Megan Fleischer, The Arboretum’s Display Gardens Manager, gives seasonal news, tips and advice.

The gardens are experiencing a flurry of activity and color. Now is a great time to see a plethora of perennials in their prime! Mother Nature has been unusually kind to the gardens this year. Rainfall has been steady and our perennials are giving thanks by beaming with color. Almost equally as thankful are those of us that have been relieved of our duty lugging hoses around incessantly to water.butterfly1
Seasonal favorites such as hydrangeas are just beginning to pop with color, black-eyed-Susans are glowing amongst a backdrop of lush hues of green foliage and, thanks to wildlife-attracting plants such as bee-balm, hummingbirds and butterflies are busy fluttering about. Garden staples such as daylilies, Russian-sage, and coneflowers have hit their stride. This is the time of year when being a gardener is most rewarding!
But, let’s talk about what really shines when it comes to the gardens at Dawes: our volunteers. This year, our Central Grounds Garden Corps sessions on Wednesday mornings have brought a handful of hardworking volunteers to which I owe a great deal of gratitude. They have attacked a “garden” of thistle taller than the average human being, pruned unruly wisteria, and planted our seasonal display of annuals, just to name a few tasks. Each week has introduced these volunteers to a different project, sometimes a challenge (see: incredibly tall thistle in photo), but have still managed to come back week after week with no apprehension as to what the day will bring.
Perhaps more valuable than expediting an otherwise full-day garden project into a few hours, these volunteers have shed light on their gardening successes and woes creating endless learning opportunities for us all. Every week I come away from a Garden Corps session with a list of plants I need to add to the gardens, gardens I need to visit, and renewed appreciation for what I am fortunate enough to call my job.
garden corpsTheir fellowship and dedication to Dawes is invaluable and for that I say “Thank you!”

Share your passions or talents! If you are interested in volunteering at The Arboretum, contact us at or call 740.323.2355.