Volunteer Spotlight – Orange County Master Gardeners

Master Gardener volunteers assist residents with a flower activity.

Dogwood Village would like to recognize the Orange County Master Gardeners for their contributions to the facility. This group has been assisting residents in the facility since 1997. The Master Gardeners are part of the Rapidan River Master Gardeners group under the auspices of Virginia Tech.

One of the stated goals of the Virginia Tech Master Gardening program is to provide educational opportunities and community involvement.  The group meets the second Friday in each month to provide the opportunity to learn about various plants and to provide residents with gardening and garden related activities.  The sessions are very “hands-on” to engage the participants, improve dexterity, and allow socialization with their peers and the Master Gardeners.

This program has “spun off” into horticultural therapy programs in facilities in two adjoining counties, and the many entries in the Orange County Fair as well as the yearly plant sale and the Christmas swags provide further exposure for Dogwood Village.

Since many of our residents are from rural backgrounds, this program provides an opportunity to keep them connected with that life by participating in activities including planting seeds, transplanting seedlings, flower arranging for judging at the local county fair, vegetable/ fruit tasting (from master gardeners gardens) and making Christmas swags from local greenery.

The program – since its inception – has always been self-supporting.  The sale of flowers/tomato plants and Christmas wreaths made by our residents and donations of some materials by the master gardeners provides enough funding to buy the materials needed to keep the program going.