The Simpson Demonstration Gardens next to the Alexandria Y celebrated their 20th Anniversary with an Open House on Sunday, 22 September. Between 30 and 40 people attended the event, held on a crisp fall-like day. The gardens include a Waterwise garden (the first one created), tufa gardens, large and small berms for specimen trees, a pollinator garden, a bed with a butterfly soak, and a scented garden, among other beds. The gardens include both native and non-native species, some rare Alpine plants in the tufa beds, and a range of unusual plants demonstrating interesting variants of common plants as well as unusual species.
The Master Gardeners provided seed packets, recipes using garden products, tiny starter plants, and snacks including the use of mint, sage, zucchini, pumpkin, and other edible plants. Many native plants were alive with bees and butterflies, including a black swallowtail (pictured) and many skippers. The gardens are open daily for visitors, and Master Gardeners are at work maintaining them every Tuesday morning, weather permitting.