Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Master Gardener Winter School

I recently traveled to Lebanon Tennessee with Karla Kean to teach a "Landscape Design" class to master gardeners from all across the state at the annual Master Gardener Winter Training. This post is about the training and the gardeners involved.

The Wilson County Extension office is located on the fairgrounds in Lebanon. This is also where all the training took place. The fairgrounds are attractive and interesting. They actually have a little town, complete with a schoolhouse, barber shop, stables, store and main street. Our particular class was taught in the schoolhouse.

Karla and I had 20 plus students in the landscape design session we taught. The students came from as far away as Roan Mountain and the Tri-Cities area in eastern Tennessee, to as close as Davidson and Cheatam counties right here in Middle Tennessee, and as far west as Jackson Tennessee. A wide range of all types of gardeners. Boy was I in heaven! Getting to be around gardeners!

Our class covered topics such as: landscape principles and elements, site assessment and analysis, the landscape plan on paper, symbols, and plants for Tennessee landscapes. In the afternoon, students were then broken down into five groups. Each group had to design a landscape by implementing the lessons they had learned in class that morning.

Groups chose garden designs as varied as a sensory garden, to an entryway garden, to a foundation bed, to a handicapped garden to a complete barber shop landscape design. Once the site was measured and evaluated, put on paper, plants chosen, and all agreed upon, groups were responsible for presenting their plans to the class.

The weather was absolutely awesome on Saturday and it was a great day to be outside designing landscapes. Lots of new friends were made, landscape designs completed and all passed with flying colors!

Beth Babbitt, Tennessee Master Gardener Program Coordinator is looking to make the winter training and annual event. So all of you master gardeners who may have missed out on this go around-you will have a second chance next year.

The first two pictures are of groups presenting their plan, the third picture is of Karla and I (Thank you Anna for taking it!), the fourth picture shows a group working outside, and the last picture shows some can do enthusiasm of a group working on their plan inside the schoolhouse.

in the garden....


  1. Good morning to all,

    Sounds like a fun day Tina.

    No snow, sleet or freezing rain yet. All rain and lotsa rain. Rained really hard for quite a bit and still at it. Birds don't mind it as they are at the feeder fighting.

    Gotta go put a turkey in to cook as have company coming for supper.

  2. Hi Tina and Jean --looks like everyone was having fun:) I'm sure it was fun talking about gardening with enthusiastic gardeners. It looks like today will be nice --sun is shining and no rain here. I will be taking the small boy outside --had to get dinner started --love that crockpot. And, I've started some bread dough too:) Hopefully, I will be as productive in the garden:)

  3. dawn with peachesMarch 5, 2008 at 9:57 AM

    Hi Tina, Thats a good pic of you. Glad you had a good time. Sounds fun.

  4. Tina,

    Hello....can you feel my envy? I missed signing up for master garden classes in Davidson county by one day and they wouldn't extend it for me. SIGH!

    Would you post your class syllabus for those who didn't get to attend;-)


  5. hey mom, glad no freezing rain. who's coming to dinner? grandkids? have fun. rain is good though i think the northeast had all of ours last summer!

    good morning anonymous. great day outside! i have to go to post then i will hit the garden. you'll be productive. i too love my crockpot! love it love it! bread dough is good too. hope the chimney guy comes over.

    dawn with peaches, thanks, the picture was good but i only printed it because it has karla in it. so many folks know her, but her picture isn't often in the paper. it will be tomorrow. karla is a great extension agent and works very hard. plus, mom wanted to see a pic of me.

    gail, that is so sad they would not extend it for even one day! they must have had a bunch of folks sign up. usually they don't and need to extend it. they will offer them again. there were a lot of davidson county master gardeners there too. enjoyed meeting them all. gardeners are super people.

    i can't post the syllabus, as we just had a class schedule and powerpoint presentations. the presentation is online at the listserv for tennessee master gardeners. i believe anyone can sign up for this email list. it is found at TMG@LISTSERV.UTK.EDU check it out and let me know if you can access it.

  6. we were just talking about copper thefts on this blog, then, coincidentally, i talk about wilson county fairgrounds. guess what? $50,000 worth of copper was stolen fromt these very same fairgrounds!

  7. Looks like fun was had by all...

    Those copper thieves are down right awful. They have taken copper from churches around our area! Nothing is scared to thieves! I would like to take a good old piece of cane to them! arggggg.....

    I was just in town and had to rush to the computer to share this bit of spring news.... The Pear Trees are blooming in Georgia! They always put a smile on my face and with the sun glowing on them after such a nasty stormy day yesterday, what more could a gal want.... Okay, a gal would like a dry yard for planting...

  8. skeeter, love your comments and a blow by blow of springtime in georgia! if it reaches you and lola-it can't be far away from us.

    what are you going to do about that wet vegetable garden area? raised beds? will that work for you? i think you and anonymous will be working it out together. interesting to see how it goes too...

  9. Hi Tina, I agree with Dawn with peaches --that is a great picture of you with Karla. I like to see you without your hat, lol. I know every good gardener has a hat:0) You told me so --hahhaa. I was pretty productive in the yard today. I planted 63 onion bulbs in the backyard. I used a space that was already there --between two big trees and some tulips and daffodils --it will look okay when they come up since it is the far back corner. I got more dirt by dragging my wagon down the road and looking for some good soil from leaves and runoff --found some "gold" dirt --very rich looking and used it to cover up my onion bulbs. I can't guarantee they will grow well but they are in:) Also, helped hubby put my new red farmhouse bird feeder on the tree stump I left in the backyard --it's up and he screwed the bird feeder into the old tree stump so the raccoon can't take it away this time. Really great day to be outside and then come in to smell my dinner already cooking. We have piano lessons today and then just regular homework so the kids should get outside tonight.

  10. Nope, no grandkids for a change. A
    92 year old man that lives up the road and lives alone. He just had a pacemaker put in a few weeks ago and had me come get supper for him and stay a while after that as he was quite unsteady. He paid me that night and then a week or so ago I got a letter from him with $20.00 in it. His note said it was a "retainer" and he would send some periodically as he knew his 90's were going to be different than his 80's and he wanted to make sure I was around to help him. I did not wanna keep it but he would not hear of that so figured I'd have him for a home cooked meal every now and then. He is the one I told you about....he swims and does track all the time. Just broke a world record in swimming a couple of months ago. He still drives, does his driveway himself with a snowblower (and his road is quite long), gets on a ladder, chops wood, ect. Quite a 92 year old to say the least!!!

    Ditto on the crock pot girls!!

    The copper and other metal thieves (for that matter, all thieves) are
    terrible all over. Was it Lola that said they are too lazy to work for a living and she was right. Scum bags.

    Skeeter you may have to go with raised beds. I remember when living in Georgia that drainage was a problem cause of the type of soil down there. But easy to make roads. My father was a road contractor and he went wild when he saw how easy it was. Just total amazment. He did'nt stop talking about it for years. He sorta lived in his own small world
    (building roads and his famil) in the end of the world we call Maine and I guess he thought everyone had to build roads like he did.

  11. Hello everyone! Tina looks as tho
    all of you had a fun filled day!

    Anonymous, just wanted to say that all good gardeners not only have a hat but should also wear it! I have had skin cancer removed from my nose and hand (basal cell carcinoma). We should also wear our sunscreen. I have been very careless about doing both.

  12. hi everyone!
    anonymous-you are so enterprising-you'll be a better gardener than me very soon. those onions will do great!

    mom, that guy sounds so cool and you are so kind to cook for people-such a good cook too! lucky him!

    nina, hats are a must and i am sorry about your skin cancer. i have a few gardening friends who also had the problem. it is a very real problem, especially if you are fair skinned. i am glad you caught it early. sunscreen is also A MUST in the garden. cover up!

    there is a joke about the hat and my picture on here. you see, folks just CAN'T recognize me with the hat. even longtime friends. i don't know why but the hat seems to throw them off-not my intent truly.:) yeah right. that was why anonymous was joking. actually, the hat in the picture is a tame one compared to the boonie cap i usually wear in the garden-we'll save that crazy picture for another time!

  13. Hi Nina --I totally agree with the hat and sunscreen. I'm sorry you had to endure that:( But, Tina knew what I meant --she looks like a totally different person without that particular hat. I could picture her in a boonie cap --I wear one myself --thanks to hubby. I use it when mowing or weed trimming/in the yard -- Much too nice to stay in while there is still daylight --I had to feed the kiddos and now we're heading back out. Catch you later! Hi Jean --that is so sweet of you --plus you all get some time to talk. I firmly believe that the generation older than us were so much more observant and have so much to share with us.

  14. Jean, you are a sweetheart to check in on your neighbor! I wish I had you as my neighbor instead of the gang next door! LOL... Hope I am healthy at 95…The ground is good in our yard. We are the lucky ones in our area with a mixture of good rich black soil and sand. Some people are not so lucky and have that nasty GA Clay! We do have one area of clay but I avoid that small patch. The area we cleared is in a low area near the natural rain water runoff coming from the back woods. Nothing we can do to divert the drainage. I knew this would be an issue but I did not know it would be this big of an issue! Once the spring rains stop, it will be dry but I think the raised beds is the way to go.... argg, more trouble then planned but I will work it out eventually... I may go ahead and plant the Spring onion, radish and lettuce in my small raised flower bed by the chimney. They will be ready to pick long before the Purple Queen, Salvia, etc are too large... The cat nip (for the cats) and the parsley will work in the back of my raised Periwinkle planters in the flower garden…

    Nina, my father in law had skin cancer also. He is fair skinned and was a fruit/veggie picker when a child in California during the 40’s and 50’s... It is coming back to haunt him now. He has to wear long sleeve shirts in the summer!

    We try to keep the sunscreen on when at the lake also. In our yard we use bug spray on our bodies as well. GA mosquitoes are big enough to fly away with you!

    Anonymous, do you like onions? LOL, we love onions and I put them in a lot of our dishes.... But I dont crock pot cook. I enjoy cooking the old fashioned way, on the stove! Saint laughs at me about that one and has tried many times to talk me into a crock pot to no avail.

    Tina, the first time we met, I did not have a problem recognizing you without a hat but then again, you were standing in the parking looking for us to arrive!

  15. hey guys, love the conversation! my internet works some of the time lately. some of the time it doesn't. so if i'm not on here as much that is why!

    anonymous, i am so glad i am not the only one who wears a boonie cap in the garden! you better be careful-your neighbors might think you are the hired gardener!

    skeeter, good neighbors are great aren't they? i know you like your neighbors, just don't enjoy the junk. sigh. sometimes it is like that. i understand fully.

    i think you will like raised beds so much better! just do one or two with some 2x6s. you don't even need to dig in the soil if you don't want to. you'll make it work-you are a good gardener!

  16. dawn with peachesMarch 5, 2008 at 9:03 PM

    What in the world is a boonie cap?
    Gee Wiz, I don't get out often enough.

  17. Hi Tina, hope your internet stops giving you problems. That would upset me to no end especially when the kids are all in bed and I can surf the web:) I enjoy looking for clothes for the girl --hahhaa. I'm sure I do look like the hired help when I am sporting a boonie cap, wrap around sunglasses and long sleeve shirt and pants in the summer, rofl. It's better than a sauna I tell you:) Hi Skeeter --almost forgot I LOVE onions --I could cook them with everything I eat just for the flavor --can't say the same for the rest of my family but what they don't know won't hurt them, hahahahah. I couldn't imagine not using a crockpot --I love the convenience of putting it on and letting it do its own thing. I suppose I am a wee bit lazy when it comes to cooking over a hot stove, hehehe. So, your mosquitos can carry people away --I believe it --we went to Georgia a few years back to gold prospect and wowser the kids got tore up. I thought it was because we were near water. Hi Jean -hope your dinner went well --as I sit here drooling thinking of a freshly baked turkey with the fixins --yum-yum! Dawn with peaches I will let Tina describe the boonie cap --since I am not all that great with describing things --hence the chimney cap was a piece of metal, lol. My description woudl be it's a soft military issue cap that you wear instead of a helmet. I think Tina can give you a better description --think camo print --it can vary in color depending on the style of uniform --the particular one I wear is naturally a desert boonie since he recently came back from Iraq --but we do have a pretty shade of green camo that my boy won't release --he likes to wear it when he runs around like a soldier in the backyard. That would be boy number 2 --the 11 year old:) Well, off to web surf for pretty girl clothes and shoes. See you later!

  18. Nina I am sorry you had to deal with the skin cancer and glad you got it taken care of. The same to you Skeeter with your father-in-law. My father had several taken off his hands....all at different times, also his face and my brother also. I have been lucky so far (knowck on wood), esp since I spent more time outside than either of them and never wore protection. But then again way back when we never heard of sun screen or the connection to skin cancer and the sun.

    Thanks girls but I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the old folks. My mother did also and was always doing for them so I guess I got it from her. Anonymous you are so right about the stories. This man went to college with JFK, flew every plane there was during the war and after and has traveled the world so has lots and lots of stories. My hubby loves sea stories so was in 7th heaven and to top it off he loves planes. This man's mind is sharp as a tac so that is great.

    Skeeter i am sorry you have to look at that yard next door to you.
    I bet if you tried a crock pot you would love it for some things.

    Tina a while ago I walked Joanne thru getting to your blog on the phone and the hat did not fool her. The second she saw it she started giggling and said "Oh there she is, my sister. She always did look good in hats!" She does have the site bookmarked (I also had to walk her thru doing that) and does check in from time to time. Maybe some time I will walk her thru how to comment. If I can get her that far it will be like going over Mt. Everest 3 times!! Funny, she always has had something to say and Dawn with Peaches was the quiet one that you never knew was there. Go figure.
    I probably should have done it after you had the grandparent post as just a couple of weeks before that she was talking to your father about Grampie Peter. How when we went there he always gave you kids Butterfinger candy bars and what drawer they were in, going to Uncle Art's store and the grave. Your father was amazed she remembered all that and wondered what the rest of you all remember about him.

    Dawn I am glad you asked what a Bonnie Hat is cause I was going to.
    Guess I do not get out enough either.

    Guess I better go to bed now that I have gone on and on.

    Lola has not been on today. Hope she is having fun and not sick.

  19. Oh I love onions also. Not hubby but ditto on what they don't know.....I use my mini chopster so he does not know they are there.
    We had the small white onions as one of the veggies with dinner tonight.

  20. Good blog. I like the pic. It is a good one. I need to get me a hat. I'm real fair & have had precancer taken off face & arms. Have one come back on nose. I just don't think about it.

    Glad your dinner went well. I love turkey. I'm sure the gentleman enjoyed it with the company. It's great that you have taken the time to give some time to this gentleman. I think that there is not enough done for the older generation. Most have been shoved into a nursing home & forgotten about. Younger generation think it's not going to happen to them. Hope your weather clears up soon.

    Bummer on the signing up Gail. Looks like they would have let you do it.

    Skeeter, nothing is sacred anymore. Glad the pear trees are blooming there. I will have to drive around to see if they have started here. It'll dry out soon.

    Love that crock pot too. Have different sizes for different things. Saves time & energy.

    Love onions too. I think they will grow just about anywhere. Green onions are the thing. I like shallots too--they are milder.

    I didn't know what a Bonnie hat was either. Glad it was explained.
    I've gone & got windy again. Big day tomorrow.

    Hope all have a restful night & a great day tomorrow.

  21. dawn with peaches, anonymous did a good job of describing a boonie cap. it is kind of like an ll bean hat, but made out of denim like material. it is floppy and flexible. we soldiers wear them in places like iraq. the one i wear has the 'chocolate chip' pattern, which is the desert pattern from the first gulf war. anonymous's doesn't have the black spots called chocolate chips, but still has the desert colors and pattern. i may have an extra one i can give to you (if i ever find it) if you like.

    anonymous, you did a good job of describing it! did you see ginger likes them too? great! better let boy number 2 (the rabbit hunter) keep his boonie cap. probably makes him feel like he is camoflaged.

    mom, i remember grampie peter giving us a choice of candy. i usually chose the fireballs. of course we girls remember him, though joanne was young when he passed. of course i remember uncle arthur's 'candy store' down the road.

    i guess joanne is not a computer person? my friend geri isn't either so i truly understand. it is fine. no problem. she might like to check in and get some hints from lola since they live in the same state. lola sent me some pics of azaleas blooming. i will publish them this week.

    lola-no hat?! gotta get one. thrift shops and yard sales are good sources, just needs to make you happy and shade you from the sun.

    i got the pics of the azaleas! beautiful. i will put them up on here this week.

    i love onions too. just hate the smell on my hands after peeling them! i know lemon juice neutralizes the odor-but i'm always out of it!:(

  22. dawn with peachesMarch 6, 2008 at 8:28 AM

    I'll pass on the boonie hat, I think wearing something under the sun is the thing to do though. Zackarys favorite teacher got a carsoanoma (sp) on the tops of his ears and had to loose part of one. He is a avid golfer and didn't protect the tops of his ears.
    Mom, when I was at dads awhile back he asked me what I remembered about Grampie Peter, his main concerned was passing it on to Zackary and Nikki. I vividly remember the upstairs with the old marbles and board games, also would never forget the birds.
    Onions....Yum, Yum. 2 of us like them but I have to cut mine BIG for like, oh, say meatloaf----the non eaters can pick them out. I'm getting a crockpot, we looked at the stainless steel ones on fri., they are wonderful for homemade spagetti sauce with meatballs, really miss using one.

  23. dawn with peaches, i am on my way outside but wanted to say i still have many marbles from upstairs! do you remember the heating grate we would look through at the adults? don't remember the board games though.

  24. dawn with peachesMarch 6, 2008 at 8:49 AM

    yep. I do remember the heating grate, wasn't much up there after everyone moved out, think grampie Peter just left it. Some old board games, parchesie (sp). And between all of us I think you and I were the only ones allowed in the purple sunroom, beautiful handmade dollies, burned a impression in my mind, will never forget it. Dad said that room was the only thing standing after the fire.

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. Your talk about the candy bars reminded me of my grandmother! She would walk to the grocery store each day and have us kids a Butterfinger when we got home from school. Every now and then she would get something different but butterfingers seem to be her favorite treat for us... Thanks for reminding me of that memory!

    I wish my grandparents did not leave me so soon in live. Two sets of them (I had three) never got to see me become an adult. The one set that did, lived in Illinois so we hardly ever got to see each other. I adored their wisdoms and miss their teachings but take the memories with me from day to day. I have a lot of each grandmother in me and I do things that remind my parents of their mothers, so they live on through me…

  28. Ops, my bad with the deleted comments. I goofed twice... Duh...

  29. dawn with peaches, nothing standing now. i remember the tall tall wildflowers and the purple furniture. beautiful.

    skeeter and dawn with peaches, doesn't it just make you sad sometimes thinking of grandparents when they aren't here anymore? for anyone who isn't here anymore.

    skeeter, must be something about sad you lost two sets of grandparents when you were so young.

  30. Skeeter, sorry you lost your grandparents before becoming an adult as I know how that feels as I lost all 3 of mine when in high school. I only had 2 grandmothers and 1 grandfather as my father's dad died whe Dad was only 4 and my Nannie never remarried. I was a holy terror when in high school so they all died with not only me not being an adult but not having "grown up". But I think (at least hope) they are looking down and know now.

  31. I am sure they are watching you Jean and are proud...

  32. dawn with peachesMarch 6, 2008 at 7:08 PM

    yah, it does, but feels good to remember.

  33. Yes, will have to get myself a hat. Try salt to get the onion off your hands Tina.

    I think all children should have grandparents to love them & spoil them. But most of all to teach them the old ways. I only had a grandfather & I lost him 8-11-1956--the yr I was to start high school. Hadn't "grown" up then either. I really miss all my family members that have gone on.Wish I'd had the chance to get to know them better. But they are all together taking care of my precious baby girl.

  34. Oh Lola I am so sorry about your precious baby girl. Nothing worse in the world. I am glad she has loved ones with her.

  35. lola, sorry for your loss. couldn't imagine.