DCH employee explores new gardening trends and events

By ANDRE LAMAR • The Community News • February 20, 2011 


Wilmington, Del. — Sarah Deacle, assistant director of education and outreach with the Delaware Center for Horticulture (DCH), sat down with the Community News to discuss this year’s new garden trends, upcoming DCH events and more.


Q:  Why did the Delaware Center for Horticulture decide to host a program on developing a cottage garden?

A:  Every February I plan a “Help for the Home Gardener” lecture series. By February, cabin fever has set in. Gardeners are dreaming of spring and looking at flashy seed catalogs, but winter is still holding on. A fun evening of gardening images and expertise gives people hope and inspiration. Shelley Dillard of the Morris Arboretum will bring a presentation on Feb 24 about how to create the abundant blooms and flourishing looks of a cottage garden.


Q:  What are some gardening trends for 2011?

A:  There’s a tremendous surge in interest in vegetable growing for home consumption. Seed companies report record sales for veggie seeds and we’re receiving many inquiries from people who are interested in community gardens and urban agriculture. In response, we’ve redesigned a section of the DCH gardens in Trolley Square, to highlight what we call “edible ornamentals.” Edible ornamentals are plants that can serve as both ornamental display and food sources.

Exercising through gardening is another theme. More and more, we’re getting asked to partner with groups focused on exercise, active lifestyles and obesity. Gardening is great exercise with the added benefits of producing food and horticultural beauty, while you work out.


Q:  What do you enjoy most about horticulture?

A:  I love understanding the science behind it and helping others understand how and why plants work the ways they do. I love the mixture of science, nature and gardener-to-gardener sharing. Horticulture is such a positive field and there are few things more rewarding than using plants to create spaces that are beautiful and environmentally sustainable.


Q:  How has this cold and snowy winter impacted gardens in Delaware?

A:  Snow cover is a great insulator and tends to protect plant material underneath it. Ice storms and freeze/thaw cycles that we often see in late winter causes the most damage. Plants have a hard time adjusting to quick temperature changes.



Age: 36

Residence: Trolley Square

Occupation: Assistant Director of Education and Outreach, Delaware Center for Horticulture

Education: B.S. College of William and Mary, M.S. Michigan State University

Family: Husband: Scott and son David. Another child is due in March

Hobbies: I’d love to spend more time maintaining my own garden.