PHOTO : GINA SIEGERT
There is always a need for volunteers at the Arboretum , and you can join the team . People work in all different parts of the organization . Not just maintaining the gardens , but in the office and gift shop as well . So you don ’ t have to be able to get down in the dirt on your hands and knees to make an impact . There are opportunities for all people at all ages and with all levels of ability . Currently more than 350 volunteers make up the Arboretum family that keeps it growing and thriving . Visit a lot , once a month , or once a year , whatever fits your schedule . Every hour is appreciated . Donations can be made in person or online , and there are also memberships available . With a membership , you show your support of the activities at the Arboretum . You also get 10 percent off in the already tax-free gift shop , and you get the quarterly newsletter to keep up with what ’ s happening with your investment at the Arboretum . You can also show you support in the form of memorial or honorarium trees as well as bricks and pavers . You can go through that process on the website . The investment is handled wisely , but there are some costs that even volunteers can ’ t offset .
“ Especially when you ’ ve got the pond running and the electricity and the water featues and the pumps involved , that stuff is not cheap to maintain . And supply chain issues have not missed us .”
And activities like replacing annuals , most of which are grown from plugs , have to be replaced from scratch every season . Thousands of annuals not only mean a lot of work for volunteers but a lot of cost too . But they ’ re so worth it . And each year brings a theme to the Botanical Gardens ’ Annual Bed . This year ’ s theme is “ The Games We Play .” So look for beds that highlight games like tic-tac-toe , duck duck goose , football , RAGBRAI , and more . They don ’ t look like much now , Hirtz warned us , but as soon as they fill in , well , the game is afoot !
While things bloom at different times , peak seasons for visits include the when the roses bloom in July , and magnolias were already booming back on Mother ’ s ’ Day . But the point is , if you come more than once , the experience is going to be different each time if you pay attention to the details .
“ This year has been weird with the weather . Everything ’ s been a bit off . Some blooms off a week , some off by a month . So it ’ s been tricky to get a feel for a normal year in my first year when it ’ s been anything but a normal year .”
Normal or not , summer is basically here , so for Jenna Hirtz and crew , it ’ s grow time ! •
SUNDAY , JUNE 26 @ 9 AM – 1 PM DUBUQUE ARBORETUM & BOTANICAL GARDENS HERB GARDEN AREA HerbFest is hosted annually by the Herb Society of Dubuque and takes place in the Herb Garden area of the Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at Marshall Park . Come join a celebration of all things herb including the 2022 Herb of the Year , The Violaceae family . Members of the family include wild violet , Johnny-Jump-Up , viola , and pansy . Events cover the day from 9 a . m . to noon . A silent auction runs 9 a . m . to 1 p . m . as do tours of the herb garden . Grab-and-go bags of herbal treats are available , and handcrafted items for sale include herbal gifts , cat toys , skin creams , eye pillows , and more . You can also pick up herbal sample plants while supplies last . •
DUBUQUE365 . COM Issue # 409 May 26 – June 8 , 2022 365INK MAGAZINE 21