At the July meeting Chilton County Master Gardeners presented Master Gardener certificates and badges to our first three Interns to certify this year. Congratulations to Cheryl Gritton, Hugh Nichols and Kerry Rush for meeting the requirements to become certified Alabama Master Gardeners.
Dr. Sue Webb, a Master Gardener and a native plant specialist at Petals From the Past, presented ”Planting for the Planet-Native Plants for Beauty and Function.” She stressed the importance of plants to our planet and wildlife. The presentation included trees, shrubs and perennial natives that are great choices for our gardens and are good food or habitat plants for birds and butterflies. Sue reminded us to plants for all seasons and to plant perennials in drifts.
Our very special Chilton County Extension Adminstrative Assistant, Elaine Densmore, is set to retire at the end if this month. We managed to surprise Elaine with a gift card from all of us. Happy Retirement to a wonderful person and friend to Master Gardeners! Photos by Diane Clapp
What fun we had at our June meeting! We played a game called ”Are You Smarter Than a Farmer?” hosted by Jesse Owen, a Regional Extension Agent with Calhoun County. After spinning a wheel to determine a category such as fruits/vegetables, livestock, row crops and more, a question was asked. Prizes were awarded for correct answers; sometimes the contestant had a little help from friends!
It was great to meet our new Chilton County Extension Coordinator, Lucy Edwards. Lucy has been with Extension for several years serving as a Regional Extension Agent for Home Horticulture in South Alabama and more recently in Northwest Alabama. We are excited to have Lucy in Chilton County and look forward to working with her.
Sharon Hosch presented a powerpoint with general information about Geocaching and our geocache located at the Demo Garden. We have had three Geocache visitors to the garden in the short time it has been listed.
Pollinator Gardening was the topic for the June Chilton County Master Gardeners’ “Talks in the Garden.” Master Gardener Harriett Jackson taught us about the importance of pollinators for our gardens and discussed plants she has planted in the pollinator bed at the Demo Garden. Plants include perennials that bloom in early spring, summer, or fall and annuals that bloom all summer. The garden also has host plants for butterflies and the gulf fritillary caterpillars always enjoys the passionflower vine and devour it. Harriet suggests placing a “muddle” (mud-puddle) in your pollinator garden. A muddle is a shallow flat container with water, red clay soil and a rock for a resting spot. Butterflies love them!!
Our April meeting featured Jessica Kelton, Alabama Cooperative Extension System Regional Agent for Farm and Agribusness. Our group requested Jessica repeat her program due to difficulty with sound at a previous presentation. Jessica discussed the uses of hemp, the growing requirements and difficulties growing this crop in Alabama. For more details go to our February 2021 post on her presentation.
We acknowledged April birthdays: Bettye Glass, Joan Barber, Lamar Giles, Wally Walters and Larry Jones.
Much of our meeting was addressing the upcoming Plant Sale, the Demo Garden and ACES Office beds, “Ask a Master Gardener” and the Helpline. Photos by Diane Clapp.
March is a great time to start many plants from seed and Holly Wadleigh from the University of Montevallo Organic Community Garden shared seed starting tips with us at our March Master Gardener meeting. She showed us the trays she uses, discussed seed starting medium, told us how deep to plant seeds and how to harden the plants off. Holly graciously answered our many questions.
President Pat Farmer welcomed 5 interns to our monthly meeting. There was a lively discussion about our upcoming Plant Sale to be held at Goosepond Park in April. We talked about the Plant Swap and picnic to be held at our May meeting. Open Discussion touched on the Helpline, Ask a Master Gardener, work at the Demo Garden, and the new Hospitality committee Jane Rabey, Judy Cobb, Cheryl Herbster, and Joan Barber.
The Garden of Master Gardeners has many perennials. Those are our members that keep coming back, year after year. We also have many octogenarians and nonagenarians in our Garden of Members. There are also plants that can live to be 100. Some that come to mind are the Jade plant and Christmas cacti. Peonies are another plant that can live on and on for years, as can the orchid. Ferns can also live to be 100 or more. So like the plants that live on and on, we at Chilton County Master Gardeners Association celebrate our octogenarians and nonagenarians and recognize them each year to let them know how much they are appreciated. Photos by John Sanders, Audrey Giles, and Pixabay.
Sharon Hosch, head lead at the Demo Garden, came to speak to the intern class today about the Demonstration Garden that they maintain at the Chilton Research and Extension Center. She explained to them what’s at the Demo Garden and how it’s maintained, the schedule they normally work, and how they could earn hours by helping there. Then Pat introduced to the interns our Secretary, Treasia Bennett. Every year we invite the officers to come by and be introduced to the new intern class. The morning zoom class was “What Did I Eat Yesterday?” led by Dani Carol from the Auburn Home Grounds Team. The class was about growing vegetables and fruits in your home garden. After lunch, Pat Farmer introduced Harriett Jackson, who is over the Pollinator Bed at the Demo Garden, and Ruby Moberg ( not pictured), who is lead over the Extension Office Gardens. Harriett demonstrated to the class how to prune the knock out roses at the Extension Office. The interns learned a valuable, hands on lesson today. Photos by Audrey Giles.
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.