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Gardening Programs at the Library: Previous Programs

Garden Discoveries: Garden Safety

 

Garden Safety

Led by Sheldon Johnson

Saturday, June 8 at 10 a.m.


Learn more about the Independence Park Botanic Gardens and the Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation HERE

Garden Discoveries: Bees and Pollination

EBRPL has partnered with the Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation to bring you Garden Discoveries, a monthly series of FREE presentations and tours of the Independence Park Botanic Gardens occurring on the 2nd Saturday of each month. 


  • Enjoying Butterflies of Baton Rouge, Saturday, October 14, 2023 at 10 a.m. -- Register HERE
    • Led by Kevin Langley, President, Capital Area Beekeepers Association; Vice President, Louisiana Beekeepers Association. More than ever before, we need to recognize the importance of bees to nature and to our lives. And we need to turn our awareness into action to ensure that bees and other pollinators don't just survive but thrive. Maintaining our native flora also depends on healthy pollinator populations. One of the most important ways you can help pollinators is by provisioning your yard with plants that provide pollen and nectar. Our speaker will show you how. Following the presentation, and weather permitting, we will take a short walk outside to the adjacent Baton Rouge Botanical Gardens located in BREC Independence Park.


Learn more about the Independence Park Botanic Gardens and the Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation HERE

Garden Discoveries: The Rose Without a Name

  • The Rose Without a Name, Saturday, September 9, 2023 at 10 a.m. -- Register HERE
    • Led by authors Nancy Rust and Carol Stubbs with special guest speaker Peggy Martin. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed Peggy Martin’s garden, which included over 400 roses. Only one rose, an unidentified pass-along rose, survived against incredible odds. The story quickly spread and touched hearts around the world. The rose became a symbol of hope and was officially named Peggy Martin Rose. Today the Peggy Martin Rose is grown in gardens everywhere. Special guest Peggy Martin will tell her true story of how the rose became a symbol of hope and resilience. Nancy Rust and Carol Stubbs will follow and read their book The Rose Without a Name: The Story of the Katrina Rose so each child will hear the story from the Rose’s viewpoint and meet the Bee, Butterfly, Worm, Frog and Dragonflies who encouraged the rose to grow. Weather permitting, children will walk outside with Peggy Martin and learn about growing roses in Louisiana. Each child will have the opportunity to make a butterfly to take home. Copies of the book will be available signed by the authors and Peggy Martin.


Learn more about the Independence Park Botanic Gardens and the Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation HERE

Garden Discoveries: Vegetable Garden in August

  • What to Do in Your Vegetable Garden in August, Saturday, August 12, 2023 at 10 a.m. -- Register HERE
    • Led by Kathryn “Kiki” Fontenot, Ph.D., Horticulturalist with LSU AgCenter. Have you ever wanted to know how to grow the best tasting vegetables in your home garden? “There really is something empowering about harvesting your first tomato and cooking it with your family, or just slicing it up and eating it,” says speaker Kathryn “Kiki” Fontenot. This presentation is perfect for beginner and avid gardeners. We will cover tips to keep plants alive in August, rejuvenating failing crops, and what to plant when it’s terribly hot - even if you haven’t started. Vegetables can be grown and harvested 12 months out of the year and August is no exception. You can plant in the ground and in containers... you can even start your fall crops! Come on out for a vegetable gardening 101 presentation. If the weather permits, we will take a short walk outside to the adjacent Baton Rouge Botanical Gardens located in BREC Independence Park. 


Learn more about the Independence Park Botanic Gardens and the Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation HERE

Garden Discoveries: The Mighty Oak Tree

  • The Mighty Oak Tree, Saturday, July 8, 2023 at 10 a.m. -- Register HERE
    •  led by Scott Courtright, Senior Arborist. Aren’t all trees the same… a Tree is just a Tree… right? In this program, speaker Scott Courtright will take the audience on a journey to discover the Mighty Oak Tree. This family of trees is well-represented in Louisiana with approximately 20 species of Oak Trees (Quercus sp.) native to our state. What makes an Oak an Oak? How is this tree set apart? How is it similar to other trees in our area? We will discover the general parts of trees, their functions, and natural characteristics, with a focus on Oaks. Of course, the grandest of them all, the Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) will garner a good portion of the program. We will discuss common pests, problems, and benefits of the Oaks. If the weather permits, we will take a short walk outside to the adjacent Baton Rouge Botanical Gardens located in BREC Independence Park. Here we will look at a few species of oaks and other trees on the grounds to see how academics and application come together.


Learn more about the Independence Park Botanic Gardens and the Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation HERE

Garden Discoveries: Volunteering In the Gardens

  • BREC’s Green Force Volunteer Program & Volunteering in the Gardens, Saturday, June 10, 2023 at 10 a.m. -- Register HERE
    • Led by Amanda Takacs, Assistant Director of Natural Resource Management & John Hough, VP Botanic Gardens Foundation. The Force is calling, will you answer it? Amanda Takacs will help you learn more about BREC’s Green Force Volunteer Program and all the various ways you can volunteer with BREC Conservation. If you join Green Force you will be qualified to conduct management activities such as trail maintenance, biodiversity surveys and invasive species removal on you own or with a team of other volunteers. Whether gardening is your main joy or you would just like to learn more about local habitats and meet fellow volunteers, Green Force has the project for you. John Hough will then highlight the various volunteer opportunities available in the Baton Rouge’s Botanic Gardens located in BREC Independence Park. Various groups meet each week to care for the various gardens that are present in this premier collection of horticultural beauty located in the heart of Baton Rouge. A walking tour will follow of the adjacent Baton Rouge Botanical Gardens located in BREC Independence Park.


Learn more about the Independence Park Botanic Gardens and the Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation HERE

Garden Discoveries: Healing Herbs for Your Garden

  • Healing Herbs for Your Garden, Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 10 a.m. -- Register HERE
    • Kevin Folivi, a researcher with years of experience in herbal medicine, will present, “Medicinal Plants of the World,” where he’ll showcase medicinal herbs from across the globe including information on their traditional and modern usages, the history and chemical profiles of these herbs, methods for extraction and distilling, and recent groundbreaking research findings. Next, Jennifer Blanchard, botanist and member of the The Herb Society of America Baton Rouge Unit, will present, “Medicinal Plants of Louisiana,” where she’ll provide some history of plant medicine in Louisiana and the cultural significance of these plants, as well as a list of medicinal plants of Louisiana that are suitable for planting in your own healing garden. “Healing Herbs for Your Garden” is a talk for all herb lovers to enjoy, with questions for the speakers welcome. Following the dual-presentation will be a short walking tour (weather permitting) of the Sensory Garden designed, installed, and maintained by The Herb Society of America Baton Rouge Unit. 


Learn more about the Independence Park Botanic Gardens and the Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation HERE

Garden Discoveries: Using Native Plants in Your Garden

  • Using Native Plants in Your Garden, Saturday, April 8, 2023 at 10 a.m. -- Register HERE
    • Led by Bob Dillemuth, a member of the Louisiana Native Plant Society, Certified Master Naturalist, and Master Gardener. Learn how to grow native plants in your home garden and see how these plants can thrive in your landscape, adding color, diversity, and habitat for birds and other wildlife! This presentation will explore some common misconceptions about native plants and explore the many benefits of using them. Mr. Dillemuth will show you options for selecting native plants that can add seasonal color and texture, ranging from large trees to blooming shrubs and perennials. And the program will conclude with a walking tour to see some of the native plants in the Independence Botanical Garden adjacent to the library. 


Learn more about the Independence Park Botanic Gardens and the Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation HERE

Garden Discoveries: Crash Course Growing Bromeliads at Home

  • Crash Course on Growing Bromeliads at Home, Saturday, March 11, 2023 at 10 a.m. -- Register HERE
    • Led by Mark Mese. Mark has been growing and breeding rare plants for over 40 years. He will first give a brief survey of the bromeliad family and provide practical information on how to grow bromeliads at home. Learn how to prepare soils, water, fertilize, and provide proper lighting for various types of bromeliads. Mark will also give a brief demonstration on how to mount plants on driftwood and have a collection of live plants for you to view. A tour of the Botanic Garden will follow.


Learn more about the Independence Park Botanic Gardens and the Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation HERE

Garden Discoveries: Color in the Garden

  • Color in the Garden, Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 10 a.m. -- Register HERE
    • Led by Cynthia C. Cash, Landscape Architect. While every garden should have its own uniqueness, and flow, it is often ‘color’ that catches the eye, making the garden ‘pop’ or sing. In Louisiana, we generally use warm season color, alternating with cool season color. Each year new varieties and colors of the same are developed and the precise arrangement of color plants can be geometric or flow in a naturalistic way. During her presentation, Ms. Cash will share many ways to achieve color in your garden through placement, design, and use of annuals, perennials, bulbs, and even foliage. Ms. Cash has earned both a Bachelors Degree in Horticulture (University/Tennessee, 1975) and a Masters in Landscape Architecture (LSU, 1984). Through these dual degrees, she has created some of the most sustainable and visually pleasing landscapes in SE Louisiana. Cash first came Baton Rouge in 1977 for graduate school. After which she worked for 3 very well known Landscape Architects/Designers; Jon Emerson, Andy Hart, and Mike Hopping. She was also an adjunct professor at LSU for several years, specializing in teaching ‘Planting Design’. Her most recent client has been Baton Rouge’s own Raising Cane’s, for which she set the tone for the clean, crisp, but enriched “Cane’s Landscape Look”, designing over 500 of their landscapes across the SE. Cash is now resuming her once thriving residential practice.


Learn more about the Independence Park Botanic Gardens and the Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation HERE

Garden Discoveries: Growing Orchids in Louisiana

  • Growing Orchids in Louisiana, Saturday, January 14, 2023 at 10 a.m. -- Register HERE
    • Led by Patty Granier and Lata Johnson, members of the Baton Rouge Orchid Society. Orchids are a large family of beautiful flowering plants which are wonderful to grow and once you have one, you may want another… and another! Learn how orchids have evolved to attract their pollinators and tips on how to care for orchids in your home and garden, including how to choose types of orchids suitable for beginners. Both speakers fell in love with the blooms and fragrance of orchids at local garden flower shows and through the Baton Rouge Orchid Society they met the challenge of learning how to grow and bloom these amazing plants. A walking tour of the Botanical Gardens adjacent to the library will follow the presentation.


Learn more about the Independence Park Botanic Gardens and the Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation HERE

Garden Discoveries: How to Prune and Care for Crape Myrtles

  • How to Prune and Care for Crape Myrtles, Saturday, November 12, 2022 at 10 a.m. -- Register HERE
    • Led by Jimmy Culpepper, a consulting arborist with over 30 years of experience working in South Louisiana. Fall and winter are the best times to prune crepe myrtles after they have finished blooming. Do you know how to properly care for these attractive trees in your yard in order to enhance their natural beauty? Crepe myrtles, introduced into the United States in the 1700’s from China, Korea, and Japan, have become one of the Southeast’s more popular small trees. Mr. Culpepper, who received his forestry degree from LSU and worked with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, will discuss crepe myrtle varieties, characteristics, and proper care. Following his presentation and Q & A, he will lead attendees outside to the Crepe Myrtle Grove and demonstrate proper pruning techniques on crepe myrtles in the Botanical Gardens adjacent to the library. 


Learn more about the Independence Park Botanic Gardens and the Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation HERE

July 2021 Garden Discoveries: Julia's Native Plants Garden

The Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation hosts a FREE Garden Discoveries series event for the public at the Main Library at Goodwood led by Cindy Moran of the Baton Rouge Garden Club. Attendees can register for limited in-person seating or attend virtually on Facebook Live!

Julia’s Garden, a native plant landscape, was installed by the Baton Rouge Garden Club at their Garden Center building in Independence Park in 2019. Demonstrating the most important modern trend in Landscape Design, all plants are native to and supportive of our Gulf Coast ecosystem. Mrs. Moran, member of the BRGC and past president, will also discuss the community programs of the Baton Rouge Garden Club and history of the Garden Center building - dedicated in 1979, as the first structure in Independence Park. Attendees will walk to visit the multiple Gardens at the conclusion of the program.

To learn more, visit the Baton Rouge Garden Center homepage [click here]

Download the handout for Julia's Native Plants Garden below!

June 2021 Garden Discoveries: Be a Bee!

As a part of their monthly Garden Discoveries series, the Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation hosted Be a Bee! for children and families at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at the Main Library at Goodwood. The program was led by Kevin Langley of the Capital Area Beekeepers Association with help from Buzzy the Bee and the Beekeepers. 

Children were able to look inside part of a real beehive, dress up in junior beekeepers’ outfits, hats and gloves, and learn how bees collect the honey and do their waggle dance to let other bees know where the good pollen is. Families then took a walk around the Botanic Garden with Buzzy the Bee and the Beekeepers in search of flowers with pollen and real bees!  And, at the end of the hour, they tasted three local honeys and selected their favorite flavor. 

Download the Be a Bee reading list and Botanic Gardens scavenger hunt map below!

May 2021 Garden Discoveries: ColorScapes

The Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation hosts a FREE Garden Discoveries series event for families at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 8, 2021 at the Main Library at Goodwood led by Mary Tharp.

Color in the Garden in May is just popping! Join us as we begin with a presentation of selected colors used in gardens and why you'd choose them, followed by a meander through the Botanic Garden at Independence Park to look at the colors shown by flowers, shrubs, and herbs. Even a green plant without flowers has a color to offer! And a walk through the Rose Garden will show you how many colors can be used in one place.

April 2021 Garden Discoveries: Inside Scoop on Baton Roots

The Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation hosts a FREE Garden Discoveries series event for families at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 10th led by the Baton Roots Community Farm, where they strive to provide fresh food access and knowledge around urban farming and sustainable agriculture. Attendees can view this program virtually on Facebook Live!

Knowing the critical link between food and wellness, Baton Roots began as the seed of an idea to make fresh, healthy food accessible to food-insecure communities by creating farms in urban green spaces. What is now Baton Roots Community Farm grew from the Mayor’s Geaux Get Healthy initiative, a project of HealthyBR, to improve the well-being of citizens by promoting active lifestyles and access to fresh foods in one of the city’s largest food deserts. Baton Roots has since grown into a four-acre food oasis located at BREC’s Howell Community Park in North Baton Rouge. They will highlight all of the wonderful things currently going on at the Baton Roots Community Farm, including the history of Baton Roots, their current projects, an introduction of the Baton Roots staff, and a walk-through tour of the farm.

    For more info about volunteering, email: shivonne@thewallsproject.org

    Baton Roots Volunteer Form

    To volunteer, email: batonrougebotanicalgardens@gmail.com

Download the handouts below!

March 2021 Garden Discoveries: Louisiana Iris

Did you know that the Louisiana iris is the official state wildflower? Want to learn how to plant and care for these beautiful perennials? 

The Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation will host a FREE Garden Discoveries series on Facebook Live at Facebook.com/EBRPL at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 13 led by Master Gardener Claire Fontenot who developed the Louisiana Iris collection at BREC Independence Park Botanic Garden. Ms. Fontenot along with dedicated volunteers procures, plants and cares for the Louisiana iris, daylilies, gingers, and pollinator plants for birds, bees, and butterflies making a picture perfect place for people to enjoy. Attend virtually to hear Ms. Fontenot’s presentation about the Louisiana iris native species originally found on the Gulf Coast and the most recent hybrids available at this time. Learn how to plant and divide irises, and identify problems if present. A walk in the Botanic Garden adjacent to the library afterwards is encouraged!

► Watch on YouTube! [click here]

Download the handout below!

Garden Discoveries: Botanic Gardens at Independence Park

The Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation will host a FREE Garden Discoveries Series at 10 a.m. Saturday, January 9, 2021 led by Buck Abbey, a retired professor from the LSU School of Landscape Architecture. Attendees can register for limited in-person seating or attend virtually on Facebook Live!

Abbey, who has been involved in the gardens since the 1980’s, will offer a landscape architects’ insider view of how the Botanical Gardens at Independence Park developed over the years from the first plantings in 1976 and give a hint of what’s planned for the future.

Download the handouts below!

Make Your Garden Fly!

Garden Discoveries: MAKE YOUR GARDEN FLY! How to Attract Butterflies and Other Pollinators to Your Garden

10:00 am, Saturday, August 14, 2021

Main Library at Goodwood

Click here to register!

The Baton Rouge Botanic Garden Foundation will host a FREE Garden Discoveries series event for school age children accompanied by a parent at 10 a.m. Saturday, August 14, 2021, at the Main Library at Goodwood led by Carol Paine of the Gardens4Schools Committee, EBR Master Gardeners Association. Attendees can register for limited in-person seating or attend virtually on Facebook Live!

Children will enter the world of Pollination, the Who, What, Where, Why and How of this miraculous natural process which allows plants to produce seeds and fruits necessary for our survival. Ms. Paine will show how pollination works and explain how to attract pollinators to your garden. Following her presentation we will explore different stations in the BR Botanical Gardens, such as the ‘Butterfly Garden’, and ‘Sensory/Herb Garden’, to find LA native flowers that best attract pollinators such as birds, butterflies, bees and other insects. We will make seed-starter pots out of newspapers, and attendees will have seeds and a plant to take home.

Pollination is necessary for the survival of plants, insects, animals, humans, and our ecosystem. Seeds produced by pollination are key to growing the next generation of plants to provide food for the next generation of pollinators, and other wildlife. The simple truth is: We cannot live without them.

To attend in-person: To comply with social distancing guidelines, in-person seating is limited and registration is required to attend. Register at the EBRPL events calendar or call 225-231-3750 for registration assistance. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

To attend virtually: View this event virtually on Facebook Live at Facebook.com/EBRPL at 10am Saturday, August 14, 2021. A recording will be available at Facebook.com/EBRPL and YouTube.com/EastBatonRougeParishLibrary after the event.

Master Gardeners: Herbs & Lilies

Certified Master Gardener Nancy Jurasinski will present  “Growing Herbs for Beginners”. Thanks to Louisiana's mild winters, we have the good luck to grow herbs all year.  Learn which herbs grow best when planted in the fall and which thrive in the spring. The talk will include methods for preserving your harvest and fool-proof recipes using fresh-from-the-garden herbs. 

Certified Master Gardener Carol Paine will present “LILIES - To Be or Not To Be . . .”  Did you know many of the plants we call lilies aren’t true lilies? Learn all about what makes a lily a lily and how you can tell the difference. Attendees will also learn about the many nonlily lilies!

 Watch on YouTube! [click here]