Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Speaking of Volunteers...

Yesterday, I mentioned the hundreds of talented and knowledgeable volunteers who will be working at the Spring Plant Sale (April 15-17). These wonderful folks have been working tirelessly, growing many of our plants from seeds.
Enter Exhibit A. I was sent this photo this morning from one our loyal volunteers. The people in this photograph have been growing hundreds of tomatoes, heirlooms and hybrids, big and small, for the last several weeks in our greenhouses. Meanwhile, students at Ingram State Technical College in Deatsville, AL have been growing about 3,000 vegetables at their facilities.

Exhibit B. This photo is from a few weeks ago when the volunteers first started sowing their seeds (which they ordered from Totally Tomatoes, if you want to give it a whirl).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ready, Set, Grow!

Not that "real" gardeners don't relish the challenge of growing in every season or any fathomable condition, but spring is where the magic happens! (Wait, is this an episode of MTV's "Cribs"? Well, as a matter of fact, it sort of is!) Many, including hordes of folks who don't consider themselves in any way plant-savvy, crawl out of their hibernation from the out-of-doors to take on Mother Nature.

I personally looked her square in the eye this past weekend and challenged her to a game of "Survivor." Not between the elements and me, mind you. Rather, I planted approximately 140 pots of seeds and cuttings at home. (<-- That's part of my work!) I fully expect that, though I might have a casualty or two along the way, Jeff Probst will anoint me, and my plant children, champion of this competition at the end of the season. The tribe will have spoken, if you will. That is to say, I intend to master the garden, despite the fact that I, unlike so many of my coworkers, am not a "real" gardener.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Place of New Beginnings, by Natalie Cone

We're always asking our friends to tell us what The Gardens means to them. For many, it's memories of learning about plants and science on Discovery Field Trips. And for more still The Gardens represents a beautiful retreat from urban stress, a place of serenity and calm. For some we are family; for some we represent romance; and for some we offer lifelong learning. Freelance writer Natalie Cone approached us about sharing her thoughts about what The Gardens mean to her, and we couldn't be happier to share her story. What do The Gardens mean to you? Tell us!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Shake What Your Mama Gave You?

Ok, so the title's a little misleading, but I could not help myself. We have a really cool Saturday Series coming up called, "Work with What Ya Got…Make Your Yard a Smart Yard!" This series of classes on sustainable garden care starts up tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. and continues for the next five weeks. The classes are on consecutive Saturdays starting tomorrow, March 5, from 10 a.m. until noon.

With spring knocking on our door (well, practically banging on the door for the last three weeks!), there's no reason not to get a head start on your garden! You don't have to take all six classes: mix and match, come to all six or just pick the one that suits your current interest(s). The fact of the matter is that gardening is good for your health and can save you tons of moolah if you do it right! Each class is $10 for members or $15 for non-members. (And yes, you can join any time to take advantage of these great discounts and other benefits!)

Organic Landscaping
Instructor: David Wood
Saturday, March 5
10 a.m.-Noon

Garden Construction
Instructor: Harold Deason
Saturday, March 12
10 a.m.-Noon

Vegetables and Herbs
Instructors: Tony Glover & Wendy Ulrich
Saturday, March 19
10 a.m.-Noon

Lawn Care for Beginners
Instructor: James Horton
Saturday, March 26
10 a.m.-Noon

Natives in the Landscape
Instructor: John Manion
Saturday, April 2
10 a.m.-Noon

Let me tell ya about the Birds and Bees
Instructors: Greg Harber & Sallie Lee
Saturday, April 9
10 a.m.-Noon