Vision: Growing Healthy Habits
The Enchanted Garden’s primary focus is a teaching garden. We believe that young people often learn best through hands-on experiences. Adults can find inspiration in the variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, perennials, shrubs, and trees growing in themed beds. Gardening offers opportunities to learn about food, nutrition, sustainable gardening practices, and wildlife.
Pollinator Habitat Garden
Our newest garden bed was designed with pollinators in mind. Did you know that pollinators are essential to life on earth? Scientists estimate that 1 out of 3 bites of food and 85% of the world’s flowering plants exist because of pollinators. The Howard County Garden Club helped plan and install a variety plants that are known to attract pollinators like bees, butterflies and moths. The number of pollinators are in decline due to habitat loss, pesticide use, and disease. We can all play a part and help restore pollinators.
Try out our newest outdoor education activity, a StoryWalk ®. HCLS has teamed up with Howard County Recreation and Parks and the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area (MPEA) to offer a new way to engage with nature and literature.
A StoryWalk® is a deconstructed children’s book made into signs placed along a trail where visitors can stroll and follow the story from page to page. Combine reading, physical activity, and family time outdoors while walking through meadows and forest.
A new StoryWalk® promoting environmental literacy will be featured at MPEA each season.
The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.
Growing for the Howard County Food Bank
The demonstration gardening area features a variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers planted in raised beds and along the perimeter. The food we grow is donated to the Howard County Food Bank. Our spring bounty included lettuce, strawberries, broccoli, parsley, arugula, and radish weighing in at 38 pounds! With the help of Master Gardeners and volunteers our summer vegetable beds, edible landscape and pizza garden look just as promising. Stay tuned for information about upcoming harvests!
Enchanted Garden Certifications
The Enchanted Garden design reflects our environmental sustainability goals and compliments the LEED Gold certification of the branch building. Pathway materials are permeable, and the rain garden, rain barrels, and bioswale slow stormwater runoff. Composting along with the native plantings represent some of the sustainable components chosen purposefully for the garden. Throughout the garden you will find informational signs that describe the purpose and benefits of sustainable gardening practices. The Enchanted Garden has earned several certifications thanks to the efforts of youth gardeners, Master Gardeners, and community volunteers.
The Howard County Library System’s (HCLS) Enchanted Garden is an official Monarch Waystation as certified by MonarchWatch. The garden features a habitat beneficial to monarch butterflies during each stage of their lifecycle. HCLS’ curriculum educates students about the monarch’s life cycle and current plight.
Certified Wildlife Habitat
Provide water, food, cover, and places for wildlife to raise young. Eco-friendly practices along with native plants help support people and wildlife like birds, bees, butterflies, and other creatures. The Enchanted Garden is proud to have earned this certification through the National Wildlife Federation, thanks to a Tween Sprout class project.
The gardeners that maintain the Enchanted Garden are committed to using sustainable landscape and gardening practices that improve water quality and conserve natural resources. Our efforts led to our University of Maryland Extension Bay-Wise Certification.
Enchanted Garden Explorer Packs (Temporarily suspended)
Visit the Enchanted Garden and experience nature with Explorer Packs for families. Each pack contains a seasonal self-guided activity and supplies. Available at the Children’s Research Desk.
Try out Explorer Packs, available for check out for use in our Enchanted Garden. Each garden season a new theme is introduce. Packs include a self-guided activity that invites participants to use their senses, to explore the garden and report their discoveries in words and or pictures.
Volunteers, Clubs, and Classes
The Enchanted Garden is a community-based teaching garden and we are thankful for the partnership and support of many organizations and individuals that have collaborated with HCLS.
University of Maryland Extension Master Gardeners volunteer hundreds of hours to support our youth classes and to maintain our garden. Master Gardeners host Ask A Master Gardener and Compost Demonstrations during the growing season. Check out our class calendar for times and dates.
Garden Clubs from Howard County donate funds, volunteer in youth garden classes and help plan and plant new garden beds.