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.