By: Cydney Ross, Outdoor Education Manager

To do is to learn and that’s exactly what happens when you steward a garden. Deep Roots’ “Discover Native Gardening” sessions happen five times a month at the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center. Native habitat gardens are dynamic, making each session unique. Each day brings new blooms and different maintenance practices to learn in the landscape.

“Feel empowered, enjoy camaraderie, and learn seasonal native gardening skills” is the tagline of our program. Nature enthusiasts join native garden experts and discuss gardening strategies while identifying flora. Each session combines first-hand learning and native habitat garden inspiration. At the end of the program, participants enjoy a naturalist-led tour around the gardens. It’s a great opportunity for folks to bring their gardening questions and learn how to do it themselves!

This year we’ve covered topics like “Prairie Birthday: Full-Sun Species,” “Spring/Summer Weed ID,” and “Bioswale Beautification,” where we recently planted a new garden in the Discovery Center parking lot. As an artist and naturalist, there’s nothing better than hands-on, experiential learning!

The end of June marks the end of the spring planting season as temperatures steadily climb. Use early mornings and evenings to perform routine weeding practices. A simple rule of thumb: If you want something to spread, let it go to seed. If you don’t, cut it back or remove the plant. Like winter, now is also a good time to revert to planning your garden’s next steps. Understanding how you want your garden to feel and function is important. The clearer your gardening goals, the easier it is to select the right plants.

Our Discover Native Gardening sessions run from April-October. No matter your experience level, join us for an upcoming gardening session.

Happy gardening!