The Community Arboretum at Virginia Western
The Roanoke Master Gardeners support our Community Partner, the Community Arboretum at VWCC with education and upkeep. There is a lot to do and learn at the Arboretum. Check out some of the activities…
Seed Starting and Planting
There is more to growing plants than just filling up a pot with soil and sticking in a seed. Late winter, early spring seed sowing takes place. After growing a couple of weeks, the seedlings are transplanted in preparation to be planted or sold. Other plants arrive as plugs (such as the poinsettias) from nurseries and some are propagated from plants already in the Arboretum. Most of the plants raised at the Arboretum are destined for mass planting in the gardens, or in the raised vegetable garden beds which were added in 2020. The vegetables are shared with college staff and students. The Arboretum raises all the plants that are displayed in the annual beds facing Colonial Avenue. In addition to all of the needs of the Arboretum itself, plants are used for the many plant sales held at the Arboretum.
Cleaning Beds, Pruning and Taming Leaves
Each season has its chores such as prepping beds for planting, pruning overgrown bushes, or just plain raking autumn leaves. (Sometimes you just can't help playing in the leaves!) The chores might seem laborious but when you are working together the time goes quickly. You will appreciate your gloves doing these tasks! The Arboretum depends heavily on volunteers to help manage the changing seasons and ongoing upkeep. We want the Arboretum to be a jewel for all to enjoy.
Leading a tour is always fun! Meeting new people, strolling around the beautiful gardens and trees and sharing the history and names of flowers and trees; can it get any better? Of course it can. Children's tours are so much fun as kids try to find plants with animal or insect names and navigate the maze. You end up laughing from the giggles of the children.
The Orchids in the greenhouse are stunning and beautiful. It is hard to tear yourself away from them. There are many varieties and each is so amazing that they seem almost magical. When all the orchids are in bloom, it takes your breath away. They may need watering, repotting, or inspection. Regardless of what their needs are, their beauty belies their simple needs.
Assist with Plant Sales
There are four plant sales scheduled throughout the year. They are the Spring Perennial, Spring Bedding and Vegetable sales, the Fall Pansy and Perennial sale, and the Poinsettia sale. Volunteers help the buyers by holding their chosen plants, suggesting new ideas, answering questions, helping them to the checkout, and carrying the plants to their vehicle if needed. It is a fun and busy day but you get to meet supporters, neighbors, and newcomers.
Special Events and Projects
There is always something going on at the Arboretum! Events such as the Four Seasons Event Series are fun and informative. Special classes are hands-on creative projects. Help out or participate. You can't lose either way. Visit the The Community Arboretum web site (Click photo on the right) or Facebook (Click on button below) to keep in touch with the year round events
Volunteering at the Community Arboretum at VWCC is so satisfying. When you work together the results are immediate. You learn something every time you visit.