A growing group of Master Gardeners work on a wide variety of activities to help reduce pollutants flowing into our backyard treasure, the Chesapeake Bay. In order to increase interest in this important endeavor, we are focusing on the quality of water in our streams with a new theme:
Our activities include education, outreach, workshops, and creative events in addition to Bay-Wise landscape certifications for property owners. Click here for the new 75-second Bay-Wise introductory video produced by a Towson Univ. student.
Grow It Eat It Demonstration Garden
Our mission is to help Marylanders improve their health and save money by growing fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs using sustainable practices.
By attending our Winter Gardening Classes, Summer Twilight Sessions or joining us on Workdays, you can learn how to successfully grow your own vegetables, fruits and herbs in your own backyard.
“Like” our Facebook page and you will be able to read timely information about gardening practices, current Grow It Eat It (GIEI) classes and activities, and other relevant topics on home vegetable gardening.
Please check back soon for a copy of our 2017 GIEI class schedule!
GIEI Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CCMDGIEI
Linton Springs Elementary School
Monarch Research Garden
The Linton Springs Monarch Research Garden at LSES operates from May until mid November. This garden was established for students to study/observe and conduct research on the life cycle of monarch butterflies. Weekly research during the butterfly’s life cycle is conducted and reported to several Citizens Science projects. This research also includes tagging and sampling the adult monarch butterfly. Participation could also include assisting teachers and students in the classroom. If you would like to learn more about the fascinating life cycle of the monarch butterfly and how to raise and care for them, this is the garden for you! To work in the garden when school is in session, a Carroll County Public School Level II Volunteer Training is required. Half-hour training sessions are free and available throughout the school year. For information regarding training sessions and schedules visit the Carroll County Public School System website. To work in the garden contact Peggy Dash: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sykesville Community Garden
Main Street, Sykesville, MD
The Sykesville Community Garden was established in 2012 as a way for the local community to get involved in gardening activities. It is an educational garden for children and adults where everyone shares in the work, reward of planting and maintaining the garden through 3 growing seasons.
Anyone is welcome to join us. We are located behind the townhouse on the hill off on main street near the gazebo.
Sykesville Community Garden Facebook page:
Contact: Laura Donnell 410-300-9185 or e-mail: email@example.com
Eldersburg Library Native Garden
Contact: Sharon Row at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-635-2612
In May 2007, Master Gardeners and Tom Sheets, a volunteer who continues to support the annual mulching efforts, gathered to plant the native garden at the Eldersburg Library. Since then, the Master Gardeners have used the library plot as a perfect space for a demonstration garden to teach the patrons of the library about the importance of native plants in the landscape. They have adapted, changed, moved, removed, added, pruned and nurtured to demonstrate the care of a BayWise garden to protect the Chesapeake Bay. The garden has flourished: the Monarch caterpillars and butterflies amaze the young patrons of the library, the swallowtails are in residence, the bluebird box has been home for many broods, and toads like to lurk in the mulch.
The garden began when the library obtained a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to establish a native garden to attract birds and beneficial insects. The library requested the assistance of Carroll Count Master Gardeners to create a BayScaped butterfly garden and bird sanctuary at the entrance to the library. Andrea Kowaleski and Rose Norseth, after completing a course entitled “Native Plants of the Piedmont Area”, spent many hours and months researching and designing the garden. The design of the garden is an educational resource for patrons of the library who want to learn more about Maryland native plants, BayScaping and protecting the Chesapeake Bay.
The Shirley Memorial Garden and Gillette Garden
Agriculture Center, Westminster, MD
The Shirley Garden is a butterfly garden which was planted in honor of Margaret “Hank” Shirley. It is located at the entrance to the Extension Offices near the flagpole. The garden is planted with several varieties of plants which will attract butterflies and offer both foliage and nectar for their development. Many of the plants are native perennials but a few annuals are planted as well. The Memorial Sanctuary Garden dedicated to Esther Waugh Gillette (known as the Gillette Garden) is also located at CC Ag Center—in front of the red building. Both gardens are maintained by the Extension Garden Committee which works faithfully from March until October to keep the gardens looking great.
Heirloom Garden at the Carroll County Farm Museum
Carroll County Master Gardeners maintain a Pennsylvania-German kitchen garden on the grounds of the Carroll County Farm Museum. The garden features heirloom plants typical of the 18th and 19th centuries. There is also a display of Native American plants. The gardeners are available to provide guided tours during regular work sessions on Tuesday and Thursdays mornings. Tours are also available during major events at the museum.
The annual Carroll County Master Gardener plant sale is held on a Saturday in May from 8 A.M. – 12P.M. under the pavilion on the Agricultural Center parking lot in Westminster. Perennials and annuals are for sale at reasonable prices. The perennials come from the gardens of the Master Gardeners and will be fresh and of high quality, many varieties of which are unavailable at garden centers. There are also a selection of Master Gardener grown vegetable and herb plants.
Gently used garden flea market items are available for purchase.
The proceeds from the sale help finance the many community projects sponsored by the Master Gardeners.
Plant Clinics/Ask a Master Gardener
Carroll County Master Gardeners offer regularly scheduled plant clinic/information booths at area farmer’s markets.
Heirloom Tomato Festival, Agricultural Center, Westminster, Maryland
• Learn about Heirloom Tomatoes
–How to grow them
–Save their seeds
–History of specific varieties
•Taste dozens of varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes
• Taste baked goods and salads made with tomatoes
• Collect tomato recipes
• Fun activities for kids
•Guess how many tomatoes in the jar and win a prize
• Meet Miss Tomato
Volunteer with the Weed Warriors of Carroll County
If you garden or have a lawn, you probably are already battling weeds. However, many people do not realize that our natural areas also have a severe weed problem. These weeds of natural areas are known as “invasive exotic weeds”– and our county nature centers are infested with them.
An “exotic” weed is one that is not native to this area. Many exotics are perfectly nice plants—such as the vegetables you eat! However, other exotic plants become invasive weeds because they spread rapidly by producing hundreds of seeds, sending out runners, or even changing the soil chemistry. Because these exotics have no native predators, they out-compete the native plants, supplanting them.
Why do we care about losing the native plants? When the native plants disappear, so do the native animals that depend on them. Remember the food chain from science class? Many of our insects can only digest plants that they coevolved with. When those plants disappear, so do the insects. Then the birds, frogs, rabbits, chipmunks, skunks, even black bears that eat the insects have no food. While butterflies can eat nectar from many plants, their caterpillars often can only digest the leaves of specific native plants.
A group of volunteers—“the Weed Warriors”–have come together to combat invasive exotic weeds in Carroll County’s nature centers. The Carroll County Master Gardeners, the Carroll County Forest Conservancy Board, and the Catoctin Group of the Maryland Sierra Club jointly sponsor the Weed Warriors. The Weed Warriors welcome anyone from middle school age up. Students can earn service hour credits for both the training and for helping to remove weeds at the nature centers.
Several times each year, the Weed Warriors hold classes in identifying and removing invasive exotic weeds. The training consists of a one-hour online course you take on your own followed by a two-hour field training session at one of our nature centers. To get on the notification list for upcoming classes, just send an email to email@example.com.