Guest Post: Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center

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Catherine Verdier lives in Norfolk with her husband and daughter. She blogs about kid-friendly living in Hampton Roads at Where the Watermelons Grow.

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A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a link to a site she thought we'd enjoy writing about: the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center (AREC) and its demonstration gardens. As soon as I clicked over to AREC's homepage, I knew we'd be making a trip soon -- if there's one thing we can't resist, it's a good garden, especially one we haven't seen before.

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The purpose of the demonstration gardens is to show both gardeners and the general public how different plants grow in Hampton Roads' climate. As such, there are a ton of different trees, flowers, and shrubs to be found, ranging from perennials to bulbs to ornamental grasses and seascape vegetation.

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Anouk, James and I had a great time roaming around the grounds one Saturday afternoon last month. The rain garden was full of colorful bottles and rain chains and the butterfly garden was alive with dozens and dozens of fluttering swallowtails.

We also were fascinated by the enabling garden -- a garden with raised beds and hard surfaces, to allow gardeners in wheelchairs or with limited mobility a safe and convenient way to garden -- and the utility garden, which shows homeowners and landscapers the results of planting different plants under utility lines.

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Now that fall is just around the corner and the temperatures are about to fall into a more reasonable range, it's the perfect time to go and explore what AREC's demonstration gardens have to offer. There is no admission fee to the gardens and they are open seven days a week from dawn to dusk.

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If you go, prepare to be inspired! And remember to bring a pen and paper so you can jot down names of favorite plants and ideas for landscaping your own yard or garden.

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Looking for local family fun? Be sure to check out our lists of Activities, Athletics, Resources and of course our Daily Calendar of FUN in Hampton Roads!

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Tags: Guest Blogger Where The Watermelons Grow Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Education Center
Category: Guest Post

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