Master Gardeners lead the way in assisting gardeners -- and in preparing new public spaces too

DAVID F. ASHTON - Volunteers from the Multnomah County Master Gardeners program worked to complete a path from the new Annex Garden to S.E. 57th Avenue. As many as twenty Multnomah County Master Gardeners gathered for a work party in their corner of the "Learning Labs Garden" property, across from Lane Middle School in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood. It was Saturday, June 16, and they were working diligently, preparing for their "Share your Garden" tour, which took place a week later, on June 23.

After their plan for it was approved last spring, these gardeners have been creating their large "Annex Garden", just to the northwest of their "Demonstration Garden" on the same property.

"It's been quite a process; first we had to kill the weeds, and lay the garden out," recalled the Annex Garden Project Manager Pete Jacobsen.

Then came installing irrigation, and finally installation of pea-gravel paths – the project on which volunteers were working that day.

"Now we also have five raised beds here – with potatoes, onions, tomatoes, peppers and squash in them – and we've already harvested some of the vegetables for The Meals on Wheels People," Jacobsen told THE BEE.

"Our Demonstration Garden that faces the street is for vegetable gardening only; in the Annex, we're demonstrating all kinds of gardening," Jacobsen said, excusing himself as he prepared to dump another truck-load of gravel.

The weather was good for the hard work at hand: Carting wheelbarrows full of gravel to the staked-out paths, raking the gravel, and replacing the dirt outside the trail against the forms that lead through the Annex Garden west to S.E. 57th Avenue.

To find out more about gardening, from growing artichokes to xeriscaping, stop by there for a visit, or go online –

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