A Toast to the Tulips

By John Whisnant

Isn’t spring glorious and maddening at the very same time? The yo-yo days keep us constantly on alert. All the evidence of new life does give us hope and as we all know, the warmer days will prevail.

As you enjoy these lengthening days and budding plants, plan to stop in at Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden. April is a time to celebrate here, and we do so each year with a spring bulb bloom…a Toast to the Tulips. On Saturday, April 14, we will kick-off the day with our annual spring Plant Sale from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Since the sale coincides with the official last frost date, it is a perfect time to find those new plants for your very own garden. We will be offering many new varieties of shrubs recently introduced to the market. A listing and details can be found on our website at www.cienerbotanicalgarden.org.

Following the Plant Sale, the Garden will host a Spectacular Spring Tulip Bloom party from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. This is a time to enjoy the Garden and marvel in the over 25,000 bulbs blooming in our Pattern Garden and other areas. The bulbs are a generous gift from the Gloucester, VA based company Brent and Becky’s Bulbs. When buying bulbs for yourself, please remember them. Through their Bloomin’ Bucks program (www.bloominbucks.com) your purchase will also benefit the Garden. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

In addition to the Plant Sale and Tulip Bloom, the Garden is offering several opportunities to expand your knowledge of plants, horticulture and gardening. Our very own Adrienne Roethling, Director of Curation and Mission Delivery, will present on Thursday, April 12 at Noon as a part of our Chip Callaway Lecture Series. Her talk is entitled “Eat Your Way through History and the Edibles in our Kitchen Garden.” Reservations can be made online at www.cienerbotanicalgarden.org.

The series includes a lecture by Megan Gregory, Community Gardening Coordinator at NC Cooperative Extension, Forsyth County Center, entitled “Community Gardening” on Thursday, May 10 at Noon. Our Lunch and Learn lectures are free to Garden members and $2.00 for the general public. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunch. The Garden will provide lemonade and water.

Also in April, the Garden will once again participate in the NC Science Festival. Our program is geared toward grades K-5 and is entitled “Roots of our Nutrition.” It highlights various root vegetables, their nutritional value and the importance of root crops. The dates for the Festival are Tuesday, April 24 and Thursday, April 26 from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Registration is required.

Aside from the bulb display, other areas of the Garden will be coming to life too. Be sure to visit our Kitchen Garden adjacent to our Carriage House. It will be teeming with cool season crops in 2 of the 4 beds. In the other 2 beds, you can see our cover crop in place. This is a vital and natural way to return nutrients to the soil. Observe our herb Garden area, made possible by a grant from the local chapter of the NC Unit of the Herb Society Davis Education Fund, and learn how to utilize a small space for vegetable production in our Square Foot Garden.

If you are a music lover, then Thursday, May 31 is a must for you! Back by popular demand for an encore performance on the Garden Event Lawn, is Balsam Range. Elements of jazz, country, gospel, swing, and old-time music are all infused into the fresh sound of this unique Southern band. It is five distinct personalities creating one remarkable musical experience. Food trucks, beer and wine vendors complete the total evening experience. Tickets available online.

As a local nonprofit, the Garden is especially grateful to our members, individual donors, foundation grants, corporate sponsorships and volunteers for their support of the work we do and the maintenance of the Garden. New projects are on the horizon, so visit often to learn more about how you can become involved. More information about our lectures, programs, partnerships with other educational opportunities, volunteering, donating and general garden interest can be found on our website at www.cienerbotanicalgarden.org. We look forward to seeing you in the Garden soon!

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