Helping to plant the new Yagle Garden are (left to right): Phil Cole, Jon Weems, and Dave Barnett.

Photo by Erin Smaldone.

Sometimes visitors to the West Virginia Botanic Garden ask, “Where are the Gardens?” Many are pointed to the WVBG’s established gardens, such as the Eclectic, Shade, Butterfly, Rhododendron, Kiosk, and Secret Gardens. Of course all these gardens are surrounded by the beauty of the natural woodlands, while the old reservoir basin is in its early succession stage of sourwoods and alders. The WVBG property is quite a nice example of flora and fauna biodiversity, which we are fortunate to have and proud to share with our visitors. Now we are excited to announce a new garden: the Yagle Garden at the newly opened Welcome Center.

This spring Bailey Nurseries of Minnesota donated over 200 bare root plants to the Botanic Garden. Bailey is one of the nation’s largest producers of bare root trees, shrubs, and perennials, numbering 15 million annually and with over 5,000 acres in production in Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Illinois. The company delivered all these bare root plants in two eight-foot-long boxes dropped off in the Botanic Garden parking lot. It is significantly less expensive to ship bare root plants in the spring while they are still semi-dormant.

For several days, many volunteers helped separate the bundles, root pruned, and potted the plants. They were then stored and cared for during most of the summer: pruning, fertilizing, and spraying regularly with milk to keep the deer from munching on them.

Karl and Pam Yagle, longtime supporters of the Garden both in time and financial support, generously helped to fund a new Garden incorporating these donated plants around the Welcome Center. Bill Mills has done a wonderful job designing the Garden, bringing the Yagles’ vision to life.

Volunteers dug holes, spread soil mix, planted, and mulched most of the donated plants. Digging in our thick clay soils proved challenging, and we are thankful for extra effort put forth by our volunteers!

This winter you’ll see a planting with tremendous winter value including First Editions® Baton Rouge Dogwood (Cornus alba ‘Minbat’), and Fire Dance Dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Bailadeline’), both with bright red twigs. First Editions® Wildfire Winterberry (Ilex verticillata ‘Bailfire’) will offer showy red berries when paired with pollinator Jim Dandy Winterberry (Ilex verticillata ‘Jim Dandy’). Other plantings include various Hydrangea spp., Ninebark (Physocarpus spp.) and more.

Additionally twenty newly-planted First Editions® Standing Ovation Serviceberrys (Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk’) will offer a splash of spring color to the long walk along the historic reservoir dam. These small columnar trees bloom with brilliant white flowers which give way to edible berries in June.

As we continue to grow, we look forward to your visit and seeing our new gardens and plants adapt to their new home.

By: Dave Barnett, Treasurer, and Phil Cole, Assistant Site Manager

Originally published in our Fall/Winter 2016 Newsletter

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