Grapevine Garden Club wants to grow a garden of learning by funding city greenhouse

Posted Monday, Nov. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Neil Sperry Nov. 26 Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Marshall Grain Company at 3525 William D. Tate Ave. in Grapevine, Calloway’s Nursery at 760 Grapevine Highway in Hurst or Calloway’s Nursery at 291 E. Southlake Blvd. in Southlake. For information, go to grapevinegardenclub.com.

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The Grapevine Garden Club is raising money to build a greenhouse at the Grapevine Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park and is turning to a gardening guru for help.

Garden expert Neil Sperry, a familiar voice in Texas horticulture, will speak at a Nov. 26 fundraiser titled, “A Morning with Neil Sperry: Texas Home Landscaping Planning and Plants.”

For $15, garden aficionados will be treated to advice from Sperry as well as photos of his own garden and other notable gardens he has visited.

The event will be held at 10 a.m. at the Palace Theatre, located at 300 South Main Street in Grapevine.

Sperry is not charging for his appearance because he has a long-standing business relationship of more than 30 years with garden club member James Smith.

Smith reached out to Sperry “as a sweet gesture to me,” said his wife, Debbie, also a club member.

“He did this sweet thing because he knows of my enthusiasm for the club,” Debbie Smith said. “They are a wonderful organization.”

Beckie Underwood, co-chairwoman of the event, said Sperry is the best in the area.

“Neil’s knowledge and experience have made him our region’s most trusted source of help and we’re thrilled to be able to bring his expertise to area gardeners. It’s an added plus that we’ll be raising funds for the greenhouse at the same time,” said Underwood.

The Grapevine Garden Club and the city’s Parks and Recreation Department are seeking to obtain grants and raise matching funds and donations totaling $150,000 to build the greenhouse. The gardens, located at 411 Ball Street, feature trails, streams, ponds, sitting areas and several hundred plant varieties.

The city will build the required infrastructure and access road. After the greenhouse is constructed, annual expenses will be budgeted and managed by the city.

“We believe that a greenhouse will provide opportunities to expand the gardens’ educational classes by creating an “all season” growing environment and provide a laboratory for hands-on lessons in plant propagation, floriculture, transplanting and soil preparation,” said Joetta King, a longtime club member.

The proposed aluminum frame greenhouse will include a head house for potting and tool storage. It will have a strong polycarbonate adjustable roof and side windows. Its temperature and ventilation will be automatically regulated with energy efficient environmental controls and a shade system. It will have multiple irrigation zones including mist, drip, and overhead watering. The facility will be landscaped to blend into the natural setting of the garden and will be ADA accessible.

“The greenhouse will support conservation and environmental classes that teach native plant and water-wise sustainable gardening practices, composting, how to create a wildlife habitat and how to grow vegetables and still have a beautiful garden to enjoy,” King said.

Classes will be taught by educators and horticultural professionals and offered to residents in Grapevine and surrounding communities, including seniors, adults, schools and youth groups. The Botanical Gardens’ docent program will be offered to individuals and other volunteers who want to “get their hands dirty” working in the greenhouse facility.

“The greenhouse would serve so much as an educational experience year round instead of only during the growing season,” said Lisa Grove, horticulturist for the Botanical Gardens. “Plus, it will give it some much color during the winter. It’ll make a huge difference.”

The Grapevine Garden Club was established in 1932 and has more than 200 members who live in Grapevine, Colleyville, Keller, Roanoke, Southlake and Trophy Club and other surrounding communities.

Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367

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