2013 Awards Presented

Friends of Master Gardeners Awards are presented to persons or groups that have donated monies, services or materials to CCMGA during the year or have been supportive of the mission and purpose of the Alabama Master Gardener Program.  The Friends of Master Gardeners awards for 2013 were presented to:

Mayor Eddie Reed and the City of Jemison.

Hosts for the Christmas Home Tour:  Bobby and Judy Martin, Joe and Adrianne Dennis, and Melvin and Dot Hartley

ACES Secretarial Staff:  Elaine Densmore, Elaine Statin, Sandra Steverson

Emily Beckett, Clanton Advertiser

Marty Martin, Landscape Consultant

Alice Broome

I met Alice in the Master Gardener Class of 2012. She is a petite blond, with a lovely smile and a quick wit. She took the class while recovering from cancer. Her attitude and fortitude in taking care of herself was and is today admirable.

She lives with her husband, Norris, in Clanton. He is retired from chemical sales. He now sells church furnishings part-time. Norris is a degreed choral director and enjoys serving area churches on a part-time basis.
Between them, they have 3 adult children. Matt lives in Knoxville, TN, and has two daughters. Trina lives in Helena and has two daughters and one son. Alan lives in Southside (near Gadsden) and has two daughters and one son.

Alice has been volunteering with MG for a year and a half. She completed the MG course in March of 2012 and was certified early that summer. Currently, she is serving as Purchasing Agent for Chilton MG. She is responsible for researching logo and promotional merchandise. This includes identifying items based on quality and price. Once approved by the Board, she orders the items and offers them to the membership for sale.

Alice says that MG is synonymous with improvement. She believes we can offer Chilton county correct information on planting and caring for flowers, vegetables, lawns, and other horticulture related topics. MG also offers both men and women an opportunity to get to know others who share the interest of gardening.

She continued to say, MG is already an association in action. We advertise through word of mouth, local newspapers, and our website. The County is shown the knowledge the members of MG have obtained and the comradery we share through the community projects, such as plant sales and filling city flower baskets and pots.

She would like to encourage more participation from the membership when input is requested. Collecting a variety of ideas and suggestions helps her present new and improved ideas to the Board. Everyone’s request cannot be met, but she feels the group is more unified if diverse suggestions are considered.

When Alice first became a homeowner, in her late twenties, she became interested in gardening. She found that because her yard was an extension of the house, she wanted the yard to look good too. It didn’t hurt that she had always had a love for nature, so she was able to expand on that love.

What she likes most about gardening is the absolute beauty of plants, and the response they show to care and attention. She enjoys the creativity and therapeutic aspects of gardening. Mixing colors and textures and shaping plants and shrubbery is great fun.

Her yard is designed to be eye catching, well maintained, and a small sample of God’s handy work. She uses evergreen shrubs and vines for year round appeal. The yard really comes alive in the spring and summer with various annuals, roses, azaleas, and gardenias. The lawns are Zoysia grass and Bermuda grass. Variegated monkey grass outlines several flower beds and both variegated and solid English ivy cover the fence poles of the back yard. Large clumps of black and green elephant ears are focal points throughout the yard. Colors of purple, pink and yellow are most prevalent. And then there is the focal point of the back lot, her beloved gazebo. Surrounded by purple Lorapetalum, potted azaleas, Indian Hawthorn, and elephant ears, it is always there to offer a relaxing swing.

Alice spends about 20 hours per week during three seasons. She prefers the more formal flowers and shrubs versus the wild flower look. She likes the look and the maintenance of such plants as azaleas, roses, elephant ears and evergreen shrubs in large pots. She enjoys having large shrubs, for instance gardenia and Cleyera, for formal shaping.

Alice does not grow vegetables or fruits. Her gardening skills are limited to flowers, shrubs, and lawns. However, she says she certainly enjoys eating home grown fruits and vegetables!

Besides gardening, her other hobby interests include, interior decorating and pet sitting for family and neighbors. She also enjoys theater, movies, plays and musicals.

When asked about the words to live by, hers are: “Do not criticize anyone unless you have walked in that person’s shoes. I’m afraid we are all guilty of judging others without knowing the whole story.”

Alice’s favorite thing about Chilton County Master Gardeners is  meeting people with similar interest as hers and the contributions they bring to Chilton County.

Nelson Wynn, Regional Extension Agent

The first time I met Nelson, I was a little intimidated. He’s a big guy! I did not know him outside of the MG classroom and had no other dealings with him. Now after 4 years of working with him, I can truly say, he is a joy to work with. He is one of my greatest encouragers. As I interviewed him for this article,  I found the joy behind that big smile of his; his enjoyment of people and love of family. I hope you will enjoy getting to know Nelson a little better, I certainly have

Nelson grew up in Jefferson County, in a family of 4 brothers and one sister. His fondest memories are around the kitchen table at meal time; eating together, talking, joking, playing games and spending time together.

He now resides in Shelby County with his wife of 16 years, Stephanie who is a Loan Mortgage Specialist. Between them they have 5 girls, Erica, a teacher and graduate of Montevallo University, Belicia who is a Student at UAB working on her BS degree in Marketing, Simone at Jeff State with plans to enter the Navy, Sonya who is in middle school and is active in girl scouts, volleyball, gymnastics and piano and Patricia who is in elementary school and likes singing, dancing, and gymnastics.

Nelson started with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System as a County Agent in Shelby County in 1993 and then became a Regional Extension Agent in 2004 covering 10.5 Counties and part of his duties included coordinating 6 Master Gardener Programs. Currently, he is a Regional Extension Agent for Bibb, Chilton, Fayette, Lamar, Marion, Pickens, Shelby and Tuscaloosa counties and oversees 4 Master Gardener Programs. These are in Chilton, Shelby, Tuscaloosa and the combined Lamar, Marion and Fayette programs. Nelson is an expert in Home Grounds; Gardening, and Pest Management.

He first became interested in agriculture in the 7th grade when his brother, Lee, who is 5 years older, gave him a list of future needs. Lee told him to pick one and to prepare and educate himself. Nelson picked Agriculture. He received his B.S. in Soil Science, and his Masters in Horticulture, both from Alabama A & M University. In the horticultural world he likes the study of lawn grasses the best. He says of his career choice “ This is not the kind of job where you will make a lot of money but if you like people and the type of work you are doing, you will enjoy it. “

Because he spends so much time in the office dealing with homeowners’ problems, when asked how many hours do you spend gardening? He said, “All day long in the office.” He doesn’t do a lot of  gardening, but his wife enjoys container gardening. He is happy if he can get home before dark to mow his grass! Stephanie raises tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, watermelons, and greens in containers. Nelson’s favorite vegetable is a cucumber and his favorite fruit is a banana.

Nelson prefers roses, Rose of Sharon, sweet shrub and trees that aren’t messy and give good shade. He likes the Tulip Popular and Sycamore Trees but says he is seeing fewer and fewer of them.

He likes to read Sci-fi and action novels and watch TV. He works out by walking and jogging. While in school he ran track and played basketball. His family  prefer fish to having dogs and cats.

A few things you might not know about Nelson, he was a county agent in Georgia in the 1980’s, and has traveled Route 66 going to a family reunion in Las Vega in 2010. Along the way he saw the Grand Canyon. He has worked for a pipe company, a respiratory company, he has been a librarian, a lab assistant, a mechanic, a carpenter, worked in pulpwood and for a bottling company.

Words to live by are words his mother taught him, “Treat people like you want to be treated. “

His favorite thing about Chilton County Master Gardeners is: “They are hard workers, they step up when ask to do something, and have helped me to keep the Master Gardener Program going and growing in Chilton County.”

ACES Activities

Many times thoughtout the year, Master Gardeners will be called on to help the extension office with various activities, such as working at registration for ACES affiliated groups, Chilton County Extension Office Open House, Lunch and Learn, judging at other county fairs along with working at the Chilton County fair.