Gardeners looking for inspiration are encouraged to attend one of 16 open house events at demonstration gardens throughout Rhode Island as part of the University of Rhode Island Master Gardener Program’s first Project Open House on Saturday, Aug. 20 from 9 a.m. to noon.

The free events will be held at gardens designed and maintained by URI Master Gardeners, who will be available to teach new gardening techniques and share their knowledge about how to grow vegetables, flowers, herbs and just about anything else that grows in the state.

“You can learn to cultivate mushrooms in Providence, to cook with your garden’s harvest and extend the season in Kingston, to grow medicinal plants in Pawtucket, how to attract pollinators and beneficial insects in Newport and Middletown ,” said Vanessa Venturini, the state program leader of the URI Master Gardener Program. “This is an opportunity to visit a garden right in your community and learn from URI Master Gardeners. With 16 projects across the state featuring unique workshop topics, this event has something for everyone.”

Here on the Aquidneck Island , they have four projects – The Middletown Library Community Garden, The Newport Harbor Planter Project, Norman Bird Sanctuary and Prescott Farm.

Open house events will be held at the gardens at Slater Mill Historic Site, the Dr. Reuben Mason house, the Glocester Senior Center and the Cumberland Monastery in northern Rhode Island; at the Edible Forest Garden, Betsey Williams Cottage garden and the Botanical Center display gardens at Roger Williams Park in Providence; as well as at the Coventry Community Garden, Wilcox Park in Westerly, and at two gardens at URI’s East Farm. In the East Bay, participating gardens are those at Norman Bird Sanctuary, Prescott Farm, Mount Hope Farm, the Newport Harbor Walk and the Middletown Community Garden.

The event draws on the success of the biennial Gardening with the Masters tour of the private gardens of URI Master Gardener volunteers.
“Everyone loves peering into the private gardens during the Gardening with the Masters tour. This new event is held in the year opposite the garden tour to invite the community to learn the most cutting edge, practical gardening tips in our public demonstration gardens,” said Venturini. For more information, visit http://web.uri.edu/mastergardener/openhouse or contact the URI Extension Outreach Center at 401-874-2900 or outreach@uri.edu.

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Ryan M. Belmore

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