Great things are happening with the Shoals Master Gardeners!

More information on becoming a Master Gardener is available at  this page.

Floral Arrangements Compliments of SMG
Shoals Master Gardener volunteers prepared table centerpieces for the Alabama Association of County Agricultural Agents and Specialist (AACAAS) Conference dinner held at Joe Wheeler State Park on Thursday, June 6, 2019. All these beautiful flowers are a contribution from their very own lawns & gardens. The AACAAS greatly appreciated their talent and dedication in supporting Extension programming and our community.


The SMG 2019 Directories are Here!
SMG 2019 Directories are available and can be picked up at the office. Please note of the advertisers in our directory and patronize them whenever possible. Many offer discounts to Master Gardeners! This year's cover features photos of hummingbirds at Margie Anderton's home.

SMG 2018 Graduates
Our 2018 Shoals Master Gardeners Graduates:
Back row: Rusty Phillips, Sandra Wesson, &  Mary Alexander
Front row: Judy Williams, Jamie Overton, Pam Arias & Carolyn Phillips 
Not in photo is Shirley Merkel nor Authur LaParriere. Congratulation! It is great to have each of you as a qualified members of one the greatest community service groups in the Shoals. 

Rain Barrel Workshop
Friday, May 24th at 11:30 am at the Lauderdale County Extension barn. The cost will be $40.00 for a completed rain barrel, for more information, please contact Rhonda Britton at 256-552-1578, or Kaye Hillis, 256-483-9693. Please sign up with Kaye Hillis, so we can get a number. Make checks payable day of workshop to Madison County Extension office.

Note from Taylor: City Farm Tour
Happy Halloween! I have an opportunity for any of you looking to get some hours. Heidi is organizing this year’s Farm City Tour. Last year we took kids from the city schools to several different farms around Lauderdale County. We are doing the same format this year and need volunteers to help out at some of the farms. The farmers will be there to do most of the talking/tour stuff, but you may get asked simple questions about bugs, soil, or other related topics. The tour will be next Wednesday, November 7th. It will run from early morning through lunch and lunch will be provided for you on site! If you are interested please let me know and I will get you in touch with Heidi. This is a great opportunity to teach kids about agriculture and where their food comes from! Thank you! —Taylor Reeder, Regional Extension Agent

Volunteer Opportunity (No digging, easy work)!

Here is an opportunity to obtain volunteer hours and give Shoals Master Gardeners exposure.
Volunteers are need to host a booth at the  2018 Spring Building & Remolding Show.
Location: Radisson Hotel & Conference Center, 4900 Hatch Blvd, Sheffield, AL
When: Saturday March 17 & Sunday March 18, 10 AM – 5 PM each day
What: 8’ x 10’ booth area, SMG can sell plants or just hand out info, or both. Booth area will have a tile floor. an 8’ folding table and two chairs.
Cost: For SMG there is zero cost!

Winter 2018 PathwayHappenings 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

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 or

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 texDonnie 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 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
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:

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 ServiceClemson 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.

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: 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.

Garden Pathways
Here's the link for the summer edition of Garden PathwaysClick here! A registration form for Fall seminar is on page 7. Page 9 has 2017 AMGA Conference info (There will also be a Seed Savers Exchange at the conference!). Page 8 has info on  another seminar you may want to attend.

The Christmas De-Construction crew, finishing up the dismantling at TVA Art Center in Tuscumbia. The final work-day bringing 2017 to a worthy close. Pictured L to R are : Sandy Newton, John Norton, Dot Burke, Lynn Wilson, Peggy Lazenby, Cynthia Kershaw, Barbara Wilson, Paula Kelley, Brenda Bradford and Beth Peterson.

Field Trip: Petals from the Past
On Tuesday May 23rd we head to "Petals from the Past" in Jemison, Alabama. Jason Powell, owner, conducted a tour and highlighted the gardens activities then we enjoyed our box lunch. Afterwards we spent some time on our own as we pick out those plants to purchase.
“Wheels on the Bus”, on our way to “Petals from the Past”

Tour groups getting a lesson.

Field Trip: Summer Celebration 
at UT Research Center
On Thursday July 13th we traveled to Jackson, Tennessee to attend UT Research Center's "Summer Celebration." Numerous Horticultural classes were presented during the day, some by Carol Reese! 

“Summer Celebration” and tour of the Tennessee Extension Experiment Station.  This was the coolest we felt all day.