Fort Ticonderoga’s King’s Garden is alive with trees, shrubs, flowering plants and vegetables designed to encourage relaxation and exploration.
Several new learning opportunities are available this summer for adults and children, starting with the Hands-on Horticulture series program “Making Sense of Lavender.” This series focuses on the history and care lavender (July 1 – 12) and the bearded iris (Aug. 12 – 30), plus new programs highlighting beneficial insects (July 15 – 26) and preserving flowers (July 29 – Aug. 9). The programs are on-going from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Also this season, Fort Ticonderoga offers programs for children ages 3-8 that engage them in garden-related activities. Fort Ticonderoga participates in the Let’s Move Museum and Gardens national initiative to promote physical activity and healthy eating habits. The “Growing Up with Gardening: Sow, Grow & Know” series encourages children to explore the relationships that seeds, plants, insects and flowers have to everyday life through stories and hands-on learning. The program is offered on four Tuesday mornings, July 9 and 23, and Aug. 6 and 20 at 10:30 a.m. On alternate Tuesdays people can explore the Pavilion landscape and surrounding wild areas on a guided nature walk for children (July 2, 16, 30 and Aug. 13, 27).
The herb garden is the setting for herb harvesting demonstrations every Friday at 10:30 a.m. during July, August and September. Fort gardeners discuss the individual plants in the herb garden, their uses and explain how to harvest different types. Visitors are encouraged to touch, smell and taste as well as help in the harvest.
Guided and self-guided tours of the gardens are available daily along with a scavenger hunt and displays in the formal garden, Three Sisters Garden, Children’s Garden and Garrison Garden.
The King’s Garden is one of North America’s oldest gardens dating to the French occupation of the Fort in the mid-18th century. Today it is the largest public garden in the Lake Champlain- Adirondack Region. Visitors to the Garden explores centuries of horticulture history.
The walled King’s Garden, a colonial revival garden, was originally designed in 1921 by leading landscape architect Marian Coffin. The formal elements – a reflecting pool, manicured lawn and hedges, and brick walls and walkways – are softened by a profusion of annuals and perennials, arranged by color and form. Heirloom flowers and modern cultivars are used to recreate the historic planting scheme. Visitor favorites include the lavender border, towering hollyhocks, bearded irises, dinner plate dahlias and many types of phlox.
Outside of the nine-foot brick walls of the colonial revival King’s Garden, the Discovery Gardens include a children’s garden, an interpretive 18th century garrison garden, and Three Sisters Garden. The restored Lord and Burnham greenhouse, charming gazebo, sweeping lawns and shady picnic spots invite visitors to explore the landscape.
For more information go online at www.FortTiconderoga.org or call 585-2821.