Boxerwood Newsleaf – June 2019

——– News & Updates ——–

Coming in July – Annual Report 2019

I overheard a young camper exclaiming to his buddy –“I love Boxerwood! I wish I could live here!”

By Catrien van Assendelft ,
Executive Director & Sustainability Manager

Hearing such sentiments and listening to frogs in our pond, and early morning songbirds, is what offers such satisfying reward to the long hours of work and care needed to keep Boxerwood flourishing. Our fiscal year wraps up in June, and we issue our Annual Report in July to highlight the year’s happenings, our generous members and donors who financially support Boxerwood Education Association, and to celebrate the start of our 20th year as an incorporated non-profit. Watch your mailbox for the Annual Report – and visit the gardens when you have a moment!

Welcome Laurie Macrae

Boxerwood welcomes our newest team member – long time Boxerwood (and Munger family) friend, Laurie Macrae.

As Boxerwood’s new Development Coordinator working collaboratively with the leadership team and under the guidance of our executive director, Laurie is tasked with leading organizational efforts to coordinate and expand Boxerwood’s donor base, as well as to retain and inspire existing donors. Laurie joins Boxerwood after 2 decades of entrepreneurial leadership, directorships of 2 non-profits, executive leadership development coaching and 41 years in Rockbridge County. Click here to learn more about Laurie.


What is Garden Gold?

Leaf Mulch, of course
Available at Boxerwood – see below

Gardening season is here and Boxerwood’s garden staff has been busy loading leaf mulch for local gardeners from our mountain of shredded leaves.

Each fall, city crews collect leaves from the curbside throughout Lexington and bring them to Boxerwood for mulch. Leaves are packed with trace minerals drawn up by trees from deep in the soil.

Add leaves to your garden to feed earthworms and beneficial microbes, lighten heavy soil, and help sandy soil retain moisture. Leaves are an attractive mulch for flower gardens and are a fabulous source of carbon to balance the nitrogen in your compost pile, and they insulate tender plants from cold.

Ben Eland, Boxerwood Garden and Facilities Manager shares how he uses leaf mulch in his garden:

I put A LOT of leaf mulch from Boxerwood on my vegetable garden at home, and I have seen excellent results from this. Shredded leaves serve multiple functions in the garden: they hold water, suppress weeds, and supply a wide variety of nutrients.

I notice dramatic differences in soil that has been mulched with leaves: improved tilth and a greater number of beneficial soil fauna. I never till these leaves in; I leave them on the surface, and by next season they have broken down to a fine, dark humus. 

This builds topsoil from the top down, more closely mimicking the natural soil-building process, and fostering a healthy network of soil microbiota. In summary: more leaf mulch = less watering, less weeding, and more nutrients!

At Boxerwood, we use leaf mulch in flower beds, and we mulch trees with a mixture of wood chips and leaf mulch to replicate the composition of the forest floor. A cautionary note for those mulching trees: in recent years there was a recommendation to mulch trees with a layer of cardboard covered with leaves or wood chips, in order to reduce root competition from grass and weeds. However, this has been found to smother trees, and we have a lost a few trees at Boxerwood to this process. So although we still mulch with wood chips and shredded leaves, we don’t recommend using cardboard or any kind of smothering layer.

And although we are happy to have a mountain of shredded leaves at Boxerwood, the best place for leaves is right where they fall. Trees cycle nutrients through leaf litter, and when leaves are removed year after year, nutrients are slowly removed from the cycle. If you mow over leaves in the fall to shred them and then leave them in place, those nutrients will continue to be available where they are needed, your grass will still thrive, and your soil will be richer.

Leaf mulch is available adjacent to the main parking lot.Visitors may get mulch on their own.Donations are gladly accepted.

Boxerwood garden staff will load your truck/trailer using our tractor for $25 (Mon., Wed. & Fri. only). Please call ahead to confirm staff is on hand to fill your vehicle. 


At Boxerwood, There Is Always Something Happening!

Enjoy these photos of recent events.

Miniature Garden Family Workshop
A fun, creative day!!

Our three Miniature Gardening Family workshops were a growing success! So much so that participants are requesting another round. We look forward to hosting future workshops, so stay in touch!


Sunset Sound Bath in the Garden
Hosted by Metta Vibrations

Greg Burns lead a Sound Bath experience using Tibetan Singing Bowls to take participants on a journey deep within themselves while resting in the healing comfort of nature.

A portion of the proceeds from this event were donated to Boxerwood. Thanks to Greg and to all who attended!

Our next Yoga & Sound Bath takes place on July 16th
Details to be announced soon on our Events page.

——– Events & Programs ——–

You Spoke – We Listened
What other programs would you like to see?Share your talents and interests by hosting an event. Click here to send us an email – we value your input!

Back by popular demand!
Yoga In the Garden at Boxerwood
Hosted by Center of Gravity Yoga & Pilates
Friday, June 21, 2019 @ 5pm

Back by popular demand!
Full Moon Sunset Yoga & Sound Bath
Hosted by Metta Vibration
Tuesday, July 16, 2019 @ 7:00 pm

Music in the Garden Continues Through August
Six more great performances coming in July and August
Bring your family, chairs, and picnic baskets (or enjoy items from the on-site food trucks). Join old friends and new in the meadow for a fun and relaxing evening of great music in a beautiful natural setting.
Parking: $5 for non-members
Free for Boxerwood members. (Become a member!)

June 14 – Rockin Hoss & The Silver Spurs ~ Rock/Country

June 28– Joanna Bening &The Stolen Moments ~ Jazz

July 12 – The Coprolites ~VMI Faculty Band ~Rock/Covers

July 26 – Those Guys ~Rock/Blues

August 9 – JC Cowins & Friends ~ Soul/Funk 

August 23 – Red Hill Band ~Americana, Country, Folk, Blues, and more /Funk 

Huge thank you to our sponsors who help make this family-friendly event: Azurat Studio , BARC ConnectsComputer DoctorCornerStone Bank , Devils Backbone Brewing Company , Just Games LexingtonKendal at LexingtonPronto Caffé & GelateriaSouthern Inn Restaurant , & Walkabout Outfitter.


Summer Camps Continue

Limited space left in
remaining June camps

Contact Hannah West
Boxerwood Camp Coordinator
hannah@boxerwood.org

  • June 17-21: Wild Side Arts (rising 6th – 10th)
  • June 24-28: Boxerwood Adventure (rising 3rd – 6th)

Fall Programs in the Planning Stages

Fall Walk & Talk Series
Boxerwood staff will soon begin plans for the 2019 Fall Walk & Talk Series with the theme: “Living Lightly: Sustainability in our Homes/Gardens.” 

What programs would you like to see . . . or offer?
Send in your ideas and suggestions. If there are high-interest topics, we will try to accommodate your requests! Contact: catrien@boxerwood.org


——– Spotlight ——–

Spotlight focuses on items of interest to our readers.Send in suggestions and let us know what you want to see here!

The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Program
An affordable and convenient way to visit

America the Beautiful Passes
For more information: https://store.usgs.gov/pass

This Interagency Pass Program includes annual and lifetime passes that provide U.S. citizens and visitors an affordable and convenient way to visit Federal recreation lands.

Annual Pass: $80 – 16+older
Annual Pass – Military: free for current U.S. Military members and dependents

Lifetime Senior Pass: $80 – valid for pass holder’s lifetime – 62+ older, U.S. citizens or permanent resident.
Annual Senior Pass: $20 – valid for one year from month of purchase – 62+ older, U.S. citizens or permanent resident.

Access Pass (Free for lifetime with documentation of permanent disability, U.S. citizens and permanent residents).Volunteer Pass (earned with 250+ hours of volunteer service in public lands)

For Parents of 4th Graders

The Department of the Interior has a program called Every Kid In A Park that allows fourth graders and their families to visit national parks for free.Click here for more information.


Local Happenings

1st & 3rd Mondays each month:
Healthy Walks & Talks with Carilion
Sponsored by Carilion Clinic’s Community Health and Outreach, and Live Healthy Rockbridge Kids. Fun nature walks on the Chessie Trail and the River Walk in Buena Vista. Info call Holly Ostby 540-458-3595

June 22, 8am-2pm:
Hull’s Drive-In Community Market
Crafts, vendors, farmers, organizations, food trucks, and more

July 3, 5-10pm:
Inaugural Freedom Food Festival
Main St., Lexington: BBQ style event – music “celebrity” chef food booths, beer garden.

What will Boxerwood look like in 40, 50, or 60 years?

Trees planted in the Garden this year will be a gift to people yet to be. The children who come to Boxerwood this year and are inspired to care for our earth will be the stewards the future needs.

And, as ever, we need your help for this future to be made manifest.

Top photo: Boxerwood, circa 1954
Bottom photo: Boxerwood, circa 2014
Photos taken from a similar vantage point (note the chimney of the lodge in both photos)

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