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King’s Garden Volunteers Welcome

Patch of forget-me-nots flowers
A patch of forget-me-nots is allowed to self-sow where “planned” annuals will be placed later


It’s always a pleasure to discover a plant growing in an unexpected place among purposefully placed plants in the garden.  These “volunteers” are nature’s gift to the gardener, the product of prolific re-seeders, birds or small mammals leaving seeds behind, or a gust of wind carrying seeds from outside the garden.  It is not uncommon to find sunflowers, johnny jump-ups, foxgloves and hollyhocks elbowing their way between bricks in the path or thriving within carefully planned beds.  These garden guests are welcome additions that add dimension and flair to the botanical displays.


With the growing season upon us, we are sure to find many of these volunteers as the beds are cleaned up, the last of the perennials are cut back, and the first weeds are pulled.  Preparing the King’s Garden for the thousands of annuals and perennials that are installed each year is both exciting and challenging.  Each new season brings the discovery of successes and failures after winter’s trials, new plant varieties to test, and the fruits of our labor realized.


Staff and volunteers planting flowers
Staff and volunteers install annual borders

Spring is also the time when garden volunteers (the human kind!) arrive with gloves at the ready to lend a hand and share their passion for horticulture.  King’s Garden volunteers have the opportunity to learn about the gardens and the plants cultivated here while spending time with other enthusiastic gardeners.   A willingness to learn and grow is most important; previous experience is not necessary!  Some volunteers embrace a certain project and find their specialty while others perform a variety of tasks working with both flowers and vegetables.  Other volunteers present tours and programs, helping us fulfill our education mission.  Garden volunteers enhance the efforts of our team working to preserve and share the history and beauty of the King’s Garden.


Volunteer teaching young gardener how to plant seeds
A program volunteer teaches a young gardener to plant seeds


If you would like to share in this experience, drop me a line at [email protected] to learn more.  You’ll learn to spot the volunteer poppies, bachelor buttons and columbine that are preparing to bloom and grow in the King’s Garden, plus work side by side with staff and other volunteers as we prepare, plant, and care for the historic gardens.  Join us!


Heidi Karkoski
Director of Horticulture