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Office, Clark and blackberries

May 30, 2017

My June calendar is much calmer than my May one.  I have more days in the office which is a nice way to regroup.  Today we had a lot of loose ends to wrap up, columns to write and Powerpoints to prepare for next week. A nice relief from the past three frenzied days of restocking my kitchen.

Those of you who attended the state MG conference, don’t forget to do your online evaluation–the deadline is June 1! We really do read them and use your input to make changes or improvements in future conferences.  I am so blessed that we have so many dedicated volunteers.  We just finished a fabulous state conference (in my opinion, but I will share the evals), and the River Valley Group (Sebastian and Crawford counties) are hard at work planning for 2018.  Today I got an email from Mimi in Jonesboro asking if I was serious about 2019 being in Jonesboro.  I will be retired by the 2019 conference, but I realized a month ago, I will have to plan it since it would not be possible for someone to do so in one month (I plan to retire January 1, 2019 or December 31, 2018–not sure about taxes and such).  When I said I was serious since we have not been to that part of the state in a while, she replied, oh good, I want to have another one here–let me talk to the board this week!  And she knows how much work it takes, since they did one years ago.  I also had a MG from Washington county approach me at the LR conference to say they wanted to do another one soon.  In Arkansas we don’t have to twist arms to host events, we have volunteers willingly ready to take on the task and do a great job.  Are we not the most fortunate Master Gardener state?! \

I hope you all read the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette yesterday.  Our own Pulaski County Master Gardener Clark Trim was the featured High Profile. 

It was an excellent article about a very special person.  Clark is a huge asset to our Master Gardener program but also to the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show and our community. Great job Clark!  Not only is he always willing and ready to help when asked, but he is a great gardener as well. His and Henrik’s garden were on the garden tour for our state conference and he had rave reviews!    not only are the ornamental gardens wonderful but they have one of the prettiest vegetable and fruit gardens you will ever see. 

Speaking of fruit, I have been getting raspberries and blueberries along with the beginning of blackberries, but for the first time the birds and/or squirrels and chipmunks have found my garden.  I have been trying to beat them to the fruit, so today we covered them with bird netting to see if that will help.    

Everyone is talking about hydrangeas and how pretty they are this year.  The big leaf hydrangea, Hydrangea macrophylla is the only plant I know that will change colors based on the pH. I have three plants in close proximity to each other in the same soil with quite a difference in color.     In the middle is a Hydrangea paniculata or peegee hydrangea which has buds but no blooms yet.   Most peegees are white with a few changing to pink.  Regardless, this has been a good hydrangea year–at least for those of us who avoided the heavy late snows or frosts.

My kitchen guys are working hard to finish trim, tiling and grouting.  I also changed paint colors for the family room today.  When it is all said and done, I will not only have a new kitchen but new lights in the living, family, dining, kitchen and hallway, plus new paint in the entrance way, hallway, family, dining and kitchen.  A fresh coat of paint is sort of like a fresh layer of mulch in the garden. It just looks fresh and new.





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