is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Friday, April 3, 2009

I Come to the Garden Alone

"The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do."

by Kim Thomas

Who doesn't love a Garden? How better can we see the literal fruits of our labor than by gardening? If we plant a seed and watch it sprout, then success is surely ours. I will never forget when my younger brother, Addison with the Green Thumb, planted a peach pit outside our kitchen door when we were kids. He was the baby of the family at the time and Mother chastised us laughing at him as she was herself the President of the Boone County Garden Club. She instead encouraged him, saying that maybe we would have peaches next year. Well, guess what? It wasn’t long before indeed we did have peaches, so many that the tree grew through the awning over the kitchen door, and we made peach preserves all summer. Such an easy thing to do, this gardening, right?

(see to see this piece as it appeared in the paper :)
Well, not really. Last summer I was lucky to have a few maverick tomatoes that, despite the drought and weeds managed to blossom and grow. I also planted some basil that needed to be "hugged," a term I learned from my friend who visited my potted patio plant garden this summer and gave me some tips. No, this gardening is more than chance.

To be a truly successful gardener, a lot of planning and attention must be given to the Garden and its care. It's a year-round task and if you care enough to grow the very best, while simultaneously being kind to the Earth, you will need some help. The Master Gardeners of Fayette County consider "green" gardening to be an attitude, a holistic approach that seeks to put more back into the soil than is removed by planting, growing, and harvesting vegetables. By constantly improving the soil, a sustainable balance is achieved.

The Master Gardeners have a lot of advice to give, all you have to do is ask! Every year, they produce a "green"
calendar that is chock full of ideas and suggestions to help make you the gardener you want to be. Gardening topics such as soil preparation and invigoration, composting, using native plants, dealing with invasives and pests, recycling and lawn issues are addressed. Good reads and children's garden activities round out this full color, 12-month calendar.

The Fayette County Master Gardener "Green" Calendar is available at:
The Fayette County Cooperative Extension Office,
1140 Red Mile Place

The Arboretum on Alumni Drive and

Good Foods Coop, 455 Southland Drive -- proceeds go to nurture children's interest in gardening as well as provide information to the general public. This calendar is made from recycled paper and each month is graced with a photo from taken in Fayette County.

Formed in 1989, the Fayette County Master Gardener Association (FCMGA) is a non-profit organization of volunteers who share an affinity for all things horticultural. After completing a rigorous course of instruction presented by the Fayette County Cooperatived Extension, Master Gardenedrs volunteer their time and effort within the community as an education arm of the Cooperative Extension.

Master Gardeners help County Extension Agents reach more residents with gardening problems by:
* Working information booths at community events and malls;
* Maintaining demonstration gardens;
* Teaching horticulture to beginning gardeners;
* Using special talents, such as writing, photography and drawing, to benefit others;
* Exploring environmental options.

How you can be involved: Become a Master Gardener. Successfully complete the Master Gardener training program; and Volunteer your time. The training program includes education in the following areas:
* Botany
* Entomology
* Plant pathology
* Soils and Fertilizers
* Pesticide use and safety
* Fruit and vegetable gardening
* Tree and shrub care
* Volunteerism
* Lawn care
* Flower gardening
* Organic gardening

The the best way for someone to get information about becoming a member is to go to the website at There you will find a lot of information, their newest newsletter, photos, and the plans that the Master Gardenres are making for the next class.

You will need enough free ti
me to finish the class and also to really make a commitment to the volunteer time required to be a Master Gardener.

The Master Gardeners are involved in a lot of volunteer projects, i.e.,working at the Farmer's Market passing out info about our program, plant diagnostics, and related things; answering the hot line at the Extension Office to try and solve plant related problems there, plus dealing with walk-in traffic; developing and implementing garden projects at a care center for developmentally disabled adults; planning, planting and maintaining the Demonstration Vegetable, Herb, and Accessible Gardens at the Arboretum; helping with Native Plant Restoration and tours at the Arboretum; assisting with 4-H camp and Junior Master Gardener classes; book reviews for the Herald-Leader; community garden assistance in Ecuador. The list goes on and on...

One place to check for upcoming events would be the site for the The Master Gardeners work closely in supporting the Arboretum, and there are numerous educational opportunities coming up there this fall. Children and grownups alike will find fun events there.

859-257-5582 HELPLINET
The HELPLINE was set up to help Citizens of Fayette County with any Questions or Problems they have dealing with Horticulture and any other semi-related subjects. This is done over the phone or in person when they visit the extension office.

The best place to get information about upcoming events and the HELP LINE is at the following web site: HTTP://

1 comment:

Ordinary Housewife said...

Great post, Kim.
And thanks for putting that beautiful song in my head. "I come to the garden alone, when the dew is still on the roses."