August CCMGA Meeting

At the August CCMGA meeting Judy Cobb received her Master Gardener Certificate and her Master Gardener Badge. We congratulate Judy on completing the requirements for certification and welcome her to our association.

Regional Extension Agent for Forestry, Wildlife and Natural Resources, Andrew Baril, talked with us about methods for controlling moles, voles, gophers, raccoons, deer and other pests in the garden. He told us about traps, controlling the environment and just accepting an acceptable amount of loss. Although we were all waiting on a magic way to repel deer, Andy said the best method is double fencing or electric fencing designed for deer.

Master Gardener receives certificate





Sprucing up Extension Office flower beds

The Chilton County Extension Office recently had a new, larger sign installed. Fifteen liriope plants had to be removed to make room for installation of the sign. These same plants were re-planted after being cleaned of the dichondra that had invaded the bed. Other maintenance included weeding the beds, adding a thick layer of newspapers for mulch, and pruning the Guara lindheimeri “Whirling Butterflies” and Knock Out roses. All beds received a fresh layer of pine straw. Thanks to Chilton County Master Gardeners (left to right) Diane Clapp, Wally Walters, Alice Broome, Sondra Henley, Susan Cleckler, Larry Jones, and Lee Walters for arriving at 7 AM and sprucing up the Extension Sign flower bed and the other front beds. Photo and article provided by Sondra Henley.

Working beds at Extension Office












Putting pine straw in Extension beds

July CCMGA Meeting

Chilton County Master Gardeners presented certificates and badges to Elaine Webb, Sherry Ray and Faye C. Collins this month. We congratulate them on completing requirements for MG certification.

Our program this month was presented by Central Alabama Master Gardeners Lee and Amanda Borden.  Amanda has earned her Master Gardener advanced certification in organic home vegetable gardening and Lee has earned his in organic home fruit and nut production. They practice sustainable farming on their farm in Elmore County. Their program was about fall vegetable gardening: what, when and how to plant a fall vegetable garden. The program was a timely reminder to get our fall gardens started and extend our growing season!

Interns get certified.

Speakers Lee and Amanda Borden
Lee and Amanda Borden










June CCMGA Meeting

Chilton County Master Gardens enjoyed the June program presented by Central Alabama MG and horticulturist Jane McCarthy on efforts to create a historically correct garden at the Governor’s Mansion in Montgomery. The first step was to educate the inmate workers that help with the gardening. Cleaning the garden and a lot of renewal pruning was done. Her group is trying to ID existing plants, create a plan and plant with emphasis on plants that would be historically correct. Jane is also involved in the Old Alabama Town Herb Society and the creation of Montgomery Botanical Gardens at Oak Park. All the projects are in progress. She invited us to set up a tour of the Governor’s Mansion garden and she would even welcome us to her personal garden.

The highlight of our meeting was the presentation of badges and certificates to three interns that have met the requirements to become certified Master Gardeners. Congratulations to Joyce Lawson, Susan Cleckler, and Donna Babin!

Article and photos by Trisha Williams

June CCMGA meeting

Planting hanging baskets in Jemison

Chilton Master Gardeners planted 60 baskets for the City of Jemison.  Pictured left to right is: Alan Reed, Lee Walters, Wally Walters, Margaret Goolsby-Chair,  Pat Farmer, Susan Cleckler and Sondra Henley.  Those that helped but not pictured were: Lanell Baker, Linda Hays, Rick Miller and Harriett Jackson.  Baskets were hung throughout the City of Jemison.
Photo and article by Sondra Henley

Master Gardeners plant Jemison baskets


May Plant Swap

Chilton County Master Gardeners held their annual Plant Swap on May 9th at the home of Lee and Wally Walters on Lake Mitchell. The weather was perfect for our meeting and lunch on the patio overlooking the lake. We enjoyed BBQ pork provided by our hosts and side dishes and desserts our members brought. We drew numbers to swap plants and had a great variety of plants to share including tomatoes, ginger lilies, daisies and daffodil bulbs. As usual we all went home with lots of new plants for our gardens. Now to convince someone to dig those holes–oh, I guess that is me!  A huge thank you goes to the Walters for hosting our Plant Swap this year.

Photos and article by Trisha Williams


AMGA Conference

On May 1-3 several Chilton County Master Gardeners attended the Alabama Master Gardener Association Conference at the Huntsville Botanical Garden and the Jackson Center in Huntsville. Classes included Ferns, Orchids, Roses, Hummingbirds, Landscape Design and Miniature Landscapes. We especially enjoyed Traditional Folk Herbalism, Seeds of the South (Heirloom Seeds) and Protecting our Pollinators. Some of our group also made  a Papercrete planter. This year the conference included a Seed Swap for the first time and we were able to select some seeds that were new to us. Of course no conference is complete without great vendors with lots of plants and unusual crafts.
Article and photos by Trisha Williams


Interns Complete 2017 Master Gardener Class

Nineteen Master Gardener Interns completed the 2017 class today with “Small Fruits” taught by Edgar Vinson, and a tour of the Chilton Research and Experiment Center. They celebrated with a salad bar furnished by class members and a fantastic “garden” cake made and decorated by class facilitator Trisha Williams! They will receive their certificates as soon as they complete the required hours to become a member.

April Master Gardener Meeting

Jason Powell at April meeting
Jason Powell at April meeting with Sue Webb

Chilton County Master Gardeners met at Petals From the Past in April and thirteen of our Master Gardener Class members joined us. Jason Powell presented a program on Tough as Nails Plants for the Southern Garden. He discussed bulbs that bloom in spring or summer, lose their foliage, survive in place and reappear the next year. Reseeding annuals drop their seeds and need no care through the summer. He also discussed some tough roses, perennials and shrubs that can withstand drought conditions. Photo by Trisha Williams


Fruit Workshop and Grape Pruning

Chilton County Master Gardeners  attended a Small Fruit and Grape Production Workshop on March 8 at the Chilton Research and Extension Center.  Dr. Elina Coneva, Auburn University Department of Horticulture spoke on blueberry and grape varieties and gave a demonstration in the field on pruning European hybrid grape vines. Dr. Edgar Vinson, Extension Horticulture Specialist, discussed commercial strawberry production.  Kevin Burkett, Regional Extension Agent for Farm and Agribusiness Management, spoke on Commercial Farm Budgeting. A muscadine pruning demonstration was given by Matthew Price, CREC Research Assisstant. Our Master Gardeners found the workshop to very interesting and informative.

In preparation for the fruit workshop, Chilton County  Master Gardeners volunteered at the CREC pruning  grape vines. On the first day Diane Clapp, Lamar Giles, Bill Hairrell, Sondra Henley, Harriett Jackson, Rick Miller, Alan Reed and Lee Walters helped. The second day the MG volunteers were Alice Broome, Lamar Giles, Harriett Jackson, Rick Miller, Alan Reed, Lee Walters and Sue Webb.  Harriett Jackson and Alan Reed finished up on the third day.

Photos by Harriett Jackson


Master Gardener prunning grapes

Master Gardeners pruning vines