Volunteering 2020

We are gardeners and are a unique group of people who love all kinds and types of plants and relish digging in the dirt.  We became Master Gardeners to improve our knowledge and do better in our own gardens. 

Part of being a certified Master Gardener is the requirement to volunteer each year – somewhere within our county – in some way – and give a few hours of our time.  For many, the enjoyment of being a Master Gardener is learning from each other and sharing what we’ve learned and know with the other folks.

At our recent garden tour, with our members serving as docents in the participating gardens, we had the opportunity to share our gardening knowledge with those visitors.  Our volunteer docents, wearing aprons and badges to identify themselves, masked and practicing social distancing due to the pandemic, relayed unique information about each of the seven tour gardens.  Collectively, they answered hundreds of questions to identify plants, explained the importance of natives, talked about rain barrel value, landscaping and hardscaping and discussed sun vs. shade.  We salute these folks.

This volunteer docent is really enjoying her assignment

This volunteer docent is really enjoying her assignment
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Garden Tour June 2020


GCMGA presented Down the Garden Path on Saturday June 13, 9AM – 4PM.  

We donned our masks and practiced social distancing that day.  Although we were delayed by restrictions from the pandemic with the tour moving from May to June, folks were ready to be outside and enjoy nature’s beauty.  We showcased seven diverse gardens:

  • A Certified Native and Wildlife Habitat employing only native plants
  • A formal English style garden with winding paths and water features
  • A landscape featuring sustainable practices, statues and a koi pond
  • A Charleston style garden utilizing classic Southern plants
  • Two inviting pocket-size garden retreats

Many gardens were located in shade and on slopes providing ideas on how to beautify a challenging landscape.  Ideas for types of plants – shrubs, trees, natives, perennials and annuals – were gained by our visitors.  Many questions and comments from our visitors and lots of answers from our hosts and docents.  All of our gardens were along the Highway 78 Corridor from Lilburn to Lawrenceville to Grayson.  We invite you to look at just a few pictures of the gardens on the tour.

Varlamoff Garden: Potted Wonder welcomes all to the hosts' sustainable garden haven

Varlamoff Garden: Potted Wonder welcomes all to the hosts' sustainable garden haven
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2020 Photo Contest

This was a wonderful show which we could enjoy from home via Zoom.  Lori Prosser and Ann Langley did a wonderful job co-chairing this event and we again thank Eric Bowles for judging.  There were 107 entries from our members.  Enjoy the pictures!

2020 GCMGA Photo Contest

2020 GCMGA Photo Contest
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Pandemic Gardening

We asked our members to tell us what they’re doing in their own yards while the stay-at-home guidelines exist.  Scroll down to read their stories and see the pictures they sent.

Our plans to host the annual GCMGA April plant sale had to be cancelled due to the pandemic and stay at home guidelines.  After much deliberation, it was decided that a fall sale wasn’t viable and we’d delay to 2021 – BUT – that left loads of plants that members had been fostering for the April plant sale. On Saturday, May 30, many Gwinnett Master Gardeners picked up plants at Community Garden of Snellville parking lot. A great crew put together orders from the plants that had been potted up for the canceled April sale. It was wonderful that the City of Snellville let us use the parking lot for this event. Thanks to Susan Kosenka (who gallantly took on creating the order form and organizing the orders), Wes and Lucy Nettleton, Virginia Schofield, Susan Varlamoff and Linda Bolton, {who joined us to sell Garden Tour tickets}, and Lynda Pollock. We really appreciate everyone who shared their plants and made purchases. Leftover plants are making their way to Vines and the Community Garden of Snellville. 

Cars arrive to pick up plants and Linda's working that line

Cars arrive to pick up plants and Linda's working that line
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Marcia L told us …. We have a wooded wetland for our back yard. There was an old footbridge across the creek, which had gotten pretty rickety, so we decided to replace it ourselves this year. We are not terribly “handy” (taking the old one apart gave us guidance on how to build the new one), but it kept us busy and outdoors during the entire stay-at-home period!

Bridging the isolation gap with nature

Bridging the isolation gap with nature
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Marcia and her husband replaced the old footbridge across the creek

Lynda P responded with pictures and an account of what’s she’s doing this May saying….

Front yard pollinator meadow is coming into its own. Created a raised bed veg garden also in the front yard. We’ve cleared privet, honeysuckle, and English ivy out and can now get down to the creek and are planting a native woodland. We’re enjoying sitting by the creek and communing with Harold the great blue heron. All the clearing was done by hand including my sweet sons, who’ve been off work,  and Bob the Master Gardener’s Assistant. You’re welcome to come visit. Cheers!

Beauty in pollinator meadow

Beauty in pollinator meadow
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