Plants for the Planet

By Trisha Williams

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

L-R Hugh Nichols, Cheryl Gritton, Kerry Rush receive their certifications and badges.
Pres. Pat Farmer presents Extension Admin. Assistant Elaine Densmore with a retirement gift card from all of CCMGA members. We will miss her so much!! But she lives just up the road from us, so I’m sure hoping she will come and visit. We love you, Miss Elaine💞💞❗️
Dr. Sue Webb presents our program about native plants being used in our landscape.
L-R Kerry Rush, Sally Moore, and Cheryl Gritto

June Meeting Fun

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.

Photo credits: Susan Cleckler

Sharon Hosch plays the game and wins a prize from REA Jesse Owen
Chip Durham plays to win!
And Alan Reed answers the question and wins!
2022 Interns present Trisha Williams, the facilitator, with a Thank You gift, a personalized apron!! Pictured L – R: Margariette Hoomes, Kerry Rush, Trisha Williams, Martha Rodgers, Cheryl Gritton, Lynne May

Regional Extension Agent Lucy Edwards greets her new MG members and Interns

Tour of the Demo Garden

by Audrey Giles

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🤩🪴🎍🌳🌾🌹🌼💵💵❗️

Photos by Audrey Giles

CCMGA intern Tammy Gentry on left with guests from Montgomery, Lee, and Elmore County associations.
CCMGA member Harriett Jackson, gives a short bio of the Demo Garden and how the new one came about..
CCMGA Pres. Pat Farmer and member Audrey Giles
CCMGA Intern Hugh Nichols and one of the guests.
Native Columbine in the Native bed.
CREC Manager Matthew Price and CCMGA Pres. Pat Farmer
CCMGA intern Kerry Rush talking to one of the guests.
Getting ready for the tour of the Center.
R.E.A. Mallory Kelly really tickled about something!

CCMGA Plant Sale

Chilton County Master Gardeners held their Annual Plant Sale at Goosepond Park on April 15 and had a rain date sale on April 30. Our members propagated lots of wonderful plants including ferns, hostas, phlox, iris, daylilies, black-eyed Susan’s, ground covers, vines, figs, houseplants, shrubs, trees and more. This year there were tomatoes, peppers and watermelon plants too. There are always great old fashioned favorites and pass-a-long plants that you don’t always find in nurseries. We also had an Ask a Master Gardener table and a Country Store with gently used garden and decorative items. Two customers won a Grow More Give More bucket to grow a vegetable!

Our members enjoy helping our customers find lots of great plants for their gardens and talking gardening.

Hype about Hemp

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.

Jessica Kelton
Interns at April meeting
Interns Maggie Thompson and Sally Moore at the April meeting

Start Plants from Seeds

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.

Holly Wadleigh and VP Gail Brooks giving her the speakers gift, A custom wooden pen handcrafted by MG
Ron Herbster.
Introducing Intern Hugh Nichols
Introducing Intern Lynne May
Speaker Holly Wadleigh with Montevallo Organic Community Gardens
Introducing Intern Marguerite Hoomes

Perennials of Master Gardeners

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.

Pruning Techniques

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.

Sharon Hosch, Team Leader at the Demonstration GardenB
President Pat Farmer, introduces to the intern class our Secretary, Treasia Bennett
Harriett Jackson demonstrating pruning knock out roses.
Harriett Jackson knows all about pruning😄!
A beautiful tall yellow bearded Iris already in full bloom at the Extension Office
The class looks totally engrossed in the pruning lessons!

Antique Roses

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

Larry Jones about to lead Pledge of Allegiance
Alan Reed and Sondra Henley
Jason Powell talks on antique roses.
Jason Powell presents the program on Antique Roses
V. President Gail Brooks presents Jason Powell with speakers gift
Joan Barber wins door prize of potted antique rose.