Mill Pond Garden will host mid-spring open days on April 16 and 17

To celebrate the beauty of mid-spring in all its glory, Mill Pond Garden will open its doors to welcome visitors from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Saturday April 16 and Sunday April 17, at 31401 Melloy Court, Lewes

Tickets, available at millpondgarden.com, cost $15 to admit one vehicle for up to six visitors.

Mill Pond Garden is an IRS certified non-profit botanical garden on Red Mill Pond with a mission to provide holistic, beautiful, sustainable and educational plantings for the enjoyment and education of the community. A horticulturist will be on call to answer questions.

This point in spring includes the greatest variety of flowering species for Cape Town gardens, including azaleas, rhododendrons, hellebores, camellias, trilliums, wood phloxes, blue bells, spirea, tulips, daffodils, Leucojum, irises, wisteria and flowering trees. such as redbud, dogwood, sorrel, hawthorn and crabapple. Groundcovers may also still be in bloom, including pachysandra, pulmonaria, grasses, and periwinkle.

The garden is home to an abundance of birds, turtles, frogs and other wildlife, as well as beautiful koi butterflies and shubunkin fish in a tea garden pond and gazebo.

Native and non-native sedges, genus Carex, will flower and/or seed at this time. Sedges are underutilized groundcovers, perfect for adding color, texture and wildlife benefits to flower beds or lawns. Some sedges are for sun, some for shade, and they come in blue, pink, brown, and all shades of green. They can range in height from a few centimeters to a few feet, with habits ranging from upright leaves to arching and mounding shapes. The best nurseries offer a variety of sedges, clumping grass-like plants that can have wide or very narrow leaves. Semi-evergreen sedges can be used to replace a lawn, eliminating the need for mowing except once a year in late February, although they are not as hardy as lawn grasses and are not suitable for traffic heavy pedestrian traffic. Sedges can also do well in pots.

Mill Pond Garden is designed to be a four season garden demonstrating how Cape Town gardens can thrive all year round, with labeled woody plants and professional horticultural advice available. Most plants are native. Non-native plants are beneficial species that not only provide ornamental beauty, but also work well for wildlife that the garden encourages, such as pollinators and birds. The garden provides water, habitat, nests, overwintering hibernacula, and food species for plants, insects, and animals, all of which is required as a National Wildlife Federation-certified wildlife habitat. .

A holistic garden is one that includes and encourages native plants and wildlife while satisfying the desire for beauty. A holistic garden will have both still and moving freshwater, native shrubs, ground covers and key native trees like oak and black cherry, and willows that attract abundant caterpillars to feed the nestlings. in spring. All of these, plus wide, dense beds of mixed species with evergreen and deciduous plants, provide habitat and food. It is gratifying to know that a holistic garden is the easiest to maintain and also the most satisfying and interesting to live in and with, closest to nature.

It has been clearly demonstrated by research that it is not beneficial to plants, or to soil health or performance, to isolate plants alone in a mulch bed. A mix of plant types in a bed allows for the maximum interaction of the underground microbial and fungal network that feeds and cares for all plants.

Think of beneficial soil fungi as the true gardeners or shepherds of plants. Fungal mycelia form a network of white tubular threads that travel around all the roots of all plants, also branching out to all other plants in the area, forming a connected community. Nutrients, both macro and micro, flow through these little tubes to where they are needed, and the fungus itself coordinates this nutrient exchange, monitoring plants for their chemical needs. Mycelia and fungi can also transmit water to a thirsty plant from a plant that has more than enough. Since fungal mycelia feed on some of the carbohydrates (sap) produced by plants, they benefit themselves by caring for plants, helping them to thrive and grow. Mushrooms are the gardeners, sharing food and water, breaking down waste and recycling it.

Helping beneficial fungi is the smartest goal for a successful gardener. Organic fertilizers help increase fungal establishment as well as garden plants. One of the best organics is composted horse manure, which Mill Pond Garden produces for itself as well as for sale to the public. This odorless and safe compost is not available for purchase in stores as it must be freshly produced and has a short shelf life. Mill Pond Garden fills this gap in the local supply, providing the only source unless gardeners compost their own. There may still be some left for sale during the open house.

Guests will have the chance to bask in the wide variety of colors, scents and shapes of the mid-spring garden, complemented by the chirping of birds and the sounds of splashing fountains and waterfalls, and beautiful views of the pond Redmill.