Many of Iowa's beautiful public gardens are in the spotlight next year with the 2012 Garden Calendar, from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The full-color, 12-month calendar highlights a different public garden each month with several photos and information about the garden.
"We wanted to spotlight public gardens next year because we have so many wonderful gardens in Iowa," said Cynthia Haynes, ISU Extension horticulture specialist. "Many of these gardens also have special plant collections, which can give homeowners planting ideas for their own landscapes."
Haynes said visiting these gardens also can help gardeners see what a plant will look like and how much space it will need, as well as inspire them with interesting planting combinations, as they plan their own gardens at home.
The public gardens featured include: The Brenton Arboretum, in Dallas Center; Reiman Gardens, in Ames; Des Moines Botanical Center and Better Homes and Gardens Test GardenĂ, in Des Moines; Pella Historical Village, in Pella; Iowa Arboretum, in Madrid; Bickelhaupt Arboretum, in Clinton; Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, in Prairie City; Vander Veer Botanical Park, in Davenport; Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, in Waterloo; Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Garden, in Dubuque; and Noelridge Park, in Cedar Rapids.
The calendar also lists additional public gardens in Iowa. Each garden listed includes a photo, location and contact information.
Each month has several gardening activities and chores listed, so homeowners can easily stay on task as they plan, prepare for, plant and take care of their own 2012 garden.
"Some gardeners also use the calendar as a journal to keep notes from their garden," Haynes said. "We hope the calendar helps inspire people to create beautiful landscapes and gardens of their own that are fulfilling and rewarding throughout the year."
Additional extension information and resources are listed in the calendar for gardeners interested in finding out more about various garden topics.
"Public Gardens of Iowa ˝ 2012 Garden Calendar" (PM 0815) is available for $6 from the ISU Extension and Outreach online store at www.extension.iastate.edu/store or from local extension offices. This is the 34th edition of the ISU Extension and Outreach garden calendar.
Extension programs are available to all without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability.