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February 26, 2015

I had a pretty relaxed schedule to get to the airport and made all flights on time and I am now sitting in my hotel room blogging. An amazing thing happened today. I went overnight on a trip with just a backpack! The Biermann family genes normally would not allow such a thing. My mother instilled in us to always be prepared for snow in July and we packed accordingly. Over the years I have actually made a few trips where I wore everything I packed and sometimes I even wore it twice. But I came bare bones this time, and will definitely use everything I brought, because I didn’t bring much. No choice of what to wear, jewelry to pick out. No portable fans, extra plugs, or slippers even! Truly amazing. So while the travel gods were smiling, I did have a dreaded middle seat both flights and was almost in the very back of the plane, but alls good.

This morning before I left I went to the vet with my son and his dog. He was expecting bad news and needed moral support, because he found what he thought was a tumor. It turned out to be an infected bite from the roommates little dog. They never even knew there was a fight. Tripps got shaved and then had a laser treatment. We all had to wear goggles, including the dog.



P1050405. Pretty cool, huh! Tripps actually liked them and didnt try to get them off.

I did check some of my vegetables and flowers after the snow. It was great to see the sun, but it still felt pretty cold. Plants look pretty good. The large kale I covered doesn’t have a burnt leaf.


P1050413 . Some of the uncovered plants had a few burned leaves, but I think things are going to be great.




My neighbors daffodils that were laying on the ground have even perked up and look good.

So lets hope that is the last of winter weather and we can move into spring.

Tomorrow morning I speak at the Tennessee MG winter school, which is their leadership conference. Then home tomorrow night.

It is snowing–again!

February 25, 2015

The snow started for us in Little Rock about 10:30 a.m. and it hasn’t stopped. I hate to say it, but it is pretty to look at. It is a heavy, wet snow and is covering plants, snow feb25.15.2

snow february25.15.2trees and decks, but it is just now getting to 32 so it might get dicey on the roadways soon. What a mess! Our propagation workshop scheduled for all day tomorrow at Garvan Gardens is cancelled. We tried calling all participants, but some had not left phone numbers so we hope they get word. We have people scheduled to come from all over the state, and it is even worse weather down south. I believe this is the first of our quarterly workshops we have had to cancel for weather–and let’s hope it is the last. We are tentatively planning to reschedule for March 19, since we have to work with our schedules and the gardens to find a date. Once we know for sure, we will get the word out.

I am still planning to fly out to Nashville and then on to Murfreesboro tomorrow, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that planes are flying–I do fly south into Atlanta. I then come back late Friday.

Stay warm and pray for sun.

Another round is supposedly coming!

February 24, 2015

This morning the roads were treacherous, but by noon the sun was shining and things were melting fast. We even had trash pickup, so things are good. Just when you think things are looking up, another round is predicted, and once again, we can have wishful thinking and it will pass us by. I have already cancelled and rescheduled enough for this week. Our vegetable workshop for Shirley has been rescheduled from Feb. 24 to March 10: shirley community garden planning jan (3)
Join us for an informational meeting with Janet Carson and Danny Griffin o discuss the Shirley Community Garden &The raised garden bed concept on March 10, 2015 10 AM –12:00 PM
At the Shirley Community Church/UMC, Hwy 16, Shirley, AR.
For more Info Contact: John Hiegel, Shirley Community Church – email
Phone 501-884-4870

I got this on facebook today and thought I must share:
snow-tulips Don’t we wish they were real flowers and no snow?!

As long as weather is not in the fray, we plan to have a propagation workshop on Thursday at Garvan Gardens. I leave from there and get to the airport to catch a plane to Nashville and then a drive to Murfreesboro to speak to the Tennessee MG Winter School on Friday morning. After speaking, I reverse and drive back to Nashville and then fly home, so I am hoping there is no winter weather on either end!

Stay warm and keep your fingers crossed!

Will it ever end?!!

February 23, 2015

Last night the sleet continued, but it didn’t get to freezing until late, so this morning, although the yards and decks were white, snow feb23.15 (1)the roads were fairly passable. But by noon, the snow began, and it snowed off and on–from light to heavy until well after 7 p.m. snow feb23.15 (6)

snow feb23.15 (7) We now have over 3 inches of snow in my yard. The streets are white. snow feb23.15 (9)

snow feb23.15 (10)I am ready for this to be OVER, but they say more is coming Wednesday and possibly into Thursday! I hope they are wrong. We live in the south for a reason! We also don’t do well driving in this stuff–although my husband Clay is a winter weather champion and goes to work every day regardless of the weather–and he has lived his whole life in Little Rock!

Today was supposed to be an early morning of show breakdown, then write a couple of columns and rest. Instead, I broke down the show last night, wrote columns today, worked on emails and Powerpoint and cleaned, cooked and did laundry. I did read a book too.

We have cancelled our presentation in Shirley for tomorrow morning and are rescheduling. I hope to wake up to full sun and 60 degrees tomorrow and clear roads–wishful thinking, I know. Our office is already closed tomorrow, so I need to get a game plan in place.

Here are the answers to the mystery plants from last week–more guesses than ever–I guess everyone was snowed in.

Mystery plant A -afgs.sunday.17 is anthurium or flamingo flower– a tropical plant. Anthuriums (an-THUR-ee-um) are a staple plant in Hawaii, but are actually native to South American rain forests. They generally encounter temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees and humidity between 80 and 100% in their native environment. Inside it needs bright light, but during the summer months outside it does need protection from afternoon sun.

Mystery plant B – afgs.sunday.19 is Bird of Paradise or Strelitzia (stre-LITZ-ee-uh). This is another tropical bloomer that is hard to rebloom in Arkansas unless you have a greenhouse with bright winter light.

Mystery plant c – mystery plant c feb16.15 are a variety of heuchera (HEW-ker-a) or coral bell perennials. This evergreen shade loving perennial is a great companion plant to hosta and comes in a wide array of colors. Heuchera villosa is needed in the parentage to survive the heat and humidity of the south.

Here are your mystery plants for this week:

Mystery plant A – afgs sunday.15.15 is an edible perennial.

Mystery plant B- afgs2015.015 These colorful winter annuals surrounded by succulents and interspersed with daffodils, don’t last long, but pop a punch of color!

Mystery plant c- afgs2015.022 are two colors of a genus of moderately hardy perennials.

Good luck, and stay warm!

A wintry end to the 24th Show

February 22, 2015

The weather did not do the Arkansas Flower & Garden Show any favors this year, with sleet and snow on Thursday/Friday to the north of us, but then more wintry weather at the close of our show. At 4:00 as the show ended, sleet was coming down pretty heavy in downtown Little Rock. The only saving grace was that the temperatures were hovering slightly above freezing, but it still caused most exhibitors to plan a hasty retreat. Many folks who normally clean up on Monday (including us) broke it all down tonight and got it out. The elevators were doing a brisk business.

We had a decent crowd mid-day, afgs sunday.15.13but by the close of business, it was getting pretty thin as folks were wary of the weather–and rightfully so.

Children’s activities were popular today in the meeting rooms, where kids could learn about earthworms and how plants move water and nutrients up and down their systems;afgs sunday.15.05

afgs sunday.15.12

afgs sunday.15.11, while 4-H was in attendance all three daysafgs2015.092.

While the AFGS is primarily a garden event, I am so pleased with the support and response of many of Extension’s other disciplines. Poultry science was on hand to discuss backyard chickensafgs sunday.15.17, our Hope Research station director talked mushroom production all three daysafgs sunday.15.21, and public policy talked watershedsafgs sunday.15.19, FCS did cooking demosafgs sunday.15.18, our bee expert promoted beekeepingafgs sunday.15.20, and water conservation was the topic from Mark Brownafgs.1.49. Our plant pathologist diagnosed many problems, afgs2015.054and had a cool set-up where you could see what she saw through the microscope projected on a tv screen–these are mealy bugs moving around. afgs2015.103

We talked to so many people and answered questions galore. We also had over 60 folks sign up for more information about the Saturday MG training in Conway this summer. We got a lot of applications, and sent out more. Our MG volunteers did an outstanding job recruiting and answering questions.
mg recruiting afgs.15.3

mg recruiting afgs.15.5

mg recruiting afgs.15.6

So while numbers were down overall due to weather, it was still a fantastic event for our state and the world of gardening. Mark your calendars now for next year, Feb. 26-28, 2016–it will be the 25th silver celebration, and you don’t want to miss it. And if you did miss this years show, visit the website and see the time lapse photography. It is pretty cool.

A great Saturday

February 21, 2015

In spite of the miserable weather, we had a decent turnout on Friday, but the show was rocking today! We had a wonderful crowd, with people from all over the state. afgs2015.090


afgs2015.095It was hard to walk across the room, with so many questions and people just saying hi! It was a great day.

There has been a whole lot of worrying and fretting over the weather, because there is a LOT that goes on behind the scenes for months to put on a quality show. Months of planning, organization, growing, etc. happens before a show opens.
Today, we had wonderful seminars, how-to sessions, and much, much more. The Federation of Garden Clubs flower show is amazingafgs2015.019


afgs2015.055, and the professional florists outdid themselves this year. afgs2015.074


There are over 100 vendors to visit



heuchera afgs2015
and the landscaped gardens are amazing.



This is a show you have to see. The doors open from 10-4 tomorrow, so I will see you there!

We dodged a bullet

February 20, 2015

Luckily the icy weather moved a bit further north than Little Rock, so the 24th annual Arkansas Flower and Garden Show started on a good note. While the crowd was lower than normal, we did have people in when the doors opened and a steady stream of traffic all day.



There were great seminars, plenty of plants and garden gadgets to buy and ideas to take home.




It is always like old home week, seeing so many gardener friends! You always see new ideas and find so many things you want to take home.




It is going to be a gloomy weekend, so come to the Statehouse Convention Center from 10-6 tomorrow and 10-4 Sunday. You don’t want to miss out!


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