The Master Gardeners encourage everyone to visit the Demonstration Garden area at the Adams County Ag Center on Old Harrisburg Road. There is much to learn from the plantings in these beds. The Penn State Master Gardeners maintain all the gardens, other than Community Garden plots, which are available for individuals.
Our MG gardens include the Trial Gardens, the foundation plantings which surround the building, the plants in the parking lot strip gardens, and the native Hedgerow garden along the walking trail on Old Harrisburg Road.
The Trial Gardens are the responsibility of each Master Gardener who signs up to plan, plant and maintain a specific bed or beds for the gardening year. The stated purpose of each Trial Garden bed is disclosed in a brochure which is available in the PSU mailbox in the garden area.
The three beds that I help with, H-1, 2 and 3, are beds that receive no supplemental watering other than the initial watering when the plants were placed in the beds. These 3 beds were planted several years ago and feature examples of plants which will thrive in our area with little maintenance, other than weeding. And since the beds are mulched each spring, weeding is kept to a minimum. There are 3 Master Gardeners who care for these 3 beds.
The Hedgerow Garden, which runs parallel to Old Harrisburg Road and the walking trail, began within a year or two of Penn State Cooperative Extension moving into the Ag Center in 2002. Master Gardener Frank Williams was the first Chairman of the Hedgerow Committee. In June 2018 we dedicated the Hedgerow Garden to Frank.
Hedgerows are very common in parts of Britain, and documentary evidence of deeds and tithe maps shows that many hedges are at least 1,000 years old, some probably dating back to the Bronze Age. Of the 450,000 km of hedgerows in the UK, about 190,000 km are believed to be ancient. Life on the Edges; Financial Times June 2014.
In our MG hedgerow, the initial plants closest to the driveway, came from the Adams County Conservation District’s annual sale of native seedlings in 2003. This sale is an excellent place for gardeners to obtain native seedlings and is held in March of each year.
Since that first year, the Hedgerow Committee has added new native plants until we completed the entire length of the property line in 2018. Master Gardener Martie Young has developed a plant listing which is posted on the bulletin board located in the Hedgerow.
The list provides gardeners with the proper Latin name, and the common name of all the plants therein, especially helpful to those who are searching for native shrubs and small trees for their own gardens. Our Hedgerow native plants receive no supplemental water or fertilizer during the year, although they are mulched each spring.