Gardener's Exchange Group - May Meeting: Integrating Ecology into Gardening

Gardeners Exchange Group (GEG) is an informal network of avid gardeners from Jefferson and Berkeley Counties, West Virginia and beyond. We bring together people who share an interest in the practical, hands-on challenges and pleasures of gardening. Members are young and old; men and women; professionals, retired and working people; master gardeners and beginners. The gardening interests of GEG members are just as diverse: wildflowers to roses, fruit trees to mushrooms, water gardening to Xeriscaping.

GEG welcomes new members! You may participate at whatever level meets your interests and schedule. No previous gardening experience is necessary. You are welcome to simply show up; we have no membership requirements.

The next meeting is May 19 at 9 AM. The topic is Integrating Ecology into Gardening with Horticulturist/Designer, James Dillon, owner of Native Havens

Mr. Dillon has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry from East Carolina University and has been working in the field for more than 13 years, most notably at the Delaware Center for Agriculture. James’ landscape and garden designs emphasize native plant selections, environmental benefits and low maintenance. He has designed several rain gardens in the region and volunteers for the Monarch Alliance, designing butterfly way-stations for them.

He says, “Understanding some ecological concepts helps land managers and gardeners steer their planting in a desired direction and maximizes our effectiveness in the garden. I’ll talk about the natural progression of different species in an area following a disturbance and the importance of identifying plants’ active season of growth. I’ll also touch on the difference between short-lived and long-lived plants and why it’s important in design and maintenance.” The presentation takes place at the home of a neighbor and includes a tour of the garden.

Breakfast begins at 9:00am followed by the program at 9:30am. Bring a chair and breakfast food to share, and garden plants for exchange. Set plant exchanges in front of the host’s garden/potting shed. Children are welcome.

Directions are at the website http://www.g-e-g.org/ or call Coordinator Jane Blash at 240-529-5384.