16 Reasons to Visit in 2016: Gardens

It’s cold and blustery at Fairview today, snow blowing off the edges of the barn roofs, and a chilly wind hitting the side of the cabin. A day like today makes us want to dream about spring and that should give you one more reason to visit Fairview in 2016: a spring day around our gardens.

Marigolds are planted as a natural pest repellent

We have several small garden beds set aside at Fairview. The first is our “Three Sisters” garden. Native American tribes planted the “Three Sisters” together—corn, squash, and beans. Today, we call this symbiotic relationship, companion planting. As the stalks of corn rise from the ground, they provide a natural pole for our beans to climb; in turn, bean vines help stabilize tender corn stalks. Beans provide nitrogen to the root systems. Squash vines serve as mulch, sealing in moisture, and their spiny plants discourage predators from approaching the corn.

Our second garden is a flax garden. The flax plant serves as the source for fibers to produce linen. Although our flax came in nicely in 2015, we had so many projects with the opening of the cabin that we did not get to harvest our flax! With a little more help in 2016, we’re going to try again, and we look forward to processing our own flax at Fairview this year!

Students from Interchange, a program of Washington County Public Schools & Highlands Community Services, mulched our butterfly garden.  Thanks, kids!

The newest garden added to our growing list is a butterfly garden. The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) faces growing threats due to a dwindling supply of milkweed, climate change, and destruction of their habitats. We envision our growing butterfly garden as an evolving outdoor science classroom. We invite teachers to contact us about opportunities to use the garden in their curriculum.

Herb gardens located near the cabin also play a vital role in educating our visitors about the culinary, household, and medicinal purposes of common herbs. Visitors attending our event preparing the cabin for winter learned about the role of peppermint and lavender in refreshing early nineteenth-century homes. This year, we have events planned about the traditional homeopathic use of herbs in treating nineteenth-century illnesses.

A special thanks to Sharon Camper, Phil Vinson, and Ron Stevenson of the Old Glade Antique Tractor Association, who have been instrumental in helping plant our gardens!

Are you making plans to visit our gardens this spring?  Call us at (276) 676-0216 or fairview1815@gmail.com to book a special garden tour!