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!
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!!
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).
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
Thank you for putting your trust in me to administrate and lead another year. Having met with the Board to review the activity opportunities and the 2018 proposed budget, CCMGA’s progress amazes me.
In 2006, twelve years ago, I took the MG Class. I too wondered how and where I would achieve those 50 certification hours. When one reviews the Activities List you can understand why we say we partner with ACES. They need us and we need them. ACES will arrange education in QuickBooks, Word, Excel, Power Point, Publisher and Photos for us this year. CCMGA has members that are MG representatives on various committees associated with ACES and Chilton County.
Not only is our partnership with ACES important but our CCMGA projects are too. This year we plan to put a permanent cover over the Shade Garden at the CREC site and finish Phase 5 at the Demo Garden located at the Extension Office. Phase 5 will be located at the backside of the office building. This bed will house hydrangeas and other plant material.
Our commitment to host the 2019 AMGA Conference will cost us time and energy as we begin to put plans in place. We will be building tabletops and stenciling them with checker boards. Contracts must be signed with food and other vendors. Silent Auction items must be gathered and signage made. Speakers must be scheduled. Decorations must be planned and design executed for each conference activity.
Along with our projects, we have fund raisers to organize. This spring we will host a “Garage Sale Type” event including a plant sale. As you bring in your new, don’t forget to bring us your old. Items that are gently used and in good repair are needed, including clothes and shoes. Small appliances, books, curtains, wall décor, etc.
CCMGA is as busy as the bees we all want in our gardens. I hope you will join me in expectation of this new year.
On October 19th the Central Alabama MG Intern Class toured the CCMGA Demo Garden. President Sondra Henley was the tour guide and told the history of the Demo Garden and how the new garden was created. Mallory Kelley, ACES Regional Agent for Autauga County and facilitator of the class, accompanied the group. Chilton County Master Gardener Sue Webb was there to tell about her Native Bed in the garden. Treasia Bennett told about her Knot Garden and Susan Cleckler told about her bed “Don’t’ Bug Me” (repels insects) and a little about the Butterfly Garden. For a slideshow of photos of the tour go to Smilebox.
The Demonstration Garden at the Chilton Research and Extension Center (120 County Road 756, Clanton, 35045) is open year round. To schedule a tour for your group or organization call 280-6268 and the office will contact the appropriate person.
The Chilton County Master Gardener Demonstration Garden, located at the Chilton Research and Extension Center, was recently visited by many of the Chick Chain auction participants, young and old. Children enjoyed a game of hop scotch while visiting the garden.
Autumn is a beautiful time to tour our Demonstration Garden. The garden is located on the grounds of the Chilton Research and Extension Center which is located on 120 County Road 756, Clanton, AL 35046. The butterfly garden is really doing it’s job, attracting butterflies! The herb bed is also a magnet to the butterflies. There’s a shade garden with a small table and chairs and a pergola with a comfortable swing. So bring a book and a sack lunch and enjoy the garden during this pleasant time of year.
The Grand Opening of the Demo Garden was held August 6, 2016, just before the Farm, Home, and Wildlife Expo. On hand for the ceremony was Eagle Scout Clay Vinson, and Girl Scout Hannah Childress. Clay’s project for Eagle Scout was the Demo Garden’s Pergola and surrounding Butterfly Flowerbed. Hannah’s project for her Gold Badge was the Keyhole Garden. The Expo is always a big event that the Master Gardeners look forward to each year. Master Gardeners are in charge of the ice cream tasting, fruit tasting, corn on the cob hut, plant sale, and of course, the Demonstration Garden. Go to Smilebox to see a slideshow of photos from the Expo and Demo Garden.
Hannah Grace Childress, Jemison High School ninth grader, chose the Keyhole Garden installation as her Gold Project. Hannah, along with her team, installed the wall with the broken stones left over from the Demonstration Garden. A window constructed by MG, Lee Walters, was installed on the east side of the V cut out for education on root development. Hannah’s team constructed the wall, lined it with cardboard, shredded paper, pine cones, and soil. Hannah and her mother, Terri, planted the garden with Blue Lake Bush beans. Hannah will be on-hand August 6 at the EXPO to explain her project and how it works.
Pictured right: Hannah and her mother, Terri Childress, planting beans
Team pictured above, left to right: Colin Tillery, Andy Davison, Alex Davison, Hannah Grace Childress, Benji Childress and Kinsley Davison.