Demonstration Gardens

Virginia Beach Master Gardeners provide public learning opportunities at 28 demonstration gardens throughout the City of Virginia Beach. All gardens are open to the public and there are no admission fees. Volunteers maintain regular hours at each garden when they are available to answer questions and assist the public. These hours are subject to change due to weather or other events.

Annual Trial and Display Garden

Located at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center (HRAREC), 1444 Diamond Springs Rd, the purpose of this project is to propagate and display annual flowering plants and demonstrate various flower bed design choices to the public, nursery staff, and other Master Gardener volunteers. Plants are started from seeds and cuttings provided by growers from around the country and evaluated throughout the season for how they perform in the Hampton Roads climate. A report is sent to the growers at the end of the season that they utilize for marketing decisions in our region. We are an All-American Selections Garden. The beds are open to the public from late April until October, during daylight hours. Volunteers work on Wednesday mornings and are available in the garden to answer questions during that time.

Arboretum

Virginia Beach Master Gardener Tree Stewards, under the supervision of Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center (HRAREC) staff, help to maintain the shrubs and trees in the Utility Line Arboretum, the main arboretum and the ‘old tree lines’ behind HRAREC’s greenhouse area. This encompasses good pruning practices and general clean-up of the areas. The various landscaped areas in the arboretum are open to the public. Volunteers work on Wednesday afternoons year-round to maintain the aesthetic value of these grounds for the public. Tree Stewards interact with the public to educate homeowners with limited knowledge of the diverse types of trees and shrubs that can be successfully grown in our area. The Utility Line Arboretum serves to increase public awareness of the horticultural mantra “Right Plant, Right Place” by presenting a) common area trees pruned for more full utility access, b) both good and poor selections of trees to site under utility lines and c) that both objectives - aesthetics and practicality can be achieved on their properties. Each of these areas serve to enhance the public’s ability to enhance their properties and to better value the investment in natural resources available to them in our area. The Arboretums are located on the grounds of the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center at 1444 Diamond Springs Rd, Virginia Beach, VA.

Herb Garden

Located at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center (HRAREC), 1444 Diamond Springs Rd., the herb garden showcases both perennial and annual herbs. Volunteers work on Thursday mornings from April to October, as weather permits. The herb garden is open to the public 365 days a year during daylight hours.

Kitchen Garden

The Kitchen Garden demonstrates to residents how to organically grow an edible garden no matter how small or large a growing area, using non-chemical methods. The garden is located at the Virginia Beach Farmer’s Market at 3640 Dam Neck Rd, and is open to the public during regular Farmer’s Market hours. Volunteers work Tuesday mornings from early spring to late fall, as well as some Friday mornings during the summer.

Perennial Garden

Perennial Garden volunteers grow and maintain perennial plants to educate residents, students, gardeners, and other visitors on what kind of perennial plants do well in our varying environments. This project consists of three garden beds – one full sun, one partial sun, and one shade. Visitors can see how large these plants are at maturity, when they bloom, and how they complement each other in the landscape. The gardens are located at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center (HRAREC), 1444 Diamond Springs Rd. Volunteers are on site on Thursday mornings. The gardens are open to the public and can be viewed spring through fall during daylight hours.

SPCA Rain Garden

This garden is a public resource for educating citizens about the benefits of a rain garden and native plants. The garden was originally planned as a way to prevent the SPCA parking lot from flooding. The native plants also help filter pollutants that run off the parking lot –important since the swale ultimately goes to the North Landing watershed. Native plants are also providing habitat for wildlife which has increased greatly since the garden was established. The garden is open to the public and is located at the rear of the SPCA parking lot at 3040 Holland Rd. Volunteers are on site on Thursday mornings, April through October.

Theme Gardens

The Theme Gardens comprise 18 individual garden beds within the display gardens at Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center (HRAREC), 1444 Diamond Springs Rd., and also includes the Enabling Garden and the Compost Demonstration Area. Master Gardeners are involved with the plant research and selection, installation, division, pruning and weekly maintenance. The gardens are part of the Display Gardens that are open to the public seven days a week as a teaching and learning garden. Volunteers are on site on Thursday mornings from April through October. In addition, volunteers provide tours and educational information to the public who visit the garden, including school groups, Junior Master Gardener Summer Camp attendees, senior citizen groups, garden clubs, other Master Gardener groups and the attendees to the Fall Gardening Festival in September.

The beds include: Bog/Water Garden Butterfly Garden Children's Garden Daylily and Virginia Hybridizer Daylily Gardens Edible Landscaping Garden Enabling Garden Entry Beds Four Season Bulb Garden Fragrance & Texture Garden Groundcover Gazebo (West) Groundcover Gazebo (East) Groundcover Gazebo (North) Groundcover Gazebo (South) Native Plants Garden Ornamental Grasses Perennials Comparison White Garden Winter Garden

HRAREC Buffer/Rain/Sustainable Gardens

This project of the Master Gardener Water Stewards consists of three Teaching Gardens at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center (HRAREC), located at 1444 Diamond Springs Rd. The Buffer Garden, Rain Garden, and Sustainable Garden have each been designed to show the public how plants and planting methods can improve water quality and minimize inputs. These gardens are regularly included in tours given by both Virginia Beach Master Gardeners and HRAREC staff. The gardens are open to the public year-round during daylight hours.

Children's Education Garden at the Market

Volunteers have created educational gardens behind the Rural Heritage Center at the Virginia Beach Farmers Market, located at 3640 Dam Neck Rd. Tours are conducted for pre-K through 5th graders. The goal is to connect children to agriculture through interactive experiential activities. The garden is open to the public during regular Farmer’s Market hours.