A new year for happy gardening
January 04, 2015
By Brynn Lee/Victoria County Master Gardener, President
Edited by Charla Borchers Leon/Victoria County Master Gardener
PHOTOS BY BRYNN LEE/VICTORIA COUNTY MASTER GARDENER
Victoria County Master Gardeners are always on hand to assist and answer questions at the plant sale which offers several thousand plants to the public in March of each year. Shown here are plant sale workers, from left, Cliff Knezek, Dr. Jim Grumman, Kathy Toerck, Mary Janak, Doris Martinak, Pat Miller, Jean Huber, Ellen Buchanan, Donna Hinman, Mary McCurdy, Nancy Zaplac, Sandi Coleman, James Mallett, Dick Nolen, C. J. Jones, Sandy Knief, Mickey Miraggia, Madeline Garcia, Linda Fleming, Pat Plowman, Jolene Molder, Ed Gregurek, Jerome Janak, Barb Henry, Emory Powitsky, Tom Akins, Olivia Blanchard, Dr. Kay Dillingham, Suzann Herricks, Barbara Buethe, Beatrice Flores, and Donna McCanlies.
University of Houston-Victoria Professor Hashi Ehsan, left, and his students visit with Master Gardener Pat Plowman, sitting, at Victoria Educational Gardens to get cuttings from native plants to clone for a science project.
The greenhouse committee works most every week to care for plants propagated and grown in the Master Gardener greenhouse for the plant sale held in March of each year. Shown here, from left, are Master Gardeners Marcia Kauffman, Gerry Hornstein, Scott Sanders, Donna McCanlies, Cathy Koenig, Lupe Cook, Lanny Havemann and Tom Akins.
Another year has come and gone, and as incoming president, I am pleased to write that the Victoria County Master Gardener Association is better for it and starting its fifteenth year dedicated to educating and beautifying Victoria County. As with each New Year, we have goals to grow and reach out to the community. Some of the ways we do this is by offering various projects for the community.
Become a Master Gardener; join Victoria Master Gardener Association
Our association is 150 members strong. Members are from as far away as the towns of Seadrift and Gonzales and cities in between. They have discovered that by joining they can learn and teach many people about plants and gardening.
You, too, can become a certified Master Gardener by signing up for our training class which begins each year in August and continues through November. For more information, visit our website, vcmga.org, or call the county extension office at 361-575-4581.
Junior Master Gardener program
Our main goal is to reach out and educate. What better way to teach our future than by getting the Junior Master Gardener program into the schools? We have dedicated members who will assist teachers by introducing gardening into their curriculum on their school campuses.
There is nothing more rewarding than to see a child's face when they realize the little seed they planted grows a tomato or a beautiful flower. We already have three elementary schools interested for the upcoming year.
Victoria Educational Gardens, tours
Victoria Educational Gardens is one of our biggest attractions. Located at the Victoria Regional Airport, the gardens hosted tours to more than 2000 school-aged children last year.
Members are on hand to guide and answer questions about the 19 individual mini gardens, water feature, different turfgrasses, vegetables, the military honor garden and even international plants. There are benches throughout the gardens for you to sit quietly and enjoy the beauty.
There are also many adult groups, gardens clubs and individuals who have visited our gardens. The gates are never locked, so you can visit any day of the week, any time, all year long.
Our most popular project is the yearly plant sale. Open to the public, you have an opportunity to buy very reasonably-priced plants for landscaping. Members are on hand to assist and answer questions. Most of the plants are grown and cared for in our greenhouse all year long.
Lunch and Learn With the Masters
This is our eighth year of educational classes offered free for the public. You can learn about building a water feature to pruning trees from knowledgeable members. The classes are every second Monday of each month, beginning in January through August, noon to 1 p.m., at the Dr. Pattie Dodson Public Health Center in Victoria. Bring your lunch - and learn.
Home garden tours
Have you ever driven by a home with a beautiful landscaped yard and wondered what a particular shrub, flower or tree is, then tried to imagine what the rest of the yard looks like? So have we. With your interest in mind, we host tours of some of the most unique, eye-catching yards in Victoria every other year. The next garden tour will be in fall 2015.
Do you have a special event planned for the new year? We manage two large venues, gazebos and beautiful gardens for weddings, anniversaries or any type of celebrations. Information is on our website or call 361-541-0368 to schedule the usage date.
Dedication brick paver
If you are looking for a unique way to honor a special person in your life, why not purchase an engraved brick paver? Whether it's a milestone birthday, special event, loss of loved one or to honor military duty, there is a special place reserved at Victoria Educational Gardens. This is an ongoing fundraiser with your donations going to improving the gardens for your enjoyment.
Like today, every Sunday the Advocate publishes an article written by a Master Gardener on a different gardening subject. Each article offers old and new knowledge for tips or ideas on turning your landscape into your special place to enjoy all year long.
So as this new year begins, make VCMGA a part of your new interest. We're not only another year older, we're another year better. Happy gardening in 2015.
The Gardeners' Dirt is written by members of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, an educational outreach of Texas AgriLife Extension - Victoria County. Mail your questions in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901; or email@example.com, or comment on this column at VictoriaAdvocate.com.
• The second Monday of the month
• First session is Jan. 12
• Look for complete schedule in next week's column (Schedule)
2015 Information coming soon!!