Meet Jane Mason

Jane is what I call a beautiful person. She is not only attractive on the outside with her graciousness and poise but she is pretty on the inside as well. Always a lady that exhibits care for others, her niche in CCMGA is Card Chairman. Jane and her husband of 49 years, Ralph, live on Lake Mitchell outside of Verbena. They have three children, two live in Birmingham and one in Virginia. They also have two grandchildren.
Jane was new in the community and wanted to meet people so like many of us, she chose to attend the Master Gardener Program. She became certified in 2007. Jane is currently the Chairman of the Card Committee. Many of us have been a recipient of her encouraging words and timely cards. She has often said how much she enjoys this job and was glad to step up again in 2014.

She first began gardening in 1990. She likes being outside raking and watering and making things look nice. Jane said she and Ralph really had to be creative with their landscaping when they moved into their lake house. Once the construction was completed, the budget did not leave much to work with for landscaping. So after they experienced spring rains and then mud, they went to work planting evergreens, azaleas, nandinas, pyacanthas, day lilies and they spread lots of mulch. Next they planted crepe myrtles and centipede. Spring annuals completed their lovely landscaped area.

Jane’s favorite spot is at the top of the front lawn where her Iris bed resides. She has collected many colors from MG friends and enjoys tending to this bed. Geraniums also vie for her attention. When she is not tending to the flowers she likes to sit in a chair reading or watching the birds.

People may not know that Jane was an elementary teacher with a teaching career of 25+ years. She loved teaching children how to read and write. Jane told me when applying to the University of Florida she was not good at testing. Having failed to make the acceptable score, the college told her that she was not college material. Jane enrolled in a private girl’s school and then later transferred to the university where she graduated with honors. Just shows that test scores don’t always indicate the ending results!

Jane still loves to read and spends time in bookstores finding literary treasures. She is getting serious about cooking these days and likes recipes from Martha Stewart. She loves time in the kitchen with her grandchildren best of all.

Jane believes we should all cover each other in prayer. She enjoys the friendships she has made in CCMGA and being a Master Gardener. What she looks forward to the most are the variety of projects and programs that are presented in our meetings.



Meet Diane Clapp

Diane Clapp is a native of Maplesville and has been married for 40 years to Clem Clapp, a banker and chairman of the Maplesville Historic Society. They have two daughters, Hannah and Mary Margaret who have given them three granddaughters.  Diane enjoys being a Nana to them.

Diane became a certified Master Gardener in 2012.  She chose the Chilton County class because of the close proximity to her home. Diane was one of the quieter classmates; however, she is creative, energetic and fun to work with.  In 2012 she went to the Maplesville City Council and received permission to plant a city corner.  The Town Council gave her funds for the project and she also secured donations of materials and plants.  In 2013 she served as CCMGA Co-Chairman of Membership and Volunteer Hours, along with working on the Christmas Home Tour.  In 2014, she has also joined the Fund Raising and Demonstration Garden Committees.  She is the Plant Sale Coordinator for the Maplesville Plant Sale scheduled for the Maplesville Heritage Day Celebration on April 12.

Diane first started vegetable gardening in her thirties. She said, “Even though I grew up eating from a vegetable garden, I contribute my gardening interest to my father-in-law.  He taught me the “how-to” of a low maintenance block vegetable garden.  He avidly studied the Ladies Birthday Almanac for planting schedules and kept journals for planting, growth, and blooming.  Seeing the enthusiasm he had for his gardening motivated me.”

Her yard is mostly shaded and the gardens are always in progress and constantly changing. Her  favorite spot outside is the “Sanctuary”.  It is nestled under a tree canopy overlooking the back yard with a fire pit for all year enjoyment.  There she and Clem enjoy having their morning coffee and quiet time.  In the evenings, they enjoy watching deer and turkey graze across the field below and as night falls they can gaze at the stars and fireflies and savor the gentle breezes.

Diane prefers plants, flowers and shrubs that have long blooming periods and that attract butterflies.  Her favorites are lantana, gardenia, hydrangea, ginger lilies and ferns.  She likes oak, dogwood, crape myrtle and maple trees especially for their fall color.  Diane plans to put in a butterfly garden this year.

Asked if she grows fruits and vegetables, she said, “Mainly vegetables but I plan to branch out and try blueberries and blackberries in the near future.”

Besides gardening, Diane enjoys sewing and reading.  Having had a previous nursing career, she also takes yearly medical mission trips to Guatemala.

Diane believes that we all should be kind, compassionate, and forgiving;  having the same attitude as that of Christ. She shares a quote by George Washington Carver that she believes is worth considering,  “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong.   Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”

Her favorite thing about CCMGA is the people!  The association is more of a family than just an organization.


Meet Lee and Wally Walters

MEET LEE and WALLY WALTERS. Lee and Wally went through the Master Gardeners Class and certified in 2013. When I first met Wally and she spoke, I fell in love with her beautiful German accent. Lee came to my creaking wagon’s rescue during a work session at my home, oiling and greasing the noise right out of it. That is the kind of people they are:  kind, compassionate, seeing needs and meeting them.

In 2007, Lee and Wally retired and moved to Lake Mitchell outside of Verbena, from Enterprise/Ft. Rucker, AL. Lee is a 43 year Veteran (active, Reserve and Guard) Army Aviator/Flight Instructor (helicopter). He also has commercial fixed wing ratings and several ground instructor ratings. His job has taken him from Texas to Virginia to Iran and then to Ft. Rucker for the last 30 years. Wally retired from nursing, a job she loved. They have been married for 42 years and have 2 sons, Richard, who lives in Birmingham and Marc, who lives in Memphis, TN. They have four grandchildren.

They chose the Chilton County Master Gardener Class because of it being in the county in which they live. During their certification process, Lee and Wally helped with  Plant Sale set up and sales. They also worked with the Fig and Vine Cutting Team in January and helped to propagate fig trees.

Lee has the normal yard maintenance experience and has tried growing citrus in containers. Wally started gardening about 30 years ago and enjoys a nicely landscaped garden. Like many of us, their interest in gardening began with liking things to look nice. This interest led to planting shrubs and flowers in beds and pots. Their favorite aspects of gardening is seeing good results and being outdoors.

Their yard and garden consists of one plus acre of lakeside property on a slope, 1/2 is kept natural, ¼ is Bermuda grass, small area of raised beds, plantings of azaleas, hydrangeas, roses, evergreens, plus annuals and some perennials. Lee says when the work is done, his favorite spot is the lakeside patio or deck. Wally prefers sitting on the balcony overlooking the lake. Between them, they spend 5-20 hours maintaining their yard, depending on what needs to be done. Lee prefers any plant material that is low maintenance. He grows a few peppers, okra, tomatoes(for the squirrels) and some citrus. Wally prefers maples, dogwoods, roses, hydrangeas and a variety of perennials and annuals. Their soil is really poor, so they also do a little composting to use in amending the soil.

Lee prefers hobbies that take him outdoors and close to nature:  salt and fresh water fishing, boating, gardening, hiking, flying and traveling. Wally also likes to be outdoors swimming, boating, hiking, and weeding her flowerbeds. She enjoys classical to modern music, art and travel. Both are avid lovers of animals and are the proud parents of two rotten spoiled cats and are big supporters of the Chilton County Humane Society. They enjoy playing board and card games with their children, grandchildren and friends.

One can guess that Wally is from Germany but the city is Stuttgart, Germany. She met Lee while visiting a girlfriend in Texas. They had a correspondence courtship and after 10 months she joined Lee and the were married in Texas. She has worked as a secretary and as a real estate agent. They have traveled the past four years with Overseas Adventure Travel touring  Boston, New Zealand, Australia, Baltic Countries, Russia and just recently to Argentina/Chile (from the Andes to Patagonia). They have also traveled on their own to Europe and Asia. Wally tries to visit Germany at least every 2 years to see family and enjoy spending an afternoon in one of those great European cafes with tortes, cakes, pies, pastries displayed everywhere.

They believe words to live by are Honesty, Integrity, and Loyalty. They wake up in the morning thanking the Lord for another day. They try always to be cheerful and not take things too seriously.

Lee and Wally say their favorite thing about Chilton County Master Gardeners  are the nice people that are involved.

Maplesville Plant Sale

Chilton County Master Gardeners held a plant sale at Heritage Day in downtown Maplesville on April 12. Plants were propagated by Master Gardeners and include iris, daylilies, shrubs, and much more. Master Gardeners were available to answer gardening questions. Children made pine cone bird feeders at the booth next to the Plant Sale. Our next Plant Sale will be the first Saturday in August at the Farm, Home and Wildlife Expo at the Chilton Research and Extension Center near Thorsby.

Steve McAnally

Steve McAnally has given service and dedication as a volunteer to CCMGA by developing, creating and overseeing the organization’s website. Steve certified with the Chilton County Master Gardeners in 2012. Having limitations that keep him from working with the more physical side of the MG program, he was quickly drawn to his interest and niche’.

In 2009, the Chilton County Master Garden Association needed a new webmaster. Leo Phillips started and managed the website since 2009 but was ready to move on to managing the First United Methodist‘s webpage and to his other interests.

Enter Steve McAnally, a Master Gardener intern enrolled in the 2012 Master Gardener Program sponsored by the Auburn Extension Service. Steve had plenty of experience with computers and web pages in his past working history. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and has a professional career spanning 40 years in the computer field.

In 2012 Steve certified as a Chilton County Master Gardener. He worked with Leo Phillips, Sondra Henley and Audrey Giles, to develop a new web site for the Chilton County Master Gardeners Association. In 2013, Trisha Williams joined the Web Team staff. The development started in September 2009 and went live on December 2012. The aim of the web site is to promote Master Gardeners and gardening knowledge. Steve has met these web site goals constantly as he has sought to improve and provide interest and information to the CCMGA as well as to the public audience. The site is hosted by Auburn University and can be accessed at

Not only has Steve served as CCMGA Webmaster, he has been a member of the 2013 CCMGA Board, meeting monthly to manage decisions and activities of the organization and a member of the 2013 Finance Committee. His value to CCMGA….priceless!

Jimmy and Mildred Knowles


They have assumed one of most difficult chairmanships possible, besides fund raising.

The army is said to travel on its stomach, so do Master Gardeners.

Each month the Knowles make sure that enough volunteers have been assigned KP duty and remember the assignments via emails and reminder cards.

They insure that there is plenty of food and drink – picking up the slack when a lapse occurs.

They share their wealth of home grown fruits, etc with all of us.

The refreshment table is a pleasure to visit during each monthly meeting.

The Knowles embody the best of Master Gardeners – sharing their knowledge of plants, their enthusiasm, and they their enjoyment of Master Gardening.

Audrey Giles

Audrey Giles – She is much more than her camera!

Good photography is a precise and challenging responsibility, and is often taken for granted. Much of the real work is done behind the scenes, after the actual picture is taken. Audrey has accepted this responsibility and does not take her job lightly. She is great at remembering to record the various activities of the Master gardeners through pictures.

She handled the project of the membership pictorial directory with expertise and patience. But even more so; she showed a willingness to grow in learning new computer software techniques. Additionally, she helped with the Intern Class by organizing and setting up the luncheons for new members.

Although we have listed her qualities on paper, it is hard to do her justice. She is the epitome of all that is good about Master Gardeners, always involved which underscores her love for CCMGA and its members. She is gracious, kind and humble, always willing to help. I believe she is worthy of being recognized and encouraged by this nomination of Outstanding Service and Dedication to CCMGA.

Website Team

The Web Team met the criteria of a Service Project. This project provides a window of opportunity for the Chilton County Master Gardeners and the Cyberspace audience to sit in the comfort of their homes. There they can attend workshops and presentations, and read about community service through the many articles we offer along with other resource links. The Web team also met the criteria of Innovative Projects by establishing the newer technology of a web page to become our association’s newsletter. General Master Gardener accomplishments were met as we researched other informative links that would compliment Master Gardener skills and interests.

In 2009 Leo Phillips started the website giving us the springboard for the CCMGA website today. In 2011, a web team started discussing what else we wanted the site to be and become. Today the web team consists of, Steve McAnally, webmaster and site manager, Audrey Giles, writer, photos and designer, Trisha Williams, editor, Sondra Henley, writer and Barbara McAnally, Facebook Page manager. We wanted Master Gardeners to learn about each other and other people important to the MG Program so we chose to provide articles featuring selected people each month. We provide links to AU Webinars on specialty topics, such as the extreme Fire Ant problem Alabama has faced this year. We wanted research based information at the click of a button for MG to easily link to, so we added Gardening Research, along with Master Gardeners in Alabama and State Master Gardeners. We keep our CCMGA informed of daily weather forecasts and volunteer opportunities on our calendar of events. Categories of articles are Community Workshops, Recipes, Musings, Community Assistance, Speaker Bureau, Plant Sales, Extension Activities, Education Outreach, Group Tours, Timely Garden Tips and others.

Anyone who views our site may use the information provided there. We encourage, educate and share, who we are, what we are involved in and hopefully encourage others to join us  @

County Planters

This project meets the criteria of Demonstration Garden, although not a garden; it is a demonstration of some of the things MG do. It is also affects the communities of Chilton County through Community Service.

The preparation of the County Planters by the teams that service them should be recognized. Through this activity the towns of Clanton and Jemison have come to rely on Master Gardeners to help beautify their cities. The benefits are many. I have heard numerous comments from family, close friends and people I hardly knew who live outside this county comment on the attractive planters and how much they add to the atmosphere of the town. It also gives us, as an association a chance to work with some of the officials of the towns. Additionally, for everyone interested in decorative plants, a wide variety of seasonal plants are displayed. These planters greatly increase the exposure of Master Gardeners and help to serve as our advertisement. I believe this project has become one of the signatures of the Chilton County Master Gardener Association.