JACKSONVILLE, N.C. – The community came together Thursday morning to cut the ribbon on the new Discovery Gardens in Jacksonville.
Located just behind the Cooperative Extension Multipurpose Building, the Discovery Gardens is an inviting space for the community with a summer house, nature boardwalk, and raised bed vegetable gardens. The gardens also feature a lawn mall for hosting public events and an area for shuffleboard.
“Asphalt and concrete seem to be a large part of people’s lives these days,” Paul Leslie, master gardener volunteer, said. “Anything that can get people outside is good.”
Its development began in 2004 when the Master Gardeners Volunteers recognized the need for a public garden in Onslow County.
“The master gardeners saw early on that one Onslow County doesn’t have a public garden,” Lisa Rayburn, extension agent, said. “And they also saw the benefit of a place where people could learn about gardening and the plants that grow well in our area and just have a safe and enjoyable place for people to enjoy being outside.”
In 2011, the Onslow County Board of Commissioners gave the Cooperative Extension permissionto use the land for the Discovery Gardens with construction getting underway in 2012. Thursday’s ribbon cutting celebrated the most recent phase of construction, which includes the completion of all pathways, the summer house and the irrigation system.
Thursday’s ribbon cutting celebrated the most recent phase of construction, which includes the completion of all pathways, the summer house and the irrigation system.
“We’d like to bring our books and sit here and read,” Barbara Nichols, a resident who visited the gardens, said. “It’s just so nice and so beautiful.”
The irrigation system pulls from cisterns that collect rainwater off the roofs of the Multipurpose Building and Farmers’ Market. The completion of the phase means that all hardscaping is in place for the Master Gardeners to plant several gardens, which will include wildlife, pollinator, shade and heritage plant gardens.
One more phase of construction is needed with the eventual completion of the ornamental pond, children’s farm garden, and educational signage.