Chilton County Master Gardeners presented awards at our February 2022 meeting. Bronze stars for 100-299 volunteer hours were awarded to Patricia Agee, Gail Brooks Linda Church, Sharon Hosch, Peggy McGraw, Ruby Moberg, Jim Rabey and Jane Rabey. For 300-499 volunteer hours Clem Clapp and Judy Cobb were awarded silver stars. Top intern hours was awarded to Victoria Brady (79) and top CEUs to Lynn Webb.
Certificates were presented to our top hours volunteers: 1st Lyn Webb (476.5), 2nd Harriett Jackson (346) and 3rd Sondra Henley (317.5). Helpline pins were awarded to several members who worked the helpline.
Our Master Gardener of the Year award went to Harriett Jackson. She is our AMGA Advisory Council Representative, serves on the ACES Master Gardener Steering Committee, our Demo Garden Pollinator Bed chair and always steps up to volunteer her time for Master Gardener activities.
Five of our new interns attended the meeting and we were so excited to have them there for their first CCMGA meeting.
In addition to our awards presentations we had a great program, “Edibles in the Landscape”, presented by Autauga County Master Gardener Debbie Boutelier. Debbie showed us how vegetables, herbs and fruits can be incorporated in our landscape in an attractive way. Sometimes these can be hidden behind a border of evergreen shrubs or a fence but sometimes are in plain sight. It is necessary to pay attention to the hard scapes and as with any landscape, care should be taken to use design elements of size, form and color when choosing plants.
Antique Roses presented by Jason Powell of Petals from the Past was the program for our January meeting. What a treat to have our area expert on antique roses to talk with us about climbing roses! Antique roses are those introduced before 1867, after that year hybrid teas were introduced. Many antique climbers bloom once in the spring but there are repeat bloomers. Jason also talked about fertilizer requirements and pruning techniques for climbers. One of our door prizes was a potted antique rose won by Joan Barber. Photos by Audrey Giles
Chilton County Master Gardeners celebrated Christmas with a covered dish dinner held at the Clanton Recreation Center. After time for fellowship, a short meeting, a wonderful lunch and great desserts, we played a rousing round of Dirty Santa. Stealing was definitely the name of the game this year! We appreciated being able to enjoy the company of our Master Garden friends. Photos by Diane Clapp and Audrey Giles.
The program topic for our Chilton County November meeting was “Let’s Learn About Hostas”presented by Autauga County Advanced Master Gardener Bionca Lindsay. Bionca was such an entertaining speaker and so down to earth. She gave us the basics of purchasing, planting, dividing, fertilizing and watering hosta and shared tips to help us be successful! She suggests letting the plants bloom as pollinators will definitely benefit. Who knew that hostas come in sizes from mini to extra large?
CCMGA voted on our officers for 2022 and they are: President: Pat Farmer Vice President: Gail Brooks Secretary: Treasia Bennett Treasurer: Lyn Webb Congratulations to our new officers and a big Thank You for stepping up!
Article by Trisha Williams and Audrey Giles; photos by Diane Clapp and Audrey Giles
If you have ever thought of becoming a Master Gardener volunteer, NOW is the time to register! Chilton County classes will be held at the Chilton County Extension Office February 3rd through May 5. SAVE $50 if you register and pay between Nov. 3 and Dec 19! Registration closes Jan 23. For more information see flyer or call (205)280-6268 Here’s the link to online registration Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom! HTTPS://www.aces.edu/go/2022springMGclass
The Fall AMGA Master Gardener Seminar, Fall in Love with Your Garden, was hosted by the Autauga County Master Gardeners Association. Fudd Graham, PhD, discussed Identifying and Encouraging Native Insects in Your Garden. He was followed by Desmond Layne,PhD, who told us about the Transformation Garden being developed at Auburn University with fundraising in progress. This garden is designed as a green space and a teaching garden for students. The garden will include row crops, hydroponics, invasive plants, perennials, annuals, pollinator garden and more. What a real treat to hear Leila Scott Kelly, PhD, talk about Color in the Fall and Winter Landscape; she was informative as well as humorous. The last program was presented by hummingbird expert Fred Bassett. He taught us about the Fall Hummingbird Migration and discussed our ruby throated hummingbirds as well as many others that may visit during the winter. Following the seminar ACMGA hosted tours of their public gardens including Prattvillage, Prattville-Autauga Demonstration Garden and Wilderness Park. Several Chilton Master Gardeners attended and one that has dual membership was a volunteer for the program. We really enjoyed the programs and fellowship with Master Gardeners from around Alabama. Photos by Diane Clapp, Trisha Williams and Audrey Giles. Article by Trisha Williams.
Straw bale gardening was the program for our September meeting. Eric Schavey, ACES Regional Extension Agent in Commercial Horticulture, taught us the 10 day process to prepare a straw bale for growing vegetables, herbs and even annuals. The items needed are the straw bale, ammonium sulfate, water, fertilizer (8-8-8) and lime. Transplants work best for this type of gardening. Eric was a great speaker and we really enjoyed his presentation. He even left all the items used in his presentation for door prizes! Photos by Diane Clapp and Audrey Giles
Chilton County Master Gardeners celebrated the fortieth anniversary of Alabama Extension Master Gardeners Volunteers with a luncheon at the Chilton Research and Extension Center. We enjoyed visiting with retired CEC Gay West and retired 4H Agent Josine Walters. The crew at CREC also joined us for lunch and a delicious chocolate celebration cake. Hurricane Ida gave us cooler but damp weather so we headed home to watch the ACES Zoom presentation. Thanks to Mary Lou McNabb and Extension Agent Gary Murray for starting the very first MG class in Alabama. Thanks also go to Elouisa Stokes(40 active MG years), Tony Glover and Dave Williams for their contributions to the Master Gardener Extension Program.
Chilton County Master Gardeners enjoyed a program about landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted presented by Charlene LeBleu from Auburn University. Olmsted was a journalist, social critic, public administrator and architect. He is known as the father of American architecture and well known for designing Central Park with partner Calvert Vaux as well as other public parks. Another design he is known for is the grounds of the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC. His planning and landscape consultancy was carried on by his sons and include plans for many parks and public spaces including many universities. Check our August 2021 meeting minutes for more details of the program found under the About CCMGA tab. April 2022 will be an Olmsted Celebrate Parks month. For information: https://olmsted200.org/
Thanks go to Lynn Webb and Jane Rabey for our beautiful decorations and the fun snacks. What could be better than chocolate chip cookies and ice cream! Photos by Trisha Williams and Lyn Webb.
Chilton County Master Gardeners had a last minute change of meeting location and met at the City of Clanton Zoning and Planning Room. Autauga County Master Gardener Anthony Yarborough spoke to us about Destructive Garden insects. We learned about several insects that attack our vegetable gardens such as flea beetles, squash bugs and the always hiding tomato hornworm. Let’s not forget about the white flies, flea hopper, pickle worms and more. He told how to scout insects and control them early. He suggests following Integrated Pest Management using cultural and mechanical methods before using insecticides. When insecticides are needed start with Bt, Sevin, or Milky Spore Powder before using more potent chemicals. Always spray early or late to help protect bees.
Our members were encouraged to help with our plant dig on Thursday, seed saving, Helpline calls, and sharing vegetables through the Grow More Give More campaign. We had a good turnout and expect to be back at our normal meeting place in August, hope to see ALL of you there!