Shoals Master Gardeners is an active club made up of members from all over northwest Alabama.

Electronics Recycle Drive
Southwire Company - 4155 Helton Drive

Friday, October 19, 2018, 10 am – 2 pm
Do you have old electronics laying around or shoved in a closet? Friday, you can bring your electronics to Southwire – 4155 Helton Drive at no charge. We will fill up a 26 foot box truck with old electronics to be recycled. Volunteers will help unload cars and trucks from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.
List of Accepted Items:
Personal computers, Laptops, Modems, Disk drives, Printers, CD-Roms
Fax Machines, Phones, Scanners, Keyboards, Mouse/Mice, Stereos
VCR/CD Players TVs** Monitors, and more
Not Accepted: Console TVs, Tires, Garbage

October 2018 Meeting: Fall Picnic

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 11:00a.m. at St. Florian Park, Co. Road 47
It is time to relax and enjoy a picnic in the St. Florian Park. The food will again be provided by Pop’s BBQ. There is no charge for the meal. Take home plates will be available for purchase. We are extending an invitation to all the farmers that contributed to the Farmer’s Market Gleaning Project.

  • Annual dues of $25 should be paid at the meeting. 
  • Cost for the Christmas party of $TBA per person is also due this month.

Here's the documentary video Wray Dillard produced on banding hummingbirds at Margie Anderton's farm. Please click on the "Thumbs Up" to like the video and also subscribe to Lynn Wray Dillard's channel. Thank you to Margie for the fantastic way you care for these tiny creatures. 

Banding Hummingbirds at Margie Anderton's Farm

Alabama Master Gardener Association 2018 Fall Seminar

Thursday, September 27, 2018
Hosted by Capital City Master Gardener Association
Registration fee is $30 and includes lunch. Registration deadline is 9/21/18
Seminar to be held at Taylor Road Baptist Church, 1685 Taylor Rd in Montgomery, Alabama
For more information, go to alabamamg.org or capcitymga.org

June Meeting Review: 

On Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 Dennis R. Balch gave a very informative speech about the “Institute for Learning In Retirement: Fall and Spring Learning Activities for the Gardener’s Off Season” The Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR) is a member-led organization open to lifelong learners from all walks of life. The program is managed by the UNA Office of Continuing Education and offers a wide variety of educational opportunities and interesting activities to encourage ongoing learning.

Bonnie Deason presents the SMG June Helping Hand award to Lisa Maples

Bonnie Deason presents the SMG June door prize to Jean Batson.

SMG member Dennis Balch presented the June program on the UNA Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR).

West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center Field Trip
Your invited to a SMG Field Trip to Jackson, Tennessee on July 12th to join The Summer Celebration at The West Tennessee AgResearch and Education CenterThis is the annual Summer celebration at The West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Jackson. Tenn. There will be programs on different topics. And there will be places to buy lunch.

We will meet at the Florence/Lauderdale Coliseum at 6:30 am and depart shortly after that. We will depart Jackson around 4-4:30 pm and should arrive back in Florence about 2 hours and 15 minutes later. 

The cost is $10 each for the bus. Email, call or text Donnie Daugherty and he will sign you up. Payment can be made at the next SMG Meeting or you can pay at the bus if you cannot make the June SMG Meeting.  Visit west.tennessee.edu/events/SummerCeleb for details.

SMG Members Enjoys 2018 AMGA Banquet:
Friday, May 4 found several SMG members and their president in Birmingham to attend the 2018 AMGA Conference.  Below are some photo of SMG enjoying the Banquet:

SMG President Michael Thomason 
and the state president Cathy Maddox.

The Petals from The Past Field Trip
The Petals from The Past trip is scheduled for May 24th. The Bus departs the Florence-Lauderdale Coliseum parking lot at at 630 a.m. Cost will be $22 total and includes $10 for bus and $12 for box lunch. We have reserved one bus. Donnie Daugherty will have sign up sheets at the April Meeting and also choices for box lunches. Donnie will need all that are going to sign up or call him by MAY 7th. Payment must be in by May 15th.  Click here  to visit www.petalsfromthepast.com
SMG 2018 Plant Sale

Click here for a look at 2018 Plant Sale activities.

All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar: Ants
Don’t forget this month’s All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar will take place this Friday, April 6 at 2:00 pm Eastern time. Ants are the number one reported nuisance pest and come in all shapes and sizes with an incredibly wide variety of nesting and eating habits. In this webinar presented by Dr. Fudd Graham from Auburn University, we will learn about Argentine ants, among others, and ways to get them under control. We hope you can attend the webinar live, but if you are unable to make it, a recording will be posted online next week.

Webinar link: https://auburn.zoom.us/j/209793415

Note: on April 6, the link to the live webinar opens about 15 minutes before the webinar. If you try to log in earlier, you will get an error message.

For more webinars in this series, see 2018 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series. The webinars are brought to you by the following: eXtension Communities of Practice: Ant Pests, and Urban IPM; and by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Clemson Cooperative Extension and University of Georgia Extension.

Volunteer Opp's Bulletin Click here for a link to our Extension's Volunteer Opp's Bulletin, Vol. 4, Issue 3. This publication is specifically for Alabama Master Gardener Volunteers. 

March 2018 Meeting features Doug Chapman!
Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 at 12:30pm.
Doug Chapman is the Regional Extension Agent for Commercial Horticulture. Doug has been with the extension system since 1992. For several years he was the Extension Agent for Home Horticulture and also the Master Gardener Coordinator for Limestone county. He also teaches our Shoals Master Gardening Intern's class Back Yard Fruit Production.

Here are a few photos from the SMG February 2018 meeting:

In pic on left Donnie Daughtery receiving Give a Hand award from Bonnie Deason while Marcia Whiten receiving door prize from Donnie Deason in pic on right.

Dr. Paul Kittle talks about Birds of Ecuador.

Taylor Reeder and SMG Kathryn MacNeil at the SMG booth for the Spring Shoals Homebuilders show on Sunday March 18, 2018.

Please welcome...

Shoals Master Gardeners Class of 2018 

Mary Alexander, John Allgood, Pam Arias
Kelly Cole, Arthur LaPerriere, Bill Matthews
Shirley Merkel, Jamie Overton, Rusty Phillips
Charles Rickard, Bobby Russell, Ben Strickland
Sandra Wesson, and Judi Williams

Winter 2018 Pathway, Happenings plus AMGA Conference links!
The winter 2018 issue of Pathways is available for download at Pathways Winter 2018
AMGA Happenings 2017-2018  is available for download at Happenings Winter 2017-2018.
Online registration for the Alabama Master Gardeners Association 2018 State Conference is now open at www.amgaconference.org.

23rd Annual Urban Forestry and Horticulture Conference
Friday, March 16, 2018, 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Cross Point Church of Christ, 1350 Cox Creek Parkway, Florence, AL

“Spruce Up Your Spring” is the theme of this year’s conference, sponsored by the City of Florence Mayor and City Council and the Florence Beautification Board, Tree Commission, and Urban Forestry/Horticulture Department. Two specialty tracks will be offered: Horticulture and Urban Forestry, with ISA points available. Outstanding speakers will present current information on horticulture and creating and preserving the urban green environment, including keynote speaker Tom Underwood, Director of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Bill Finch, former Director of the Mobile Botanical Gardens, Troy Marden, award-winning garden and floral designer and frequent contributor to Alabama Gardener and Southern Living magazines, Will Jangaard and Brad Phillips, speaking on Trees and the Law, Dale Dickens, Urban Forestry Coordinator, Alabama Forestry Commission, and Tom Powers, Powers Treeology.

Public is invited. Cost: $45, which includes lunch.
Registration: www.florenceal.org. Information: Mayor’s Office, 256-760-6400.

SMG Picnic 2017
Oct 17, 2017 of Kay Hillis, Kathy Peoples and Sarah Haggstrom at our Picnic.

Peggy Lazenby and Taylor Reeder.

HL Noah the Potter
HL Noah the Potter, demonstrating his method  to mix  up a batch of Hypertufa during the Sept 19 Meeting.

Master Gardener Helpline!
For answers to your gardening questions, please call toll free 1-877-252-4769 or locally (256) 766-6223. Or you can submit a question online at the "Ask an Expert" link.

For Master Gardeners that would like to sign up to work the Helpline click on "Links" in the menu bar above, click on "SMG Service Report Login", sign in, click on "HELPLINE", scroll down calendar to choose date, click on the word "VOLUNTEER" beside date you want to work. Agree to date by clinking on "YES". OR you can call Donnie Daugherty at 256-577-0461 or Ina Ranger at 256-247-9819. 
SMG 2018 Projects
Children's Museum- Cam Jones
Central Elementary Project-Peggie Lazenby
Riverhill School- Peggie Lazenby
Threadgill School Project- Cam Jones
Healing Place- Kaye Hillis
Shoal Wildflower Society- TVA Wildflower Trail- Margie Anderton
Helen Keller Birthplace Foundation- Betty Balch
Safe Place Project- David Phillips

SMG Workday: Children's Museum of the Shoals
Friday, May 11, 2018, 9:00 a.m. until noon
We have a lot to do at the Children's Museum and I'm hoping many of you can work this Friday. The city is supposed to come out this week and line up the electrical connection so that we don't dig into them. Then we have to dig up some Black Eyed Susan's and daylilies.  After we get the area cleaned out, there are new plants to put in to the front courtyard. These will require some deep digging because they are large. I will get there early in the morning to Water the area so the ground won't be so hard. I also have some compost we can make mix in. Bring shovels for this area.

There are boxwoods adjacent to Darby that need to be pruned, and we need to dismantle the three raised beds. The children's museum has kindly allowed us to use the wood from the raised beds for the raised beds at Threadgill Primary School. Also, if we have time and enough personnel, we can plant the perennials from the front courtyard into the area around the reading nook. We really need a large turnout to get all of this work done. I will bring black leaf bags and water. Hope to see you on Friday.  ~Cam J.

Below is a video showing the highlight of today's Workday!

Stump Removal Plan "A"



Riverhill School BioBlitz
Riverhill School is having a BioBlitz activity on Thursday, May 23rd from 8:30-11:30. We will be helping students identify the plants on their new campus. Please meet in front parking lot at 8:15a.m. so that we may enter as a group. If you are late please tell them you are there for Mrs. Dielbert's class on speaker at front door. Look forward to seeing you for this fun adventure.

SMG Workday: Threadgill Primary School
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Threadgill Primary School in Sheffield , Alabama was a new and exciting SMG project. This school garden area was actually created by SMG many years ago according to Lynn Wilson. The principal, Matthew Syesta, asked us to update an inner courtyard into an outdoor learning and arts area and the SMG Board was kind enough to approve this multi-year project. In addition to the SMG funding, the school also received a grant from St. Francis Foundation.

The first efforts were cleaning up the area. This entailed taking down some small trees, some of which have grown very close and into a chain link fence, trimming vines, pruning some crape myrtles and overgrown bushes. We also did a bit of cleanup and then assessed the viability of an old water feature.

In the future we need to decide how best to schedule laying a concrete walkway from the school building to the learning area, so bring your creativity with you. John Norton has done this before and has some ideas gleaned from experience. Cam Jones coordinated this workday.


SMG Workday: Children's Museum of the Shoals
Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 9:00 a.m. until noon
Good news… the city has marked the electric lines in the courtyard area at the The Children's Museum of the Shoals so we can now get in to dig up some of the perennials, move and replant them around the cute little reading house inside the fence. And any excess perennials will be donated to SMG for the Arts Alive plant sale. We will also be planting new shrubs and ground cover in the courtyard area. Lest you think there is nothing else to do, let me disabuse you of that thought. Inside the play area adjacent to Darby Road, we will be pruning boxwood and dismantling the three raised beds. There may even be a few weeds! I’ll provide water and black plastic bags.

Please accept my sincerest thanks for all the work you do to support this exciting project. Bring your shovels, hand tools, pruners, wheelbarrows, etc. Don’t forget sunscreen! Thanks so much to those who volunteered their time to help make The Children's Museum of the Shoals beautiful! There is so much to do and the leaders at the CMS are very appreciative and supportive of our efforts.

Workday at Helen Keller's Birthplace
Saturday, April 28, 2018 starting at 9:00
SMG had a workday at Helen Keller's birthplace, Ivy Green, We will continue with spring cleanup, pruning, feeding and possibly mulching. Betty Balch is coordinating this workday. Please let Betty know if you think you might be coming so we can bring more supplies. 

Workday at Helen Keller's Birthplace
SMG had a workday at Helen Keller's birthplace, Ivy Green, Friday, April 6, starting at 9:00. We worked on the following:
  • Clean out the beds: rake leaves and pull weeds
  • Prune hydrangeas, roses, and ivy
  • Remove invasive plants
  • Fertilize and mulch azaleas, roses, boxwood
  • Dig up a large, invasive winter honeysuckle
  • Dig up plants that need to be thinned: red canna, asters, ruellia, cone flowers (perhaps some will be suitable for the plant sale).
Betty Balch did a great job coordinating this workday.
Workday at Scope 310 Project
We finished up the Butterfly Garden at the Scope 310 Project on April 5, 2018. This was another wonderful (subjective) opportunity to get in some volunteer hours and some lifting exercises all in one. For the Scope 310 Project, we moved the landscape blocks from our SMG Nursery Barn to the Scope 310 front yard, using a trailer. Some of the blocks were 52 pounds each and are rectangular. Some are the smaller flat pavers were at about 2 poundsWe had a hand truck and a wheelbarrow available so the actual carry time was bearable. We used these blocks to outline a new Butterfly Garden at Scope 310.

SMG VP Donnie Daugherty being directed by SMG Mary Hill while he hefts 
a 52# landscape block. What a Team!

Scope clients Kyle & Josh sowing the pollinator seeds and guided by SMG Mary Hill.

The SMG Rock Stars from left are: James Huff, Keith Rylant, Donnie Daugherty, 
Foy Persell, John Norton and Preston Hillis.

The first half of the butterfly garden is done and the clients planted seeds today, in the rain.

Here is a shot of the clients after the planting was done. They had fun.

Extension Webinar Info
Hi everyone! Do not despair if you missed Mollie Keck’s informative webinar on Meet Our Native Pollinators. You can find a link to the webinar recording posted at: https://learn.extension.org/events/2849

Please tune in next month when Dr. Tim Davis will discuss New Invasive Ants to Know Abouthttps://learn.extension.org/events/2850 As always the webinar is on the first Friday of the month (October 6) at 1 PM CDT.

Subpages (1): Plant Sale 2018