Master Gardener Associations all over the state do many great things. Here is a highlight from the 2013 Annual Report:
The Garden Door is our organization’s free public garden, open every day from dawn to dusk. Located on the grounds of the Peninsular Agricultural Research Station, this two acre garden features a variety of spaces including an edible herb garden, raised beds, a rock garden, ornamental grasses, a butterfly garden, perennial beds, annual beds, a cactus bed, a pergola and a gazebo. This year we added two tables and four benches in the pergola which were popular with visitors to have lunch or just appreciate the garden. We are always trying new plants and are pleased to have successfully grown artichokes this year, stimulating lots of questions and comments. Visitation has risen dramatically, thanks in part to social media. This year Trip Advisor ranked The Garden Door as the second most popular attraction for the Sturgeon Bay area. In addition to a steady flow of visitors who arrive on their own, we hosted 8 tour bus groups and 7 scheduled groups such other MGAs. Our annual Open House in July drew over 200 visitors. We offered mini-classes on containers, ponds, cactus gardens, photography, herbs, gardening tools, attracting butterflies and ornamental shrubs. In September The Taste of the Garden Door and Pesto Festo, which is part of that event, attracted more than 600 guests.
Adjoining The Garden Door we have a community garden named The Garden Next Door. It has twenty-one 20×20 foot plots. Six of these plots are planted by third graders each spring and harvested by the same group as fourth graders in the fall. In other plots DCMGA members plant vegetables and flowers, educating visitors on a variety of crops and gardening techniques. All growers donate a portion of their harvest to a local food pantry.