Our Idea Gardens are maintained as a resource for home gardeners and are located on the Southeast Agricultural Research & Extension Center (SEAREC) in the heart of the most intensive farming area in Pennsylvania.
Developed and maintained by Lancaster County Master Gardeners, the Idea Gardens have been an evolving project since 2006. We extend an open invitation to the public to enjoy our labors of love.
During the months of June, July, and August, the Flower Trials and Idea Gardens can be open for self-guided tours from dawn to dusk. All other months, the hours are 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. If you are planning to visit the Idea Gardens with a group larger than 10 people, please email Lois Miklas at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 717-394-6851 to make arrangements for a group visit.
You will find free parking on the grassy lawn behind the Research Building (on your right as you come in the driveway). From the parking area, walk around the Research Building toward the barn. The Idea Gardens are to the right of this barn.
As you are touring the gardens, you will notice that all plants are labeled for easy identification. There are many surprises for visitors to discover like the shed’s green roof(a green roof is planted with plants for insulation), the bluebird houses and green-roofed wren houses, the custom-designed arbor with native red and yellow honeysuckle, and the espaliered fruit trees. There are also two rain gardens, fed from water from the rain spouts. In the shady rain garden, there is a bog to expand native plant diversity. Don’t miss the raised bed garden especially the one built for the physically-challenged. This raised bed is accessible to people in wheelchairs.
These Idea Gardens have been developed as a tool for learning about the abundance of plants and are continually changing with new plants and materials introduced, plants moved to new locations within the gardens, new gardens developed, and new garden ideas to embrace each year. For the 2012 gardening season, there are the Native Plant Garden, the newly-expanded Pollinator Garden, the Raised Bed Garden, and the Vegetable/Herb Garden.
Our gardens are a place for visitors and staff to relax, to enjoy the beauty in the surroundings, to learn about the plants, and most importantly, to imagine how you can cultivate your home garden.
Attractive to bees, butterflies, beetles, hummingbirds, and more, our Pollinator Garden provides a variety of nectar and pollen sources as well as host plants to support local pollinators throughout the seasons.
The Native Plant Garden inspires and educates about the use of native plants for their beauty as well as their benefit to the environment.
Raised beds are a convenient, elegant, and easy way to produce homegrown vegetables. They can be an attractive alternative in challenging gardening situations.
Our Vegetable and Herb Garden demonstrates what residential consumers can do with their garden space.