Vermont Master Gardener Marijke Niles of Starksboro and her succulent collection at the Middlebury Farmers Market in the Marble Works.
Vermont certified Gardener and Master Composter Marijke Niles of Starksboro believes gardening never stops, regardless of the season. A native of the Netherlands, Niles inherited the Dutch passion for gardening and all things wild. Nile’s gardens, located at 1299 Robert Young Rd., are open to the public.
“My gardens focus on combining color and beauty,” she said.
Her unusual gardens encompass several acres in an alpine-like setting with views of nearby Mt. Adams in the Green Mountain Range.
Called Marijke’s Perennial Gardens Plus, the Starksboro spread includes 39 exquisite display gardens. The gardens are all certified National Wildlife Habitat, Bird Friendly Habitat, and Wildlife Habitat which them special compared to other commercial gardens.
Niles was recently at the season finale of the Middlebury Farmers Market. On display were homemade jams—raspberry, gooseberry, blueberry, currant, josta, and alpine strawberry—as well as many cold-hardy groundcover, cacti, and succulent plants including exotics such as African euphorbia and kalanchoe.
Everything we do in the gardens is natural and we are reducing our carbon footprint,” she said.
This Vermont Master Gardener has simple advice for all Vermont gardeners, be they neophyte or experienced—
“Please avoid chemicals in your gardens,” she said. “If you do, nature will reward you.”