Gardeners hope idea sprouts

INDEPENDENCE — Polk County Master Gardeners often set up presentations for the public to learn all things gardening.   Sometimes, the weather conditions don’t cooperate for an outdoor presentation on planting.   “There are times you want to have demonstrations and it’s pouring down rain,” said Dolores May, Master Gardener. “People don’t want to stand out in the rain to learn how to do certain types of things.”   The group is looking to construct a building at the demonstration garden known as Inspiration Garden at Mount Fir Park that would act as storage for equipment as well as a community classroom, May said. The classroom could be rented from the city for other events, as well.   “We want to build a building where we could do presentations for the public,” May said. Those presentations include a variety of gardening topics, from starting seeds, planting tomatoes, or pruning fruit and nut trees.   The building will be 30 feet by 40 feet and enclosed, with an open 30-by-32 roofed pavilion.   But first the group needs the money to build it, and money does not grow on trees.   “We’re hoping to get around $38,000,” May said. “We have roughly $10,000 in donations right now, dedicated strictly for the building.”   Master Gardeners will supply labor, and will accept donations of building supplies.   No fundraisers have been organized yet, but people and businesses may contribute cash or in-kind through the OSU-Polk County Extension Office, 289 E. Ellendale Ave., Suite 301, Dallas. Monetary contributions may be mailed to P.O. Box 640, Dallas, OR 97338.   About Inspiration Garden ...   • The garden was started about a year ago at Mount Fir Park, located off F Street between Seventh and Ninth streets, in Independence. Most of the six-acre plot has been cleared of blackberries, Scotch Broom and other invasive weeds. The garden contains a variety of plants, trees and shrubs native to Oregon.   People may help in the garden, but May requests they speak with a Master Gardener first. Sometimes something that looks like a weed isn’t one.   “There might be plants that we planted on purpose, and people might think, ‘Oh, that’s not pretty, that looks like a weed, let’s pull it,’” May said.   

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