Ground was broken on a Horticultural Learning Center in Hanover County on October 14. The center, a multi-year project undertaken by Hanover Master Gardeners, will sit on 1.10 acres next to the Taylor Complex building at 13015 Taylor Complex Lane, Ashland VA 23005.
County Administrator John A. Budesky said the center will serve the community for many years to come. He noted that agriculture is still the #1 business in Hanover County and thanked the Master Gardeners for their work, including providing much volunteer support to the County’s COVID-19 community vaccination efforts.
The Horticultural Learning Center will be a space for public education, demonstrating research-based gardening practices which can be incorporated into the home setting. Hanover Master Gardeners will manage the garden. It will consist of multiple raised beds constructed through different methods and materials and feature perennial, annual, and native plants and herbs and vegetables.
Some of the raised beds will demonstrate vertical gardening techniques. A significant feature of the garden will be a rainwater harvesting system and other water-wise practices. The garden will be a public space developed over the next several years and incorporate space for outdoor classes.
Budesky noted that 100 people volunteer to serve as Hanover Master Gardeners. “This is second to none,” he said. “This center will continue the tremendous commitment you have made to work with the community.”
Angelette Pryor, Extension Volunteer Manager for the Hanover Extension Office, said this project has been the result of “many years of sweat equity” from numerous Master Gardener volunteers. She noted that the Hanover Master Gardeners have contributed 6,000 hours of volunteer service this year alone.
“Nature is their office and this garden will become their living room”, Pryor said.
Buzz Sawyer, Master Gardener and past president of the Hanover Master Gardener Association, said the horticultural center will become a “practical hands-on laboratory that is accessible to everyone.”
Pryor said the first order of business will be capturing rainwater off the Extension Service building. Raised bed construction for spring planting will begin in January 2023. Master Gardeners will need to raise funds or obtain grant monies for all part of the Learning Center.
To make donations or for more information about how you can help, contact Angelette Pryor at (804) 752-4309.