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5 Ann Arbor Resources To Jumpstart Your Garden

As spring approaches, it’s the perfect time to plan and prepare your garden for the upcoming season. Ann Arbor offers a variety of excellent plant nurseries and gardening events to help you kickstart your gardening journey. 

1. Downtown Home and Garden:

An urban emporium for gardening supplies, Downtown Home & Garden, offers everything from plant pots and seeds to outdoor clothing and kitchenware. They also have two very friendly cats – Wallace and Watson – and a small cafe offering baked goods. 

Come spring, they’ll also offer garden starters, often seen outside the store. The knowledgeable staff can give you excellent gardening advice and recommend worthwhile products. 

Downtown Home & Garden is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Find them online or by phone at 734-662-8122.

2. Ann Arbor District Library Seed Shop:

Partnering with local seed organizations, the AADL Seed Sampler initiative aims to provide starter packs of seeds to residents of Washtenaw County. Geared towards beginner gardeners, participants can pick up bundles of five to seven seed varieties, including native plant seeds, at their preferred AADL library location. 

The seed shop dates are yet to be finalized, so stay tuned for updates on the library’s website.

3. The Washtenaw County Conservation District Plant Sales:

The Washtenaw County Conservation District (WCCD) hosts multiple annual plant sales and resource sales to support conservation efforts. Their spring events include a Tree & Shrub Sale and a Native Plant Sale.

The Spring Tree & Shrub Sale is distributed in late April, with a sale period from January – March. Planting resources, distribution pick-up details, and more information can be found on our website.

The Spring Native Plant Sale offers a unique opportunity for enthusiasts to pre-order a diverse array of native plants that support biodiversity. The special pre-sale begins on February 19, 2024, allowing early orders with a limited volume. For a more extensive selection, consider attending the Native Plant Expo & Marketplace on June 1st. Whether you order online or submit a paper form, adhere to the deadlines – March 11, 2024, for paper forms and March 18, 2024, for online orders. 

Additionally, attendees of the June 1st event can receive free 2″ pots containing various Milkweed species, contributing to the conservation of the Monarch Butterfly.

4. Project Grow:

Seedlings from Project Grow's Website

Seedlings from Project Grow’s Website.

Project Grow is a local organization that fosters organic community gardens throughout Ann Arbor. Open to all, the application process for securing a community garden plot is accessible, offering different location options. If you don’t have a yard this is a great option.

Alternatively, if your yard lacks sufficient sunlight for a thriving vegetable garden, joining a community garden could be a viable solution.

Beyond providing garden plots, Project Grow takes a holistic approach by organizing informative gardening classes and events. These classes range from preserving the harvest to practical insights into organic composting, and they are offered at little to no cost.

Upcoming classes include:

  1. Sowing Seeds and Transplanting Seedlings
    Date: March 16th, 2024
    Time: 10 am
  2. Tips and Techniques I: Planning Your Garden
    Date: March 26th, 2024
    Time: 7 pm 

For their full calendar and details about their classes, check out their website.

5. Ann Arbor Wild Ones:

Great Lakes Garden. Source: Matthaei Botanical Garden website.

Are you looking to learn about native plants and naturalize your yard? Ann Arbor Wild Ones (A2WO) is a great group that focuses on educating and advocating for biodiversity. They offer a variety of programs, tours, and special events throughout the year.

A2WO has weekly meetings on Wednesday at 6:45 pm at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, to share program information, and provide opportunities for learning through classes and volunteering. All meetings are free and open to the public. The group’s website also has many resources for cultivating native plants. 

Upcoming A2WO events:

1. Ann Arbor Wild Ones March Monthly Meeting:

Topic: COHABITATION: A Dozen Native Plants for Your Yard
Date & Time: Wednesday, March 13th, 2024, 6:45 pm to 8:30 pm 
Location: Matthaei Botanical Gardens, auditorium, 1800 N Dixboro Rd, Ann Arbor, MI, 48105

2. “Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants” with Robin Wall Kimmerer:

Date & Time: Tuesday, March 19th, 2024, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm (Central Time)
Location: Online and in person at Reeve Union, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, 748 Algoma Blvd, Oshkosh, WI, 54901
Live Stream Available

Join A2WO in fostering a deeper understanding of the coexistence of native plants and sustainable landscaping practices.

Custom built raised garden beds

Happy Gardening, Ann Arbor!

Ann Arbor provides an array of resources to meet your gardening needs. Engage in events, meetings, and classes to connect with fellow gardening enthusiasts. Happy gardening!

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