The Learning Gardens
Welcome to The Learning Gardens at Penn State Cooperative Extension in Montgomery County!
The Montgomery County Cooperative Extension Horticulture Department, Montgomery County Master Gardener Volunteers, and the horticulture industry have developed demonstration and display gardens for your enjoyment and education. We thank the Montgomery County Farm, Home and 4-H Foundation, owners of the facility and grounds, for providing the land and support for this long-term project. These gardens have been a multi-year project beginning in 1999. We extend an open invitation to visit and enjoy our labors of love. The gardens are open every day from dawn to dusk.
Purpose of The Learning Gardens:
These gardens have been developed as a tool for learning about multitudes of plants, planting materials and hardscape materials, as well as different ways to utilize these
materials. These gardens are continually evolving with new plants and materials introduced, plants moved to new locations within the gardens, and new gardens developed. The Learning Gardens are a part of the Urban Ag-Hort Center which is located inside the 4-H Center. Our gardens are a place for visitors and staff to relax, visit with friends old and new, to enjoy the beauty in the surroundings, and most important, to learn.
The Perennial Garden is comprised of trees, shrubs and perennial flowering and non-flowering plants. The Bog Garden, located in the brick planter near the building entrance, features plants that are suitable to moist areas. This type of garden can be scaled down and planted in a small container. The Herb Garden is a combination of culinary, fragrant and medicinal herbs.
The Butterfly Garden is a combination of perennials and annuals that attract butterflies, provide shelter and nourishment. The Gardener Selects, primarily annual plants, are some of the personal favorites of our Master Gardener Volunteers. The design changes from year to year. Our beautiful Water Garden is the center piece featuring a water fall, fish, deep water plants and marginal water plants. This garden is surrounded by shrubs, perennials and bulbs.
The Turf Management Demonstration is designed to show different turf grass varieties, fertilizer materials and rates, as well as management practices. The Rock Garden is located under and around the Learning Gardens main sign and includes perennials that grow well with little soil and in dry conditions. The Hosta Gardens are located under the large trees and are comprised of a large number of common and rare hostas.
The Bulb and Groundcover Garden, located in the circular drive, features spring flowering bulbs and perennial flowering and non-flowering groundcovers. The Long Perennial Bed located along the entire front by the roadway was established with Chrysanthemums in beautiful bloom from mid-August through most of the fall for two years. Unfortunately they did not tolerate road salt and other problems associated with being located so close to the road. It has been replanted with perennials and annuals tolerant of those conditions.
The Ornamental Grass and Drought Tolerant Garden is located by the parking lot on the south side of the building. Plants for this garden were selected because they are able to tolerate southern exposure and have low water requirements. The Partial Shade Garden is located by the large pine trees at the entrance to the south parking lot, features shade and semi-shade loving plants and grasses as well as those that tolerate wet conditions. Compost Bins, located in several areas of the gardens, are designed to demonstrate a few of the many types of compost bins available.
The Universal-Accessible Garden is located beside and behind the two sheds. This fruit, vegetable, herb & flower garden is designed to demonstrate the many ways gardening may be enjoyed by those with limited space, those with physical, developmental or mental limitations, gardening with children and for those who would like to try something different.
For additional information regarding these gardens, brochures are located by the main garden map located under the roof by the building main entrance.
We hope you enjoy your visit to The Learning Gardens as much as we have enjoyed developing them!
An excellent place to plant bulbs and groundcovers is in the shade of a deciduous tree.
A butterfly garden must provide shelter to the egg, caterpillar, and butterfly stages of a butterfly's life cycle.
When you are choosing the species of grass that you want in your garden, you should decide what growth habit will go best in your plan.
Herb gardens can be planted from seed or from plants.
Hosta leaves come in four main colors: blue, green, yellow, and white.
A good perennial garden is created to reflect the environmental conditions in which it is found.
The first step in creating a good rock garden is choosing a location.
De-icers, often sodium chloride, can pose a challenge for plants near roadways, sidewalks and other hardscape areas.
The turfgrass demonstration consists of three different plots.
The plot map of the Turfgrass demonstration garden.
There are four main types of plants in a water garden, and all are necessary to create a healthy environment in the pond.
This fruit, vegetable, herb & flower garden is designed to demonstrate the many ways gardening may be enjoyed.