Visitors to Southern Highlands Reserve on May 3rd celebrated National Public Gardens Day with a garden tour and took a part of the garden home with them. Every year, gardens like the Southern Highlands Reserve celebrate National Public Gardens Day to raise awareness about the importance of environmental stewardship and conservation.
This year, Southern Highlands Reserve participated in the celebration by offering every visitor a seedling grown in the Reserve’s Nursery Complex. Visitors had the option of taking home a Gregory Bald azalea, a pinkshell azalea, or a red spruce seedling. The Reserve’s staff concluded the seedling giveaway was an exciting moment for visitors, as they gathered around Executive Director Kelly Holdbrooks awaiting their turn to select the newest addition to their home gardens.
The May 3rd Visitor’s Day tour enjoyed a glimpse of the delicate Pinkshell Azaleas (R. vaseyi) blooming in the gardens, creating an illusion of pink clouds dotting the forest landscape. The Woodland Glade was covered in Sherwood Purple phlox blooms, creating a carpet of lavender flowers on the forest floor. Several varieties of Trillium were in bloom, including Nodding Trilliaum, Wake Robin Trillium and Catesby’s Trillium. Also blooming in the gardens were Bleeding Heart, Clinton’s Lilly, Leucothue, Crested Iris, Pink Ladyslippers and Yellow Ladyslippers. Photos of the tour can be viewed on the Reserve’s facebook page via this link.
Southern Highlands Reserve offers Visitor’s Day tours the first Tuesday of every month and private group tours by reservation. All visitors may may make a reservation for a visitor’s day or group tours on the Reserve’s website: www.southernhighlandsreserve.org/events.