forms that share our space. Understanding the various layers of both wild and domestic landscapes, from the ground to the herbaceous plants to the shrubs and tree canopies, enables us to plan sustainable landscapes that serve many purposes and appeal to both wildlife and the gardener’s artistic eye.
It’s a beautiful, well-researched and informative book by two gardening giants, that you can return to time and again for inspiration as you create and tend your own living landscape.
Master Gardener Plant Swap
Could we have gotten a more beautiful May evening to mingle, talk shop and swap out unloved plants for plants that we hope to love? Our annual (we hope!) Master Gardener Plant Swap was blessed with sunny skies and warm breezes. Cars lined up in the Stratford parking lot with trunks popped open overflowing with plants of all stripes. Shasta daisies, hosta, canna and iris tubers, a plethora of native plants and even an arborvitae or two – it was a treasure hunt for plant lovers, and it was free!
A HUGE thank you to Nikki Sparks and Jan Irwin for planning such a wonderful evening for us all. Even those who didn’t take home any new treasures got to enjoy the simple pleasure of being together, reconnecting and making new gardening friends.
Guided Wildflower Walk at Gallant Woods Park
Sunday, May 1st was a beautiful day for a guided Wild Flower Walk through Gallant Woods Park with Master Gardeners Susan DeVol and Charlotte Niceswanger.
Introductions were exchanged at the Acorn Loop Pavilion. Armed with our cell phones and prepared to scan the QR codes on the Wildflower Signs, we set off on the Acorn Trail. There were a few surprises along the way. The group identified an emerald ash borer who traveled along the path with us, discovered a few morel mushrooms and learned about 10 different wildflowers including wild violets, phlox and May apples.
What should have been one loop on the Acorn Trail turned in to two loops because our group was so engaged that we lost track of where we were!
We were so fortunate to meet a Girl Scout Troop leader and her daughter who shared with us their plans to build a pollinator garden this summer on a plot of land approved by their neighborhood association in Lewis Center. Needless to say we had an attentive audience grateful to learn about all of the resources available through the Delaware County Master Gardener Association. We parted ways excited and encouraged by everyone’s interest and with a few more steps than originally planned.
OWU Arboretum Tree Trek Guided Walk for MGs
What a gorgeous Saturday morning we spent on the beautiful Ohio Wesleyan University Campus with three very special Student Environmental Ambassadors. Delaware County Master Gardeners arranged for a private tour of OWU’s Jane Decker Arboretum, a living laboratory for learning about plant identification and diversity, arboriculture, landscape design, and ecology. With over 105 species of trees and woody plants from temperate regions around the world, the Arboretum is a hidden treasure on campus.
The Ginkgos, Fall Witch Hazels, Horse Chestnuts, Dogwoods, Sweetbay Magnolias, Maples, Oaks and Hickories were magnificent, but it was our student tour guides that were the true treasures. Carly, Isa and SK – you were so warm and welcoming, we felt like we were visiting family. You were kind enough to give us a tour of your greenhouses and herbarium and answer all our random questions about your research and campus life. Carly, I was amazed to hear about your “CRISPR” gene editing experiments – exciting frontiers! And good luck to you, Isa, as your studies take you to LSU.
A special thank you to Barb Wiehe, Jane Decker Arboretum Director, for arranging our delightful tour. And on the weekend before Finals week, Thank You SK, Carly and Isa for spending the morning with us and sharing the natural beauty of your campus.
April 9th Seminar, Maximizing Ecological Diversity in your Ohio Garden and Beyond
Naturalist Julie Zickefoose and botanist Jim McCormac presented a visually stunning program for Delaware County Master Gardener’s sell-out audience on April 9th at The Barn in Waldo. Snow may have been threatening, but we all enjoyed the sunshine and stories that Julie and Jim brought.
Through artistry, photography and videos, we were able to follow Julie's transformation in her meadows and gardens near Marietta, Ohio. We took a trip through Ohio's Flora and Fauna with Jim McCormac, visiting his favorite spots for birding: Magee Marsh, Maumee Bay, Lake Kelso, Hocking Hills, Huffman Prairie, Shawnee State Forest and Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. We ended the day with Julie's story “Saving Jemima: Life and Love with a Hard-Luck Jay” which was an emotional journey of finding grace and redemption and bonding with a wild bird. Her words of wisdom for living with a wild creature are true for all of us, “Listen, it tells you what you need to know if you just listen”.
A special THANK YOU to Laura Rosenheck, Craig Shuneson, Connie Emerson, Jim Cline, Sandy Schaadt and Charlotte Niceswanger for planning, organizing, promoting and implementing this complex, major presentation over months of hard work and covid uncertainty. You pulled together a multitude of moving pieces, all while smiling. What a great day you gave our attendees! I talked to many of our audience members (young to old) and all were smiling on their way out.
Registration ran seamlessly and everyone was greeted with a smiling Steve, Dottie, Jon and Jim. Connie and her crew (Nancy and Regina) decorated our space beautifully, “whimsical” is how Julie Z described the centerpieces, and Connie also went above and beyond to welcome our speakers and make them feel so valued. Craig and Laura reacted quickly to fix any “glitches” (screen, audio equipment) that popped up. Sue and Regina kept an eye on the audience and helped with handouts, welcomes and information and everyone helped with cleanup.
It was the perfect day to be captivated, transformed and inspired to do what we can to attract and preserve these wonderful birds in our own backyards. Thank you Julie and Jim for introducing us to your feathered friends.