The North Fulton Master Gardeners in collaboration with Extension in Fulton County are continuing to provide horticultural education to the North Fulton community and beyond through FREE virtual gardening education programming. This series of five classes begins Sunday, March 5, 2023, and will be available through live Zoom webinars and Facebook Live. The classes will also be available for later viewing at https://www.youtube.com/northfultonmastergardeners.
Each class emphasizes practical gardening activities at the time of year that is best suited for that activity. You may register for all five classes or just pick specific classes. Please register in advance at https://bit.ly/Spring2023NFMG-GardeningLectureSeries to assure your place. You may register for all five classes or just pick specific classes. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the webinar. If you cannot attend the live webinar, you can register anyway so you will receive a recorded link to the class.
Don’t miss these incredible opportunities to learn more about gardening in metro Atlanta.
Walk in the Woods with Spring Wildflowers – Observing the Beauty of Nature
Live Zoom: Sunday, March 5, 2023, at 2:00 pm EST
Nothing is more refreshing to the spirit than a hike through the forest on a cool spring day, breathing in the fresh air and observing the sights and sounds of the plants and animals. North Fulton Master Gardeners Carole MacMullan and Judy Peacock will tell us about a variety of spring wildflowers, when to observe their peak blooming time, their growth requirements, and share with us places we can visit locally to experience the beauty and enjoyment of wildflowers.
Carole MacMullan and Judy Peacock, presenters
Carole MacMullan describes herself as a born biologist. Since childhood, she loved to explore the out-of-doors and garden with her mother. When she entered college, she selected biology as her major and made teaching high school biology her career for 35 years. After retirement in 2008, she had three goals: to move from Pittsburgh to Atlanta to be near her daughter and granddaughter, to volunteer and to become a Master Gardener. Shortly after moving, she became involved with the philanthropic mission of the Assistance League of Atlanta (ALA) and in 2012, completed the Master Gardener program and joined the North Fulton Master Gardeners (NFMG) and the Milton Garden Club. Carole uses her teaching skills to create a variety of presentations on gardening topics for the NFMG Lecture Series and Speakers Bureau. She also volunteers weekly at the ALA thrift store and acts as chair of their Links to Education scholarship program. Her favorite hobbies are gardening, hiking, biking, and reading.
Judy Peacock grew up in Norcross when it was still a small, rural town and spent many days playing in the fields and woods. Her mother was a wonderful gardener and could grow almost anything from a cutting. She taught Judy to identify trees and plants. As a child, Judy would gather flowers and create small arrangements of violets and daffodils. Judy attended UGA and majored in Art Education. She loved Botany classes and spent a lot of time in the Founders Garden and the university greenhouses. After graduation, she rented a cottage in Sandy Springs in the middle of 40 acres, exploring the creek and woods, identifying wildflowers, and starting her first herb garden. Later, Judy bought a house and again grew herbs and began taking care of the plants that were part of the old garden on the property. She began to make flower arrangements for friends’ weddings and work events. After working full-time for 28 years, Judy retired and become a Master Gardener and shared her love of plants and the natural world through her volunteer work with the North Fulton Master Gardeners.
Growing Figs at Home: An Introduction to Growing Figs in the Southeast for the Home Gardener
Live Zoom: Sunday, March 12, 2023, at 2:00 pm EST
Figs have been cultivated since ancient times and are now widely grown throughout the world, whether for their “fruit”, leaves, or ornamental value. North Fulton Master Gardener Ian Matthes has over 100 varieties of edible fig trees in his home garden. He will cover basic information about figs, including their origins, easy propagation, growing, and many of the different types of figs beyond Brown Turkey and Celeste that are commonly found in the South.
Ian Matthes, presenter
Ian Matthes is a 2020 Master Gardener graduate and volunteer. He is an Atlanta native and a longtime Roswell resident. He is an attorney by trade with “Green Acres” dreams. He graduated from The University of Georgia School of Law. His undergraduate degree was in Political Science at GSU. He has a passion for plant propagation, hydroponics, edible landscapes, and grows over 100 varieties of edible figs.
Insect Allies: Predators and Parasitoids in the Garden
Live Zoom: Sunday, March 19, 2023, at 2:00 pm EST
Don’t jump to conclusions when you see insects in your garden—many are providing free pest management! Insects, like lady beetles, lacewings, wasps, mantids, and more, are worth getting to know. In addition to reducing pest populations, many insect predators have fascinating life histories that enhance the complexity and wonder of our gardens. Fulton County Extension Agent and entomologist Gabrielle LaTora will cover common insect predators in the garden and the easy ways we can conserve them.
Gabrielle LaTora, presenter
As the Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent in Fulton County, Gabrielle LaTora develops and delivers educational programs around commercial agriculture, wildlife, gardening, water management, ecology, and lots of other topics and makes those programs available to county residents. Gabrielle also coordinates the county’s Master Gardener Extension Volunteer program to help get our educational resources out to a larger audience. As an entomologist by training, she is especially interested in pollinator ecology and integrated pest management on urban farms. She loves diverse gardens full of food plants, herbs, flowers, and other plantings that support biodiversity. In her spare time, Gabrielle is a birder, home chef, bread baker, gardener, and movie lover.
Ferns of the Southeast
Live Zoom: Sunday, March 26, 2023, at 2:00 pm EST
350 million years ago, these feathery fronds were born. Still loved today, gardeners plant them in garden beds, pots, and wooded areas. Any hike through a forest will showcase these ancient survivors. Without seed formation, these primitive plants rely on spores for reproduction. North Fulton Master Gardener Donna Whitesel will share all about ferns and how to grow them in this class.
Donna Whitesel, presenter
North Fulton Master Gardener Donna Whitesel has been a master gardener in Florida, Nebraska, and currently, Georgia. Since 2015, she has served as Garden Faire chair and as co-president in 2022, to name a few roles. Formerly an elementary teacher, a ballet instructor, and a choreographer, Donna loves to teach, and the North Fulton Master Gardeners is a great venue for that! She’s presented several virtual classes, taught kids through MG Sprouts (a literature/library-based program), and loves to work with children at events, teaching them about plants and nature. An avid plant lover, Donna continues to learn about horticulture, native plants, and biodiversity.
Annual and Perennial Plants for Water Gardens
Live Zoom: Sunday, April 2, 2023, at 2:00 pm EST
A water garden isn’t a water garden until there are aquatic plants to show off. Whether you want floating plants, marginal plants, or bog plants, the right greenery can turn your simple water garden into an oasis of your favorite colors, textures, and scents –– and don’t forget the lulling sounds of rippling water. North Fulton Master Gardener Robin Pollack will discuss the best annuals and perennial plants to choose for your water garden and their maintenance.
Robin Pollack, presenter
Robin Pollack has been active as an artist and art educator since 1970 and has been a Master Gardener since 2005. Robin has actively taught in the Atlanta art community for four decades including over 30 years at Chastain Arts Center, a part of the City of Atlanta Parks and Recreations Department. As an active member of North Fulton Master Gardeners, Robin has been teaching vegetable gardening at Farm Chastain and at her own personal garden during the pandemic since 2010. One of Atlanta’s most accomplished master artists as well as master gardeners, her artistic eye dominates all of her garden landscape’s design. Her garden has been on many garden tours, including the Atlanta Botanical Garden in 2016, Georgia Perennial Plant Association, and Sandy Springs Garden tour to name a few. She volunteers with Fulton County, Georgia as a Master Gardener, with Sandy Springs in both the Garden Club and the Sandy Springs Society, and travels the world with Atlanta Botanical Garden exploring amazing gardens.
About the North Fulton Master Gardeners:
North Fulton Master Gardeners, Inc. is a Georgia nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose purpose is to educate its members and the public in the areas of horticulture and ecology in order to promote and foster community enrichment. NFMG assists The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension by providing unbiased horticultural information to Georgians through volunteer community service and educational gardening projects using applied research and the resources of The University of Georgia. NFMG Volunteers are trained and certified by The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.
Over the years, the North Fulton Master Gardeners have provided gardening community education classes in Alpharetta, Roswell, Sandy Springs, and Farm Chastain (now transitioned to a virtual learning format due to the pandemic); gardening education for young children; university and college scholarships for horticulture students; local demonstration gardens maintained by the North Fulton Master Gardeners; and Garden Faire.
The 2021 David Gibby International Master Gardener Search for Excellence (IMGSFE) Awards have recognized the North Fulton Master Gardeners for our efforts in the face of a global pandemic in successfully providing horticultural education to the North Fulton community and beyond through virtual webinar technology. The First Place Award in the Workshops/Presentations Category was made on September 15, 2021, during the virtual International Master Gardener Conference. View our video at https://youtu.be/_1hSJfpsFS0.
Over the past two and a half years, nearly 26,000 people have viewed the NFMG Gardening Lecture Series, including 5800 who have viewed the classes LIVE through Zoom webinars or Facebook, and an additional 20,000 who viewed the recorded classes on Facebook and the NFMG YouTube channel.
North Fulton Master Gardeners are available to speak at your next virtual meeting or event on a multitude of topics. To request a speaker, contact the Speakers Bureau Chair at [email protected].
To receive more information about classes and other NFMG activities, you can sign up for our email list at https://bit.ly/NFMG-EmailSignUp.
Please follow us on social media to learn more about our upcoming Spring 2023 Gardening Lecture Series and how to support the North Fulton Master Gardeners, INC.
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