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!
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
The interns in the 2017 CCMGA Master Gardener Class are stepping up and volunteering with many activities these days. One of the recent events was an ACES Nutrition Education Program presented by Lisa McCullough at the YMCA for soccer sign-up day. Intern Zuly Lemus served as Spanish interpreter for the event. Pam Ousley held a Chef 4-H program at the ACES office and her helpler was MG intern Joyce Lawson. Joyce also serves on the 4-H Advisory Council, along with CCMGA members Pat and Jerry Farmer.
It is time to make plans to attend the 2017 AMGA Conference, Gardening Heritage, in Huntsville, AL May 1-3. The events will be held at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens on Monday and the Jackson Center on Tuesday and Wednesday. You will not want to miss the great speakers, workshops, Silent Auction, vendors, seed saver exchange or the door prizes! Find a friend to travel with and make your reservations now. Anyone registered before February 28 will be in a drawing for a refund of your registration! All MGs should have received the conference brochure by mail but the brochure and online registration can be found at Alabama Master Gardener Association . Those of us that have attended before can assure you that it will be fun and educational as well.
Nelson Wynn, ACES Agent III, welcomes everyone to the 2017 Master Gardener Intern Class. We are so excited to have 20 participants signed up this year to take the class! Sometimes for our small county, it’s difficult to have the minimum 15 people sign up. We look forward to working with each and every one of them and them becoming members as soon as they get certified! Of course, they’ll hopefully be coming to our regular monthly meetings, the second Tuesday of each month, held at the Jemison Municipal Complex building in Jemison. Here’s a Smilebox of a few more photos from the 1st day.