MBG September Volunteer Day A Great Success!

On a gloriously cooler September morning, master gardener volunteers arrived at Montgomery Botanical Gardens to participate in distributing soil throughout the gardens and continuing to line beds and walkways with ballast stones. These energetic members or the Capital City Master Gardener Association, along with a few other volunteers moved 10 yards of soil in less than two hours! With multiple shovels, wheelbarrows, buckets and gloves, the work went fast. The soon-to-be-planted Sensory Garden area was supplied with sufficient soil for the variety of plants that will be installed in the fall.  The Pollinator beds were amended with some of the soil and the Bulb and Lily Beds shared in the bounty. Karin Carmichael, Chair of the CCMGA MBG Project, directed the work and guided the distribution. Today’s volunteers included Jane Martin, Lynne Kuhlmann, Lacy Gibson, Shap Ashely, Linda Graydon, Mamie McClure, Maggie Stringer, Ann Hamill, Henry Lucas, Janice and Andy Jackson, Cheryl McKiernan, Darwin Prewitt, Jim Wirshing, Cathleen Musicant, Cathy Maddox, Marie Tomlin, Nell Copeland, and Justin Skipper.

Karin Carmichael and Justin Skipper conferring about soil placement for Sensory Garden.

Henry Lucas, Linda Graydon, take a break to chat as volunteers add soil to beds.

Janice Jackson spreads soil as other volunteers work along with her.

Mamie McClure and Lynne Kuhlmann spread straw in Pollinator bed #1.

Maggie Stringer and Shap Ashley demonstrate that volunteers are allowed to take breaks.

Janice spreads soil as Andy Jackson and Cheryl McKiernan get instructions from Karin Carmichael.

Jim Wirshing, Cathleen Musicant, Henry Lucas, Lacy Gibson, Janice Jackson, Shap Ashley relieved to be finished with the work for the day.

As if they had not accomplished enough, the volunteers were very grateful that the staff from the Parks and Recreation Department delivered a number of loads of Ballast Stones to the Southern Garden that have been stored in their Maintenance lot for MBG. Volunteers laid the stones to extend the edging of the Pollinator Beds and will use some of them to continue with edging the Pathway. Some of these stones were recovered from sites downtown that were recently being developed. This is but one example of the gardens and the city working together for mutually beneficial outcomes. 

MBG Volunteer Day is the third Tuesday of each month and all are welcome to join the volunteer work to support the development and maintenance of the gardens.

Ann Hamill and Darwin Prewitt take their tools to start loading the wheelbarrow with soil.  

Jane Martin, Linda Graydon and Lynne Kuhlmann shovel the soil into carts to transport.

Cathy Maddox, Maggie Stringer and Shap Ashley take a break to enjoy the cool morning.

This smiling group is happy that the work is done and the gardens will benefit. 

Montgomery Botanical Gardens Plans Class on Creating Fall Floral Arrangements from Nature

Montgomery Botanical Gardens continues its educational series with a class on Creating Fall Floral Arrangements from Nature. The class, to be held Saturday, October 7, 10:00 AM in the Oak Park Gardens’ Wisdom Wood Outdoor Classroom, will be taught by Anna Owen.

Mrs. Owen, a longtime member of Capitol City Master Gardeners, frequently presents classes on finding beautiful arrangement components in the garden or woods and combining them into artistic arrangements. What began as a personal hobby for her artistic fulfillment has grown into a much sought-after skill for training area gardeners.

A decorating class at Auburn University Montgomery fueled Mrs. Owen’s interest in flower arranging especially in creating designs from nature. She has worked on flower arrangement committees at her church for years, arranged flowers for conventions, and attended a flower arranging seminar at the Southeast Flower Show in Atlanta.

The class is a part of a series of Montgomery Botanical Gardens presentations throughout the year. The final class of the 2023 offerings, Bulb Planting/Perennials on November 4, will be taught by Karen Weber.

Fall Floral Arrangements from Nature is free and open to the public. Seating is available in the outdoor classroom. For comfort, participants may consider bringing folding chairs. Water will be provided.  

September Herb Class Sponsored by Montgomery Botanical GardensHits a Home Run

Presenter Janell Diggs

September heat did nothing to diminish the enthusiasm of participants in the Montgomery Botanical Gardens September class, Growing and Cooking with Herbs, presented by Janell Diggs.The presenter’s enthusiasm for her subject drew rave reviews from the crowd as she offered great growing tips for herb gardeners and then involved the entire group in preparing dishes made with herbs.

Mrs. Diggs presented detailed information on growing rosemary, basil, thyme, cilantro and mint. Among the tips she offered:

  • Rosemary is a Mediterranean herb that requires dry feet, does not transplant well and pairs well with chocolate and potatoes.
  • Basil, also is a Mediterranean herb that does not like the cold, should be served fresh and not cooked, and pairs well with cheese.
  • Thyme is more pungent than rosemary or basil and goes well with eggs and cheese.
  • Cilantro thrives well in weather that is not too hot, tastes soapy to people with certain genetic makeup and is the world’s most used herb since all parts of the plant can be used in cooking.
  • Mint needs to be contained since it takes over the garden and is practically indestructible.

To make her presentation even more engaging, Mrs. Diggs had previously prepared rosemary chocolate chip cookies which she shared with attendees. She also set up cook stations for participants to make and sample guacamole and rosemary potatoes.

Montgomery Botanical Gardens plans two more classes to complete its 2023 schedule:  Fall Floral Arrangements from Nature on Saturday, October 7, by Anna Owen; and Bulb Planting/Perennials on Saturday, November 4, by Karen Weber. Both classes will be held at 10 AM in the Wisdom Wood Outdoor Classroom in the Gardens at Oak Park.

Admission to the classes is free and open to the public. Seating is available in the Outdoor Classroom. For comfort, participants may wish to bring folding chairs. Water will be provided. 

Participants prepare guacamole and rosemary potatoes.

Susan Mustin enjoys presenter’s tips.

Jo Moore, Lisa Terry, Yvonne Elmore and Zion Washington listen to Janell Diggs.

Herb Class This Saturday, September 9

The Montgomery Botanical Gardens will present an herb class on Saturday, September 9. The class, to begin at 10 AM, will be held in the Wisdom Wood outdoor classroom and will be taught by Janell Diggs.

Whether it be a small window garden or a large patch in an outdoor space, many people dream of planting and cultivating their own herb garden, offering them the luxury of snipping off fresh herbs for cooking and providing fragrance throughout the home. For many of us, lack of knowledge about what will grow where prevents us from attempting such gardens.

Janell Diggs, past president of Capitol City Master Gardeners, will offer tips on selecting the right herbs, planting and nurturing them and using the herbs in cooking. Mrs. Diggs, who is currently working  on her Master Gardener’s Advanced certification in “Gowing and Cooking with Herbs,” lives on a farm in Hope Hull and currently grows flowers, vegetables and herbs. She teaches a variety of classes, from herbs to raising chickens.

The class is part of a series of Montgomery Botanical Gardens presentations throughout the year. Additional classes will include Fall Floral Arrangements from Nature on October 7, taught by Anna Owen; and Bulb Planting/Perennials on November 4, taught by Karen Weber.

The class is free and open to the public. Seating is available in the outdoor classroom. For comfort, participants may consider bringing folding chairs. Water will be provided.