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Spring Into the Season: Learn Gardening Essentials from Design To Growing Gourmet to the Power of Native Plants

  • Strauss Mansion Museum 27 Prospect Circle Atlantic Highlands, NJ (map)

Does your mouth water when you think about cooking with just-harvested edibles from the garden?  Does your heart melt when when you view roses scrambling over a trellis and clematis peeking through?  Does your head spin when you attempt to make an edible or ornamental garden actually work?

Good news!  The Atlantic Highlands Historical Society (AHHS) is offering a Free workshop, Saturday, March 30, 1:00 pm located at 27 Prospect Circle, Atlantic Highlands, that will provide a mix of information and hands-on tips to help you:

  • Create a beautiful and ecologically based garden

  • Combine ornamental trees, shrubs, perennials, and bulbs - along with edibles, and annuals

  • Emphasis on using strong native plants in order to sustain our local environment

  • Plant Combinations - Right Plant for the Right Place

  • Garden Maintenance, including watering and weeding

Local, award-winning garden designer and horticulturist, Leeann Lavin, principal of Duchess Designs, LLC will host the talk, provide hands-on planning tools, guide you through the fundamentals of the gardening process and give you the confidence to grow and maintain your gardens.  

“The Spring Into the Garden” talk is a distillation of what Leeann has learned and practiced over more than two decades of immersion in garden design and horticulture, as a graduate of The New York Botanical Garden’s Landscape Design certificate program, writer, author, lecturer, and with her garden-to-tablescape designs - a hospitality artist.

“Every good garden design tells a story,” Leeann explains.  “Gardens are personal - whether you have a container garden, a raised bed, a terrace, a border or yard, you can tell your story with the right mix of plant combination, a design that works with your architectural style and site conditions to create garden rooms that will bring you joy in every season for years to come and enhance your lifestyle.  And all that starts with a good plan.”

Accompanied by a seasonal, homegrown botanical tea, the presentation includes:

  • A Mix of lush, colorful images of gardens and plants to inspire;

  • A step by step plan and checklist to get you focused;

  • How to draw up a site analysis that you can refine and implement;

  • How to produce a Go-To Plant list for your home landscape that includes a mix of Natives, Perennials, and Edibles

  • A Doable Maintenance schedule


The “Spring Into the Garden” talk will culminate with a walk around the AHHS Strauss Museum to view the mansion’s landscape.

The Historical Society is seeking volunteers to get their hands in the soil and help reclaim the magic of these gardens at the Strauss Mansion Musuem: 27 Prospect Circle.  “We want folks to think of the Strauss Mansion Museum’s landscape and gardens as their community garden -- a place they can come to work and help rescue these neglected garden rooms and bring them back to life,” said Lynn Fylak, president, AHHS.  “We are encouraging budding botanists of all ages to bring their friends and family to enjoy gardening here - for an hour or two -- whatever their schedules permit.” The gardens will enhance the Strauss Museum’s unique and special event programs.  “What’s lovelier than sitting on the wrap-around porch in the summer with a view of pretty gardens while listening to wafting music -- and fragrance -- during our monthly program events -- especially at our popular Music at the Mansion series?”

** While the Talk is free, please register so that the AHHS can provide seating and refreshments for all guests.


Garden Design Showcase

In related news, The Atlantic Highlands Historical Society announces its first Gardeners Showcase during spring and summer 2019. The AHHS at the Strauss Museum invites local nurseries and garden designers to show off their skills and creativity in one of the gardens that grace the Strauss Mansion Museum estate, which is listed on the New Jersey and the National Register of Historic Places.

Participants, in return for their effort and contribution, will not only enjoy overwhelming respect and garden love -- they will receive:

•  Signage that identifies their business, at each garden showcase site. This signage will be viewed by the visitors to the Strauss Museum during the spring, summer and fall.

•  Recognition on the AHHS Strauss Museum and the Atlantic Highlands websites and publicity on its social-media platforms (Facebook).

•  Publicity through news releases sent to regional media (including Two River Times, Asbury Park Press, The Star Ledger, Patch, NJ.Com, Garden Glamour, GardenerNews, Monmouth County weekly newspapers, blogs and social media).

•  A one-year classification as a Supporter and all the perks for that designation.

To secure a spot in this year’s Gardeners Showcase, or to obtain more information, please contact Lynn Fylak at: lynnfylak@gmail.com