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Gardening with Wanda

A common question asked of the Hall County Extension office, brought to you by Wanda Cannon

POSTED: August 8, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Question: Who are Master Gardeners and what do they do?

Answer: Georgia Master Gardeners are a group of enthusiastic, hardworking people who want to share their talents, knowledge and creativity within their community through support, special gardening projects and education.

In Hall County, there are about 150 active Master Gardeners, with new ones coming on board every year. They contribute to the community in a variety of ways through their common passion for gardening.

Master Gardeners receive more than 40 hours of classroom and instructional courses taught by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agents and other specialists in related fields, from basic botany to waterwise gardening.

In all, the courses equip the Master Gardener to be able to assist with gardening questions when the need arises within the community.

When the classes are completed, the Master Gardener intern must volunteer a minimum of 50 hours the first year and 25 hours each year afterward to keep certification.

They also are involved in sponsoring events, such as the annual spring and fall expos, which attract plant lovers from around the area.

There are also public service activities the Master Gardeners are involved in, including garden installation and maintenance in locations such as Brenau University, Wilshire Park and the Northeast Georgia History Museum. Each year, they take on new projects and activities based on the community's needs.

Master Gardeners also sponsor annual events, such as the Fall Symposium, with presentations by garden experts and the annual Garden Walk tour, which gives the public a chance to see many of the local Master Gardeners' own gardens.

Anyone interested in learning more about becoming a certified Master Gardener can contact the local extension office. Applications are sent out in September, and classes begin in January 2009.

Wanda Cannon is a Master Gardener trained through the Hall County program and also serves as Master Gardener coordinator and horticulture assistant for the Hall County Extension office. Phone: 770-535-8293


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