The Village Learning Place Garden is in full bloom!


The Village Learning Place Garden is in full bloom!

Written By: Beth Tohn, VLP Board President and Lead Garden Volunteer


Garden volunteers have been hard at work this spring transforming our Covid-neglected space into a new colorful gem to welcome library patrons. Every garden bed has been attended to, reorganized and rearranged. We transplanted each plant that we removed to either another area of the VLP garden or a neighbor’s garden.


Butterfly bushes are getting tall along the east wall, and will soon be covered with pink flowers and butterflies, while Sunchokes, Mexican Sunflowers, and Mexican Sage will soon tower behind the Nature Sacred Bench.


The large central bed is now a sunny pollinator garden welcoming bees, butterflies, and buzzing friends with bright colors and aromas. The bed features mostly native perennials for our Mid-Atlantic climate. Follow the pollinator trail through the garden; watch closely as native Purple Cone Flowers, Black-Eyed Susans (Maryland’s state flower!), Salvia, Joe Pye Weed, False Indigo, Golden Rod, Coral Bells, Stachys (Lamb’s Ears), and Asclepias (Swamp Milkweed) – to name a few! – fill in every corner of the garden. There are over 35 varieties of flowers in the central bed alone; most are marked with their common name. Coming soon – look for ringed plant ID cards that guide you through what is growing in the garden!


Many plants and flowers are referenced in literature. One of our long-term projects is to create direct connections between what is growing in our library garden to a book in our library collection as we deepen our mission to promote literacy, cultural awareness, and lifelong learning. Nature serves an important role of placemaking and connectedness across cultures through literature, poetry, recipes, well-being, health, geographic knowledge, and songs.


While you may not be going to Scarborough Fair, you will find parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme in the Village Learning Place culinary herb garden. The herb garden is overflowing with a wide range of fresh herbs to please diverse culinary palettes. In addition to the mature sage, thyme, and rosemary, you’ll discover oregano, parsley, chives, cilantro, lemon grass, dill, nasturtiums, Thai & sweet basils, and aromatic lemon balm. You’re welcome to come and smell the herbs and sample a little taste. Look for Sharing Days when we’ll offer cuttings with recipe suggestions for you to try at home.


Keep an eye on the large planters between the herb garden and the fountain. Can you find the blueberries on the bushes? They may not be blue yet, but the berries are growing larger and should ripen sometime in July. Feel free to sample one – but please leave some for others to try too!


To add a fun bit about the youth garden – The 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th graders created bug hotels, and used STEM to learn about what to plant, how to chart growth, develop effective watering strategies, and observe the impacts of weather on seedlings.


Come visit! Sit a while under the shade of an umbrella and read while enjoying your lunch; or get some work done with our great Wi-Fi. Leave a reflection in the journal tucked under the Nature Sacred bench. Volunteer to be on the watering squad, help share your knowledge as we build our literary garden connections and community-created art projects, help organize the seed library, or help out on a Saturday morning. There is always something to do! Don’t want to get your hands dirty? Every donation helps sustain the garden, develop inclusive programming, and create a place where everyone feels welcome.


If you are interested in getting involved in the garden, click the link here to complete the garden volunteer interest form.

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