October 2011 Monthly Meeting

The Gwinnett Master Gardener October monthly meeting took place Monday, October 17th at our  temporary location at the George Pierce Park  Senior Activity Center, 55 Highway 23 NE (Buford Highway), Suwanee, GA 30024 (770) 822-5414.

The featured speaker for October was Linda Copeland, co-author with Allan Armitage of “Legends in the Garden: Who in the World is Nellie Stevens?”  In her presentation, Ms. Copeland related the stories behind Nellie Stevens, Jane Bath, George Tabor and many others and how she accomplished the research to write the Legends book and some information that is not included.

For our membership, this meeting also included a report from the 2012 Nominating Committee.  A membership vote for 2012 officers and committee chairs will take place at the November meeting.

Executive Committee officers nominated are: Hilary Wilson, President; Carole Teja , Vice President/Programs; Becky Wolery, Treasurer and Rosalie Tubre, Secretary

Fall at McDaniel Farm

Our GCMG/Gwinnett Extension Project at Gwinnett County’s McDaniel Farm Park is wrapping up for 2011 as our volunteers dig into fall.

Spring bulbs were added today at the main parking lot entrance.  Our big fall rennovation of the Farm House foundation shrubs included the use of the park’s tractor and a lot of help from the park’s maintenance heroes, Joe and Juan.  This was our first year planting sweet potatoes in the main demonstration garden plot.  The potatoes were huge.  Lesson learned – harvest a little sooner next year.

Master Gardeners took advantage of fall being a great time to plant and move  shrubs.  The bushy Nandinas that had been in front of the farmhouse for years were removed with the tractor and replaced with small hollies  (Ilex crenata ‘Soft Touch’).  The hollies will grow 2’-3’ wide and tall.  We plan to add dwarf boxwoods, one on each side of the steps to balance out the area.    Daffodil bulbs that were dug up in the removal process were replanted and there is enough room to include ‘old time’ perennials or annuals in the future.  We also moved a large Forsythia bush off to the right side which fills in the space well.  Other tasks and planting of other areas, will be completed in the future.

EHC Field Trip Report

17 Master Gardeners and friends enjoyed a great morning at Gwinnett County’s Environmental Heritage Center on September 14.  This Field Trip had something for everyone.

We participated in a tour of the outside of this fantastic environmentally friendly building with EHC staff member and Master Gardener Karen Alexander. Several of the gardens are the result of GCMG projects of past years such as these raised beds that are used to demonstrate many facets of gardening.

To add a little exercise to the trip, Karen took us on a short tour of some of the hiking trails at the Center.  EHC has over 7 miles of intersecting trails.  Many of the trails are paved.  Some are like the one shown below where we did a little stream crossing to reach a shoals area.

Then it was back to the center for a water break and a tour of the Space Exhibitwhich explains life on the International Space Station.  EHC is a great resource for the children of Gwinnett County who tour this exhibit frequently.   This is just one example of how great our Field Trips are.  Come join us for future trips.

September 2011 Meeting

GCMG’s September meeting was held Monday, September 19th,  at Gwinnett County’s George Pierce Park Senior Activity Center in Suwanee.  This month’s program showcased speaker Debbie Cosgrove presenting a program on  “A 19th century Physician’s Use of Medicinal Herbs with Emphasis on Native Plants”.  Debbie introduced us to Dr. Durham’s use of medicinal plants.  Dr. Durham was one of the more renowned physicians of Georgia during the 19th century.

Debbie is a graduate of UGA with a BS in Foods and Nutrition and an MS in Horticulture. In 2008 she and Ellen Whitaker co-authored a book containing the 19th century medicinal remedies of Dr. Lindsey Durham who resided near Athens, Ga. Debbie is affiliated with the historical preservation group the Friends of Scull Shoals. She has an interest in native plants and currently volunteers for the Georgia Perimeter College Native Garden in Decatur. She lives in Arnoldsville, Ga.

Debbie also had available copies of her book, “Dr. Durham’s Receipts: A 19th century’s Physician’s Use of Medicinal Herbs” by Debbie C. Cosgrove and Ellen Whitaker.