Bulb Planting and Perennials to be Subject of Final 2023 Montgomery Botanical Gardens Class

The final 2023 educational offering for Montgomery  Botanical Gardens at Oak Park will be a class on Bulb Planting and Perennials, to be held on Saturday, November 4 in the Wisdom Wood Outdoor Classroom at 10:00 AM. The class will be taught by Karen Weber, a member of the Capitol City Master Gardeners.

Mrs. Weber is a native of the farmland of central Ohio, where she received a degree in Ornamental Horticulture from the Ohio State University. Immediately thereafter, she moved to tropical South Florida, where she felt totally at a loss in the northern Palm Beach County plant world, while working as a gardener for renowned golfer and avid tropical plant collector, Jack Nicklaus.

Thirty years ago, Mrs. Weber and her husband and three children relocated to Montgomery. She worked as a gardener on the private estate of Wynton Blount and later as a gardener at the Shakespeare Garden, located at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival when it was installed in 1999. She was a founding member of the Capitol City Master Gardener Association.

Included in the presentation will be types of bulbs and perennials that grow well in our local climate, as well as information on when and where to plant them. She will also address preparing the soil and how to plant for optimum growth.

The class is free and open to the public. Seating is available, but participants may wish to bring folding chairs for comfort. Water will be available.

The 2024 Montgomery Botanical Gardens Calendar of Classes should be available in late December or early January.

Class XXXIII of Leadership Montgomery Volunteers at Montgomery Botanical Gardens

Members of Class XXXIII of Leadership Montgomery volunteered on Thursday, October 12, 2023, at the Montgomery Botanical Gardens. The group included Wheeler Crook, Gerald Jones, Lois Cortell, Phill Johnson and Cheryl Johnson. They were welcomed to the gardens by Board President Cathy Maddox, and given a brief introduction to the history of the botanical gardens. 

The plan for the day was to install a long row of ferns beneath the existing row of Limelight Hydrangeas along the end of the Southern Garden near Forest Avenue. The ferns were delivered, the soil amendment was in place and all were ready to tackle the planting task. However, desperately needed rain had finally fallen the day and night before, rendering the ground to wet to dig and plant.While the rain was appreciated, a change in plans for the volunteer day was needed. 

As any gardener knows, there is always something that needs attention in a garden.  Karin Carmichael, MBG Volunteer, and Chair of the Capital City Master Gardener Association MBG Project, along with Diane Vanella, Horticulturist working with MBG, offered the newly arrived LM Volunteers the option of helping to install the stone edging along the pathways and around planted beds. 

The enthusiastic group made short work of several stacks of stones and edged the main pathway and two of the Pollinator Beds working in a drizzling rain until they used all the available stones. The stones not only improve the appearance of the garden but also help to stop erosion and highlight the boundaries of the beds and pathways. The stones used for the edging are ballast stones that accumulated in Montgomery many years ago when the city was an important shipping point for cotton and other products. Ships would arrive with their hulls weighted with the granite ballast stones, unload them at the dock, and then take on cargo. These stones were then used for roadways, walkways, and also along the original pathways in Oak Park. As these stones are rediscovered through property development, they are delivered to the park for use in the botanical gardens. 

The fern planting was rescheduled and we look forward to these active volunteers from Leadership Montgomery contributing to the beauty and development of the garden as our relationship continues.

Montgomery  Botanical Gardens Fall Flower Arrangements from Nature a Huge Success

Bright blue October skies and a lovely breeze provided the perfect atmosphere for the October Montgomery Botanical Gardens Fall Flower Arranging from Nature class which was attended by more than 30 guests. Presenter, Anna Owen, brought pre-prepared arrangements as well as materials gathered from her garden and farm to create a variety of beautiful floral arrangements.

Premade arrangement from containers

The pre-made arrangements consisted of several potted plants and flowers, artfully arranged in vine baskets. Mrs. Owen used different colors and textures and covered her “hardware,”  as she called it with Spanish moss. Most of the plants she used for these arrangements are common summer annuals found in many local gardens.

Premade arrangement from containers

The highlight of the presentation featured “made from scratch” arrangements created from shrubbery clippings, perennials, annuals, wild flowers and a variety of grasses growing on Mrs. Owen’s farm. She artfully clipped and layered them in a variety of containers from bottom to top, explaining as she worked, making the artistry seem as though anyone could achieve such mastery of the art. 

MBG member Maggie Stringer introduces presenter, Anna Owen

Notable in each of the arrangements she created was a variety of shadings of green, different textures and the addition of color to provide contrast. She also told participants they do not have to follow traditional rules of design; rather they should work toward achieving what is aesthetically pleasing and suits the occasion.

New member Shannon Ippolito and Elaine Galt discuss presentation

The class was part of a series of presentations offered by Montgomery Botanical Gardens each month throughout the year.  The 2023 series will conclude with Bulb Planting/Perennials, presented by Karen Weber on Saturday, November 4 at 10:00 AM in the Wisdom Wood Outdoor Classroom.

Classes are free and open to the public. Seating is available in the Outdoor Classroom. For comfort, participants may consider bringing folding chairs. Water is provided.

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.