The Herb Garden was our September featured garden for our “Talks in the Garden” series. Sharon Hosch and Betsy Smith discussed the herbs we grow in the Demo Garden and the way herbs are used for seasoning, teas and sometimes for medicines. Sharon and Betsy also presented the certificate and plaque for our Garden Bridges certification through the Herb Society of American. Garden Bridges gardens create a safe passing for plants and pollinators to thrive and migrate by incorporating native plants in harmony with nearby natural areas. For a special treat they served tea cookies with rosemary sugar and iced tea with herbed ice cubes!
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!!
Thursday May 5 was a beautiful day for a tour of the Chilton County Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden. We were host to Regional Extension agents Mallory Kelley, Dani Carroll and Bethany O’Rear and interns of Lee, Elmore, and Montgomery County associations. Everyone met at 10 am for a tour of the different beds of the garden. CCMGA member Harriett Jackson gave a short bio of the Gardens and how the new one came about. Matthew Price, director of Chilton Research and Extension Center, told them a little about the center, what their purpose is, how they are funded, and all the fruits they grow. Everyone enjoyed delicious doughnuts from Lickin Good Doughnuts, coffee from Jack’s, and ice cold bottled water. Then they all climbed aboard the 2 tour wagons from the Chilton Research and Extension Center to see the kiwi, strawberries, peaches, and figs, to name a few, that they are growing for research. After that, they all drove up the road to Petals From the Past for lunch and a welcome speech from Jason Powell of Petals. After their lunch catered by Panera Bread, they all had a tour of Petals by Jason and then went SHOPPING🤩🪴🎍🌳🌾🌹🌼💵💵❗️
Chilton County Master Gardeners showed up and showed out for our Monday Demo Garden workday! There were 14 of us (one non member-Treasia Bennett’s willing spouse) to dig, divide and replant or pot up daylilies, prune roses; dig up and replant dwarf azaleas; clean out the Herb bed; trim the vines in the shade garden; put out pine straw, and prune the box woods in the Knot Garden. Several of our interns and newly certified members have agreed to be in charge of some of our beds and areas. They are Patty Frye, Gail Brooks, Joan Crocker, and Sharon Hosch (helping Betsy Smith). As always, ANY of our members are encouraged to come out and help when you can. Our work days this fall will be cut to one instead of two, which will be on Thursdays, 8-10a.m., weather permitting. Photos by Audrey Giles (not pictured).
Another great workday at the Demonstration Garden! Thanks to all the interns that turned out and some of our regular members too. Got a huge yucca plant dug up, divided, and relocated (thanks to John Higginbotham and Ron Herbster); moved an aster, dug and divided some hostas and took some home to pot up for plant sales, pulled MORE nut grass (and sprayed some too), spread some mulch, pruned some roses, filled bird baths, and cleaned out the keyhole garden. A VERY good morning! Photos by Diane Clapp & Audrey Giles
On October 17, the Elmore County Master Gardener Intern class visited the Chilton County Demonstration Garden. On hand to share information and answer questions were Master Gardeners Harriett Jackson, Sondra Henley, and Betsy Smith. Also present was one of the first to sign up for our 2020 Master Gardener Class, Gail Brooks. Photos by Betsy Smith
Boy Scout Jared Cleckler and his team finished his Eagle Scout Project at the CCMGA Demonstration Garden. Jared will be completing his paperwork and turning it in to the Eagle Scout Project Committee for final approval.
Jared’s project started with the monkey bars that were located at the old homestead at Chilton Research and Extension Center and moved behind the Shade Garden in the Demo Garden. He and his team sanded and painted the bars. Ron Herbster, Chilton County Master Gardener, drew plans for the planter boxes and donated the cedar wood for them. Ron worked with Jared to plane the boards and prepare for the planter construction.
Cheryl Herbster also donated the stone bench that sits near the newly furbished
monkey bars. The Boy Scouts also set up the bench.
Vegetables and pole vegetables will be planted in the boxes. This new garden area shows how to re-purpose hardscapes and gives additional space to plant vegetables.
This past Monday, Feb. 25 was a gorgeous day and perfect weather for working in the Demo Garden. We had several interns helping out as we pulled weeds, cleaned bird baths, put out a little pine straw, and transplanted some things that were getting too crowded. We will have several more days to get it all looking good for the Demo Garden tours that are a part of the 2019 AMGA Spring Conference coming up May 8, 9, and 10 of this year.
Our May Meeting and Plant Swap was held at Chilton Research and Extension Center at 120 County Road 756, Clanton, 35045. Autauga and Shelby County members were invited to attend. Michael Thomason, who is the Vice President of AMGA this year, was our speaker. Mr. Thomason spoke about the planning and organizing of the 2019 AMGA Conference, which is being hosted by Chilton County Master Gardener Association. He compared it to putting a puzzle together, the progress, the completion of the puzzle, and enjoying the fruits of your labor when your done. He commended CCMGA for the progress and efficiency of the planning done so far.
Our guest included our speaker Michael Thomason from Shoals MGA and Extension Regional Agent II Nelson Wynn. Other guests included Kate Vogel, Merle Schukoske, Myra Healy, and Heidee Vansant from Shelby County and Ofie McCoy, Tim McCoy, Lanell Tatum, Patti Teel, Cheri Cook, and Lee Thomas from Autauga County. Everyone enjoyed the food and fellowship. We had a total of 44 present.