GARDENS AT THE ARBORETUM
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Fruit and Nut Gardens
Looking for landscaping ideas? Want to know which annuals and perennials might be best suited for Kentucky's climate? Looking for a good type of apple tree for your yard?
The Home Demonstration Garden, comprised of smaller gardens, uses combinations of plants and landscape structures to show how plants can be used in the residential landscape. It includes vegetable gardens, herb gardens, home fruit and nut gardens, beds for evaluating flowering annuals, perennials, ground covers and woody plants for landscape use.
Whether you are planning your first attempt at growing tomatoes, or are a seasoned veteran of the vegetable wars, you will enjoy the vegetable garden. It measures 24 feet by 60 feet and is equipped with drip irrigation and a triple bin composting system. A perennial stand of asparagus occupies one end of the garden, but the majority of the garden is planted yearly to showcase new plant varieties and gardening techniques. The garden is planned and maintained by Master Gardeners (Extension Service volunteers), who maintain harvest records and report yield data each fall.
Herb gardens offer many possibilities and many rewards, and the Arboretum's herb garden is no exception. Centrally located in the Demonstration Garden, it is constructed in concentric circles. Gray santolina, germander, boxwood and creeping chamomile make up the innermost garden, surrounded by a brick walkway with benches. The next circle includes annual and perennial plants partitioned into four sections: medicinal, dye, cosmetic and culinary. A holly hedge encircles the entire garden, creating a quiet, fragrant and cozy setting. This garden is maintained by Master Gardeners.
Finding fruit trees that can cope with Kentucky's cold winters and hot, humid summers is a challenge, but the Arboretum can help. This planting features fruit and nut varieties adapted to home use and requiring a minimal spray program. It contains some of the best nut tree varieties for Kentucky, donated by the Kentucky Nut Growers Association (pecan, black walnut, English walnut, Chinese chestnut, heartnut, shellbark and shagbark hickory). There is also a selection of some of the best dwarf, disease-resistant apple varieties, an American persimmon tree and several native pawpaw trees.
Like to get a first-hand look at plants so new they're not even on the market yet? All America Selections lets you do just that. All America Selections is a non-profit organization started by plant breeders, seed producers and educators to promote new, unique or improved cultivars of annual flowers. The University of Kentucky has had an AAS trial garden since the late 1960s.
While not a perennial plant trial, the Arboretum offers the opportunity to demonstrate and evaluate good perennial plants. Perennials are pocketed in many beds around the garden as well as two landscape-size perennials-only beds.
From ground huggers to 3-foot-tall ground covers, monocultures or a mix of several types of plants, these plantings introduce you to the idea of incorporating ground covers with their color and texture diversity into your landscapes. You will find lots of them scattered throughout the home demonstration area ground cover beds.
The Arboretum is home to a wide variety of trees and shrubs concentrated in the home demonstration planting area. Sharpen your plant identification skills. A map and plant signs will help you learn the names of those you don't know.
The Arboretum simulates Kentucky's seven regional landscapes: Bluegrass, Knobs, Appalachian Plateaus, Cumberland Mountains, Mississippian Plateaus and Outer Nashville Basin (Pennyroyal), Shawnee Hills, Mississippian Embayment and Alluvial Basin (Jackson Purchase). The Arboretum promotes education about natural resources and enhances appreciation of Kentucky's natural history and ecology. It illustrates and publicizes efforts to preserve wetlands, grasslands, old-growth forests and other state treasures. The Arboretum teaches about the genetic diversity in each region. Enjoy your Walk Across Kentucky. The two-mile hike offers a glimpse of distinct vegetation found in each area of this beautiful and unique state.
OPEN EVERY DAY, DAWN TO DUSK · YOURS TO ENJOY ALL YEAR LONG