How to Share Your Love of Gardening

Smiles from the garden

Do you enjoy helping gardeners grow plump tomatoes or save a beloved tree? Then becoming a Certified Master Gardener will help you do just that.

Who are the Master Gardeners?

Certified Master Gardeners are garden-loving volunteers who understand local growing conditions. They’ve earned their certification through State University Extension programs. As a team, they volunteer within their community to encourage sound gardening practices. They work on community projects, give speeches and distribute current research.

How to become a Master Gardener?

The first step is to contact your county extension service agent. Then enroll in the Certification course offered. Once enrolled, prepare yourself for at least a six week study period. Lectures include soil composition, pests and disease, local growing conditions and more.

Once completed, required volunteer hours and continuing education will vary by state.

For more information, click here to find your state’s Master Gardener program. You’ll also find an interesting Plant Chat forum, Maps and  Current Events  on the  Master Gardener Association website.

Happy Gardening!


Master Gardener Association

The Gestalt Gardener: Podcast

 The Gestalt Gardener

Back in the House

Friday, September 8, 2017, 4:00 PM

Felder Rushing is back in the studio, throwing the best garden party around. Fresh from his European trip Felder is ready to help with your southern gardens. With talk of roses, hydrangeas, and apple chilling hours this is just another garden party where everyone is invited.

One of my favorite podcasts, The Gestalt Gardener, by Felder Rushing, is an entertaining, garden-advice radio show from MPR, Think Radio. Each week on Saturday mornings, Felder Rushing takes calls from Mississippians and helps them find solutions to garden problems. It’s a relaxed, fun, hour of listening to Felder who is known for playing his famous “cheesy-music” on occasion. Enjoy.

For More of Felder’s Podcasts click below:

Listen to The Gestalt Gardener’s Podcasts






Three Gardens Bees Love

bee on babysbreath by

Bee Gardens. How do you create a garden that attracts bees? For the maximum punch year round there are three gardens you should consider growing:

Naturalized Garden

First, create a Native Wildflower Garden. Find a corner of the yard to use as a meadow of mixed plants of varying heights and shapes. Near it, keep a small mud puddle of swallow water. If possible, naturalize violets, clover and dandelions into your yard near the vegetable garden. Your cucumbers, melons and squash, plants that need a lot of pollination to produce healthy fruit, will thrive.

Plant natives:

  • Beardtongue, Penstemon – Southeast
  • Mountain Mint, New England Aster – Northeast
  • Lanceleaf, Milkweed – Midwest
  • Blanket Flower, Native Salvia – Southwest

Let the garden take care of itself. Leaving it undistributed through winter creates an friendly winter habitat.

Flower Garden

Second, build a Flower Garden.  Create a bed of well drained soil and plant a variety of annuals and perennials.  Plant them in swatches with a variety of single-bloom and daisy like flowers. Colorful yellow, white and blue flowers are a big hit with bees. Coneflower, asters, sunflowers, poppies and Black-eyed-Susan’s are good choices. For fall gardens, plant annuals such cosmos, sunflower, and calendula.

Herb Gardens

Third, use a sunny spot to plant prolific blooming herbs. Plant them in mounds, keeping your ground-covering herbs like thyme separate from the taller herbs like rosemary. Mints, rosemary, lavender, sage, bee-balm and cilantro are good choices. Mints can become over-power a garden, so keep them in a spot for easy harvesting.

Thriving Bee Garden Recipe: Grow natives. Stir in a mix fragment herbs with splashes of yellow, white and blue, single-bloom daisy-like flowers. Add a dab of mud puddle. Keep the natives happy and spare a few dandelion and clover in your yard.


Happy Gardening!


Bee Pollinators Books By Heather Holm

Wildflowers for Every Garden

Attracting Pollinators To Your Garden Using Native Plants, U.S. Forest Service

Gardening Know How










Tip for a Beautiful September Garden

Fall Garden Mum

Labor Day signals a summer about to end. Days are getting shorter and cooling down. Yet with the September 22nd Fall Equinox still ahead, there is time to spruce up your summer garden.

Bright colored Mums are a top pick for fall gardens. They mix well with pumpkins, gourds and acorn squashes. Ripe with vivid color, they make beautiful centerpieces for football parties, especially when surrounded by ornamental acorns or baskets of chips with dip.

When choosing mums, check your local garden centers first. Plants there are typically grown locally, and not shipped from distant nurseries. Locally grown plants are better adapted to local growing conditions: weather, soils and temperature.

Check your plant for damage, leaf spots or wilt. Pick the mum with a good shape, lots of unopened buds and vivid color

If you’re planting outside, try grouping them in a mass for the most effect. Use an odd number of plants for easy arrangement and space them so that the edges of the plants don’t touch.

For containers, fill the pot with enough mums to create a mound. Add kale, pansies and bright-colored cabbage for a colorful fall display.

Frosts can turn a mum’s flowers and leafs black. To avoid the discoloration, trim the stems back and cover with mulch until spring. As a last resort, dig them up and use for compost.

Happy Gardening!