A Bit of Dirt – Winter 2009

The full pdf copy of this edition is available here.

PRESIDENT’S CORNER – By Debbie Bush

Hello all!
As I write this message to you, I’m looking at my beautiful sugar maple in all its fall glory thinking that the drought has taught me a few good lessons – I have been heavy handed with watering. My sasanquas are stunning and the japonicas are loaded with buds. My flowering trees and rhodies were magnificent this spring. Another lesson is that boxwoods are worth their weight in gold. I should have learned that when I visited George Washington’s Mt Vernon and saw his original boxwood plantings flourishing but it took a drought for me to have my “ah-ha” moment.  Boxwood’s are now my favorite plant to buy. But not all is good, I’m sad that the drought has taken a toll on my ground covers.

I remember my Great-Grandmothers’ Grandmother’s and Mother’s gardens as a child and the joy of spending time in them. Those memories helped determine my goal as president for 2009. For all the children that don’t have grandmothers or mothers that garden, my goal is to implement the Junior Master Gardener program in the Gwinnett County School System to inspire future generations of gardeners. I know a lot of you devote many hours working at schools and I will need your help.

I am confident that 2009 will be a successful year. I encourage everyone to get involved with a project. If you have a special interest and want to chair a project, tell a Board member or me. We have many projects that need volunteers such as our January auction and spring plant sale. Hopefully, the weather pattern will change soon and we can resume our garden tours. And let’s not forget the Extension Office. An organization is only as good as its people.

As your 2009 president, I would like to thank everyone for all your volunteer hours spent making the Gwinnett County Master Gardeners an
exceptional organization. I look forward to representing you and our county in 2009.

Finally, let’s learn the language. Learning the common names of plants is not easy, but sometimes two different plants can have the same name in
different regions. (How many plants are known as “spurge”?) Using scientific names adds authority to your speaking. Whoever said Latin is a dead language has not spent time in horticulture. Make friends with your garden one name at a time. There is a certain rhythm and melody to the botanical names of plants.

Other articles in this issue:
Get Your Soil Tested During The Dormant Season – By Tim Daly
Birdscaping in the Home Garden – By Steve Pettis
Rainwater Collection System – By Renee Beard