Getting started in a gardening blog in the summer can be difficult. There are so many distractions: spent blossoms to be deadheaded; grass to be mowed; edges to be trimmed; insects to be battled (in my case, the big black lubber grasshoppers). Nonetheless, a Star editor invited me, as a representative of the Calhoun County Master Gardener Association, to author a blog about gardening. My cohort will be Paula Barnett-Ellis, another MG. As this is my first official blog I would to tell you a bit about myself. I have been gardening for about 35 years and was the daughter of marvelous gardener who passed along her love of flowers to me. I have been a member of the local group since 1998. Each year after completing the initial class work and 50 hours of service MGs complete a minimum amount of 25 hours of volunteer work and 10 hours of continuing education to remain certified. I live in Jacksonville with my husband and a variety of fur babies, including a Golden Retriever, who will be frequently mentioned in my blog. I plan to include gardening tips, my gardening adventures or misadventures, and news about local gardening programs.
A few of the local gardening happenings are as follows:
Hayes Jackson, Urban Agent and mentor to many of the gardeners in this part of the state, will lead a workshop on Water Wise Gardening, i.e., learning how to water smart. There will also be a presentation on drip irrigation. The workshop is from 8 AM until 11 AM Thursday, August 18th at Longleaf Botanical Gardens (formerly Lenlock Community Center). Part of the program will be a tour of the Museum Gardens. There is no charge; however if you know if are coming please let the folks at the Extension Office (256-237-1621) know.
Wednesday August 24th is the monthly Lunch and Learn program sponsored by the MGs and the Calhoun County Commission. The program, "Forest Managrment for Sales and Recreational Uses" with Tim Chesnut, Chestnut Forestry, begins at noon and goes until 1 PM. There is no charge; please bring your lunch and join us. The class meets at Cane Creek Community Gardens at McClellan.
The Public Library of Anniston-Calhoun County is having a program on bonsai on August 30th at noon. Grady Woodall is the program presenter. There is no charge; please bring your lunch.
"The Sustainable Backyard: A Home Grown Series": August 23 - September 27, Tuesday nights, 6 to 8 PM at Cane Creek Community Gardens. Call 256-237-1621 for more information.
In the spirit of great gardening tips I am passing along one from good friend Marilyn Blair of Swan Cottage. Crunch up your used plastic water bottles and use them (about a third of your container) to improve the drainage in your container gardens.
Please e-mail if you have gardening tips or questions. If you are a member of local gardening club, please let us know what is going on with your members.