Alpha Delta Kappa, an honorary group of retired and active women educators, toured the Chilton County Master Gardeners’ Demonstration Garden on May 16. Julie Harrison is chairman of the group. They were given the history of the garden by Master Gardener and Demo Garden Chairman Sondra Henley. Master Gardeners Harriett Jackson, Audrey Giles and Intern Betsy Smith were there to tell a little about the beds that they take care of. Refreshments were provided by Master Gardeners Alice Broome and Wally Walters.
The garden is open to the public and is located at the Chilton Research and Extension Center at 120 Co. Rd. 756, Clanton, AL 35045
On Wednesday, May 15, several Master Gardeners helped 2 classes of 3rd graders at Thorsby Elementary School plant a raised bed with annuals for a butterfly garden. The area is surrounded by the elementary and high school. There is already a butterfly bush and birdbath there and they have plans for a cement patio and tables. The children were really excited and they all wanted to help. The boys especially enjoyed watering the plants. This is an ongoing project and we will be back in the Fall to help the new 3rd graders plant fall and winter vegetables. Thank you, Christina Creighton for contacting us to help with this fun project!
Chilton County Master Gardeners held our traditional May plant swap and pot luck lunch at Susan Cleckler’s home. We thoroughly enjoyed her lovely shade garden: ferns, hostas, hydrangeas, ivy, lamium, heucheras and more. Plants were swapped and starts were shared so everyone went home with an addition for their garden. Pat Farmer earned her ruby star for four thousand volunteer hours and gold badges were presented to Diane Clapp, Jackie Hickman, Rick Miller, Lee Walters and Wally Walters. Lyn Webb earned her Master Gardener certification and was presented with her badge and certificate. Congratulations to all!
We’d like to share a YouTube video from Tracy Britnell, who was one of our speakers at Petals from the Past during our 2019 AMGA Conference held here May 8-10, 2019. She spoke on Permaculture. She and her husband own a permaculture inspired farm in Autauga County called “Just Dig It”. https://youtu.be/FWCWdDAQZMo
The 2019 AMGA Conference has come and gone after 3 years of intensive preparation by Chilton, Shelby, and Autauga Counties. Everyone that attended enjoyed the speakers, facility, Whimsies Workshop, silent auction, the Hoe Down and Bertelone’s Italian Dinner. Our Silent Auction was a huge success with a wide assortment of items for everyone to bid on. The speakers were well received with Joe Lamp’l of “Growing a Greener World” a big hit. Dr. Neil Lamb, Jason Powell, Jane McCarthy “the Hosta Lady”, and Lelia Scott Kelly were just a few of our very entertaining speakers. The Whimsies Workshop sold out quickly and 40 more spots were immediately added. We were all exhausted when it was over, but very proud of how it all turned out!
Our 2019 Master Gardener Intern class completed their class requirements on April 17 with the final classes presented by Sally Lee, Urban Regional Extension Agent. Woody Ornamentals , Invasive Plants, and Beneficial Insects were the topics of the day. A salad bar lunch was provided by the class and facilitators. Trisha Williams made the class a beautiful, delicious cake decorated with scenes of gardening. She is a multitalented Master Gardener! Congratulations to a great group of Interns on completing 12 weeks of Master Gardener training classes!
Our Master Gardener Class on April 10 was all about Trees and Bees. The morning session was conducted by Mallory Kelley, Autauga County Regional Extension Agent, on Tree Identification. The afternoon class was by Bill Evans, President of the Alabama Beekeepers Association. You didn’t hear any buzzing in that class, everyone was awake and alert! Thank you, Mallory and Bill for 2 very interesting classes!
Debbie Boutelier, an Herbalist as well as a certified Master Gardener, spoke on growing and using herbs at the CCMGA April meeting. Most herbs required full sun and well drained soil so raised beds or pots are great ways to grow them. Of all the herbs she discussed most contain medicinal properties such as antibiotic, anti-fungal, and anti-septic. Herbs are often used to season our food but can also be used to make tisanes (teas), as tinctures, in cleaning products and more. Debbie suggests that we do our own research before using any herbs medicinally or to consult an herbalist.
The Master Gardener Class was held at the Chilton Research and Extension Center on April 3. The instructor was Dr. Edgar Vinson, an Extension Fruit Specialist, who taught the class about small fruits for the garden. He taught the class how to grow small fruits, discussed diseases and gave them some recommended varieties of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, grapes and figs. What a lot to learn in one day! Following the class Matthew Price took the group on the traditional wagon tour of the CREC grounds.
Dr. Charles Ray taught our Master Gardener Intern class on March 27th all about insects. The class includes characteristics of insects, identification, life cycles and management options. Dr. Ray includes his top ten insects of the year–insects that he gets the most questions about.