Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Early Spring at Collierville Victory Garden

CVG 3-27-11
“Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night.”  ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Now is the time to visit the Victory Garden - an official Tennessee Master Gardener Demonstration Garden. The rich dark humus and heavily mulched raised beds are not yet obscured with thick foliage.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Memphis Botanic Garden: March 15, 2011

Heather Goodwin (MG 2005) sent us these pictures that she took at Memphis Botanic Garden last week.  She added music - so ramp up your volume and enjoy!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Fling Spotlight: For your Shopping Pleasure!

In addition to the MAMG Crafts Booth, there will be numerous shops and organizations with merchandise to sell and information to share.

Spring Fling Spotlight: Crafts

Some of the items which will be offered for sale in the MAMG Craft Booth:
  • garden spinners
  • hand painted chimes
  • hand painted windows
  • suet cake holders from found objects
  • large lady bugs made from bowling balls
  • earrings from found shells
Come early to get the best choice!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Swappin the Chicken Yard and the Garden

(Carl Wayne Hardeman is a Master Gardener and a wonderful speaker and writer!  Need a speaker?  Click here.)

doin' the chicken dance!

It’s windy this morning here at the Snappin Turtle Farm in my dreams. The wet ground is cold, and the damp air cuts me and Mimi to the bone. But they’s work needs done, and days are getting longer and warmer.

We got most of the spring garden planted. We transplanted cabbages, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, Texas and Georgia sweet onions, and a few red cabbages. I guess they taste like the Bonnie and Dutch Flat cabbage. The garlic we put out last November is about a foot tall and has survived several freezes over the winter. The old collard green stalks have begun to grow new leaves.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Fling Spotlight: Starting Seeds - Cheaper by the Dozen

When Master Gardener Tom Mashour was a Cub Master in California, his pack raised money by going door to door selling cardboard egg cartons pre-seeded with 12 varieties of tomatoes.  They sold 200 in about 2 hours at a buck apiece.  That was 40 years ago!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Fling Spotlight: Recycle Right

Want to learn how to be a better steward of the environment?  At Spring Fling we will teach you:

  • what can go into your kitchen compost pail (and what can't!)
  • what to do with the lint from your dryer
  • new uses for toilet tissue and paper towel holders and for egg shells
  • how to crochet those ubiquitous plastic bags into washable, reusable totes
  • ways to use wood scraps in floral arrangements
  • to fashion yard art from found items, including broken garden tools
You'll get tips on how to share your new-found knowledge with your family, friends, and neighbors so that we can all be better stewards of our air, soil, and water. 
The best part?  It's fun, inexpensive, and efficient!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Family Plot: Gardening in the Mid-South

Dr. Chris Cooper
We already know Dr. Chris Cooper as walking horticultural encyclopedia, entertaining speaker and pianist extraordinaire.  Now we can add television personality to the list!

Beginning Monday, March 28 at 6:30 pm, Chris will host a new show on WKNO-TV called The Family Plot: Gardening in the Mid-South.  The show will appear weekly through early October.  Chris will invite local experts to chat with him about various aspects of gardening in our area.  At times, he will take us on field trips to close-by gardening destinations.  Each show will also include a Q&A segment when Chris will answer questions sent to the show by viewers via email at familyplot@wkno.org.

On the inaugural show airing March 28, we will be introduced to guests Mike Dennison, Cathy Faust, and Genie Ashworth.  Mike is the former director of the Shelby County Extension Service and will be the show's co-host.  Cathy is the current Shelby County Extension Director.  She will give an overview of the services provided by the Extension Service.  Genie is the current president of the Memphis Area Master Gardeners and will talk about the impact that our volunteers make in Shelby County through our various activities.

Also on the program schedule:  garden "must-do's" for late March/early April.

Tell your friends!  Set your alarm!  Program your recorder!

If you miss the show at 6:30, don't despair.  It will air again at Monday night at 11:00pm.

Spring Fling Spotlight: the Speakers

Spring Fling activities include opportunities to hear knowledgeable and entertaining gardeners speak about their favorite subjects.  From nationally known Felder Rushing to our very own Carl Wayne Hardeman, there is surely something that you'll enjoy learning!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Fling Spotlight: Children and Butterflies!

A child is a butterfly in the wind,
Some fly higher than others,
But each one flies the best that it can.
Each one is different,
Each one is special,
Each one is beautiful.
          -Author Unknown

Children are naturally drawn to gardening and this year's Spring Fling will have butterfly activities to encourage their interest.  The children will plant Echinacea seeds in small containers that they can decorate with butterfly and flower stickers.  They will also make a small garden stake for their little pot.  Hanging butterfly cutouts have secret colors that will be revealed!  Butterfly booklets will be given to each child and glitter pens and other washable (!) pens will be available for the children to decorate the booklet covers.  Parents, bring your cameras and take pictures of your little ones as butterflies in our photo fence!

A special treat:  one of our new Master Gardener interns is The Balloon Lady!  She will create butterfly and flower balloons for the children.

The Children's Booth will be open Saturday, April 2 from 9:00 til 4:00 and all activities are free.  For more information about Spring Fling, click here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

$$$ Available $$$

(Garden Musings editorial note:  Commissioner Brooks is a strong advocate for the Shelby County Agricultural Extension Program and for Master Gardeners.)

From the Commerical Appeal Thursday, March 17, page B5:

Shelby County Commissioner Henri E. Brooks is proposing a program to encourage development of more community vegetable gardens in the inner city.

State money would flow to Methodist Le Bonheur Health Care, which would then give small grants to local organizations that want to start gardens.

Brooks works in community outreach for Methodist. She said the hospital group sees the gardens as a way to promote healthy living and combat hypertension and other diseases often related to poor diets.
Brooks also said the gardens can teach young people lessons about where their food comes from as well as give them practical skills in entrepreneurship and other areas.

County commissioners discussed her idea Wednesday and Brooks said she'll return with a formal proposal in two weeks.
-- Daniel Connolly

Interested in inner-city gardening?  Let your SC commissioner know! 

Jan Trent (MG08) on Starting Seeds

Starting Plants from Seed                           
Since 2008, the CVG flower team (known now as Plants4Habitat team) has started over 1000 seedlings.  The first year, Joan Hermann, Julie Ligon and I had no idea what we were doing…the seeds germinated anyway!  After 3 years, several Dixon Garden Seminars and troubleshooting internet searches here are a few things we have learned.