How about an orgy in the garden? Sound salacious? Not to worry, the program, “Orgy Gardens” offered at 7 p.m. this Thursday at the James City Recreational Center is meant to get participants interested in gardening year-round, creating an environment that supports a variety of plant life throughout the year.
Brent Heath, owner of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs in Gloucester will speak to about creating a garden with continuous blooms that offer a panoply of color in every season.
The program is one set for the rest of the year sponsored by the Williamsburg Botanical Garden. Programs have been added for adults and kids designed to get people interested in the world around them.
“Gardening feeds the soul,” Heath said. “Gardening and flowers help people to smile, it helps us to smile and our neighbors to smile. And, gardening is a good form of exercise, it brings us into the fresh air and brings us back into the world that we are a part of.”
People are interested and the topics seem to be garnering good responses. Helen Hamilton, who is a Master Gardener and is active in both the Botanical Garden and in the Virginia Native Plant Society has been busy giving talks throughout the month on a variety of topics at various venues.
On March 15, she will present “To Have Butterflies, Make Butterflies,” which challenges people to provide a backyard habitat for people to encourage butterflies to lay eggs and proliferate around their property.
“I will talk about how to establish a habitat in your home garden area that will allow them (butterflies) to lay eggs,” Hamilton said. “The main focus will be how to grow butterflies.”
And it’s not just adults who are taking part in the programs. Last year dozens of kids took part in a variety of programs. This year more are begin offered on a variety of topics ranging from bird watching to worms.
Bird specialists Jeanne and Mike Millin will offer a bird program for kids on April 12 at Freedom Park. Kids age 5-12 are encouraged to learn about identifying common birds and their calls.
“We are both Master Naturalists and birders,” Jeanne Millin said recently. “We like to share the discovery of birds with young people. I think it helps them be aware of the world around them when they learn to listen.”
Millin said kids will be encouraged to observe and listen, giving them the chance to cultivate a hobby that could stay with them for years.
“But even if they never become birders, it is beneficial if they come outside and have awareness of the environment we live in and what we can plant to help birds and feed birds, to give them an awareness of the world around them through birds.”
Here are some of the diverse programs being offered through the Williamsburg Botanical Garden, some fees/donations apply. Most programs are held at the Botanical Garden or Freedom Park Interpretive Center. For more information visit www.williamsburgbotanicalgardens.org.
Feb. 20—Orgy Gardening. 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 20 at the James City Recreational Center. 880-1893
March 4—”Reblooming Irises” 7 p.m. Room A, James City Recreational Center. Participants will learn more about proper culture and the best varieties to plant from the American Iris Society's Region 4. Iris expert Mike Lockatell is the instructor. 880-1893
March 15—”To Have Butterflies, Make Butterflies.” How to attract birds and butterflies to your yard, tips on low maintenance gardening, using little water, no fertilizer. Helen Hamilton is instructor. 564 4494.
April 12—”Birds!!” For kids 5-12. Basics of bird identification. Instructors Jeanne and Mike Millin. Information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 19—”All About Herbs.” 10 a.m. Jacqui Winther, member of the Colonial Triangle Unit of the Herb Society of America will talk about herb garden maintenance, basic culinary herbs, and herb growing tips for the Williamsburg area.