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Arkadelphia and MG Calendars

November 8, 2016

It was an early morning since I was speaking in Arkadelphia at 8:15 a.m.  I drove in rain much of the way both coming and going. It was rarely heavy, but we will take whatever rain comes our way right now. We got less than 2/10 of an inch, but at least it was moisture, and the temperatures are cooler.  We had a small but good class of new trainees in Arkadelphia.  Their agent has become the staff chair and should have some more time to devote to MG’s in the coming year.  They had a lot of questions, so I expect good things. mg-training-arkadelphia-16-1 mg-training-arkadelphia-16-3 

Today my topics were on ornamentals, and folks are always wanting to know about what plants work best in our area.  I think many gardeners rely on what is available at local nurseries and garden centers, and assume that what is being sold is good for our area. That is not always the case.  Last week I was somewhat shocked that one of the local vendors was selling (for $3.00 a piece) both ground ivy and wild violets.ground-ivy-and-wild-violets-16  You could come take all you want for free from my yard with the wild violets and I am sure many others would donate ground ivy.  I think it is important that Master Gardeners watch what they sell at their plant sales, but I also think that nurserymen and plant outlets should all be aware of invasive species, or those that are disease prone. I wish we could quit selling red top photenias, golden euonymus and Bradford pears.  That is just a start–add Vinca major, English ivy and the list could grow. I don’t think we need to be native purists, but we do need to sell what works well in our state without taking over.  Enough of a soap box for tonight!

It all comes down to right plant, right place, and as educators, we need to do just that–educate gardeners.

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