March filled with classes at Clark Gardens | Local News

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MINERAL WELLS — It’s a good thing March has 31 days, because the non-profit botanical garden east of town has planned 34 events to cultivate healthy living from scratch.

“Grow at Clark Gardens – it’s about enriching people’s lives through wellness, art, gardening and other nature-based lifestyles,” said Deputy Director Ansley McEntire on March 1, the opening day of the spring season until July 3.

The brainchild of director Carol Clark Montgomery, Grow at Clark Gardens is also designed to bring people with similar interests together to share and learn.

Wellness week started last Thursday, and there are still classes on the 35-acre campus, including a meditation class on Wednesday and yoga in the gardens on Thursday.

Art Week kicks off this weekend with an art vendors market as well as classes in photography, quilting and birdwatching. McEntire said Art Week coincides with spring break for CIOs in Weatherford and Mineral Wells.

From March 19 to 25, Gardening and Horticulture Week includes lessons on growing from seed, soil characteristics and container planting. Montgomery will lead the seedling class, teaching the steps to successfully start plants from seed.

The month concludes with topics on backyard farming, including beekeeping and a course on raising chickens by Michele Sullivan Burns Poultry, based in Mineral Wells.

Almost all classes are priced as daily admission, with more specialized topics such as a deli class on how to artistically arrange meats, cheeses, vegetables, fruits, and crackers at $40 per couple Friday.

McEntire said the month-long event was timed to avoid conflicts with other Mineral Wells spring activities. It is also part of the city’s nascent plans to restore its early 20th-century status as a wellness tourism destination.

“We have so many elements that fit that,” she said. “We plan to do this event every year.”

McEntire said the gardens opened in 2000 with the aim of raising awareness of the natural environment.

“An important aspect was education, the involvement of young children and schools,” she said, adding that there was also a lot for adults. “We’re helping them with tools that maybe they didn’t think they could find in this area of ​​Weatherford/Mineral Wells.

Joan Thomas, director of outreach for the American Public Gardens Association, praised Clark Gardens for its community engagement.

“Savvy gardens like Clark know how to connect in order to maintain relevance,” Thomas said. “Clark is very in tune with how to connect.”

Thomas said the COVID pandemic could have helped the culture of gardening.

“Guess what (people) did – they walked out,” she said. “A garden is in most cases a very safe place.”

She added that public gardens, such as Chandor Gardens in Clark and Weatherford, attract 120 million visits a year. The two local gardens are also partner hosts for the national association’s 2023 annual conference at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel.

In addition to classes throughout March, Clark Gardens hosts two art exhibits, one featuring local artists and continuing through March 31 in the Story House.

The other is made up of 15 large framed photos by Spanish artist Fares Micue, on loan from the Denver Botanical Gardens. Dreams in Bloom, in which Micue blends the human body with floral explosions, runs through June 5 inside the chapel.

McEntire encouraged people to check out the full list and class schedules in each category.

“The best thing to do is go to our website and search for all of our upcoming events,” she said, adding that some classes will have placeholders. “A lot of them are just included in general admission.”

It’s $9 for adults, $7 for ages 65 and up, and $5 for ages 4-12. Annual membership for a family of up to four is $100, while individual memberships are $40 and couples can join for $60.

McEntire added that Clark Gardens is part of the American Horticulture Reciprocal Program.

“Our members can access hundreds of gardens,” she said, naming the Dallas Arboretum and Fort Worth Botanical Gardens before adding that the network is expanding to other states.

For more information, go to www.clarkgardens.org or call 940-682-4856.

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