South County Senior Center
Updated: May 31, 2023

South County Senior Center gardens are located at the senior center and the adjacent Edgewater Library on Stepney Lane in Edgewater, Maryland. The gardens stretch along the parking spots closest to the center. Over many years, this project has worked to reclaim abandoned gardens and supplement the efforts of Senior Center volunteer gardeners. The Master Gardener team and local volunteers have recovered the land from succession, controlled the weeds and brambles, found many original plantings, and added native flowers and trees. We have been fortunate over the years to partner with the Anne Arundel County Facilities crew in clearing diseased rose bushes, obtaining native plants, and seeing to larger scale care of the garden, such as yearly mulching.

In addition to enhancing the natural beauty of the Senior Center and Library environs and encouraging their development for the benefit of native species, a critical goal of the project is engaging users of the Senior Center and the Library. While the pandemic and the current renovation of the Senior Center have made it impossible for us to invite volunteers to join our workdays, we look forward to restarting this aspect of the project when we can do so easily and safely. Happily, each time we have been tending to the gardens, patrons have stopped by with questions about what we are doing, what kinds of plants are there and why, and what the project and the Master Gardeners are all about. These kind and good people love to ask questions, share their stories and advice, and always have a kind word to say about the garden and what it adds to the community.

In 2021 two Master Gardener interns became co-chairs of the project and spent the year learning a lot about the site from other MG’s and the local community and thinking about what might come next. In and beyond 2022, the project aims to recommit to its educational mission by beginning an initiative to install signage that provides both common and Latin names and whether the plant is native or ornamental for all the plants in the garden. Other short- and medium-term goals include installing paths and expanding the native plants section to provide a more holistic native habitat across the entirety of the garden. We also hope, even if we are unable to engage more directly with the public in 2022, to offer some safe outdoor educational opportunities with direct outreach to the Library and to the Senior Center when it reopens.

All Master Gardeners are invited to come to our planned work sessions. The work is easy, low-stress, and very enjoyable. Workdays tend to be scheduled on different days of the week, including late weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings, in an effort to accommodate a range of schedules. In addition to the new tasks we hope to undertake, there is always weeding, cleaning, watering, and general maintenance to do. Work sessions are advertised through the Friday Flash, direct emails, and the newsletter. We hope you’ll join us!