By Gail K.
Yearly in November, we celebrate closing the gardens with a banquet. Skipping the speaker we enjoyed mingling and shopping prior to our meal. We held a “members market” where those who chose- were given opportunity to display and sell their wares.

There were homemade Christmas crafts-
another table held distinctive handcrafted pottery

There were exquisite quilled ornaments,& intricate floral displays made of “paper”. There were scarfs of varied styles and colors.

There was golden honey- homegrown and harvested:

There was even a table of freebies (I got a garden flag & some of Jennie’s Kieffer pears)

WINNERS of the donated orchids were Jennie and Sharon E.
Look who’s in the kitchen:

It was really nice to share time with each other:

Along with the pleasant company the food was plenty & delicious-Speaking of food— I would like the recipe for that spaghetti casserole??

some of us even got seconds!!!

Following our meal, we were entertained by fellow member-Bob, with his wit and songs.

When given the opportunity- we are always open to learning–

at the conclusion of our banquet we closed by having each member give their personal highlight during the last year.


2019: is quickly coming to an end. As the Monroe CountyMaster Gardeners Assoc. & Horticulture Club, give thanks for the blessings of family, gardening & the fruits of harvest; we wish to extend to all fellow gardeners and those who visit our blog- MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

For our last meeting of 2019, we were fortunate to have Tom Woelmer speak to us on his newest garden crop-HOPS.

He shared, he had no idea what the vines with pods were when he first came across the “wild” hops growing on his wooded farm lot. He shared the history of his farm, and how discovering the hops has sent him on an ntrepreneurial path to produce hops to sell for commercial-craft beer production.

Below: a field of hop vines growing up Coyers; Jute fibers tied to tall poles…

He shared a ton of information; from planting “the girls,” to growing & harvesting and finally prepping the hops to sell. We learned not all are equal; variation of vine, leaf, hop color along with the type of soil grown in change characteristics of the flavor & are the principle factors considered by those who buy Hops for craft beer production.

Mr. Woelmer’s hops are unique; Wild-Naturalized with specifics somewhat unknown. Given these factors he named
his native Hops-“Mystique” So the next time you are in the mood to try a craft beer-read the label; you may be enjoying some of Mr. Woelmer’s award winning- “Mystique” Hops.
Following the meeting; for one last time & checking it twice-made a to-do list for work needed in the gardens. Please enjoy some candid shots taken as the Monday morning garden warriors literally tucked the beds in for winter—-

Majority vote-love that rake!! Need to find one-hey Santa.

this area needs an intervention-NEXT YEAR!!

there are more over there!!!!

OOPS!!!!!! We’ve all done it—-

Now that is what I call weed free—-GREAT JOB GIRLS!!!!

Do I really have to cut this down, it is still so pretty?????

Look mom-we have grass growing!!!!

??? Left for the birds, the bees,or pleasing to the eyes & winter interest.

Well folks it’s clear fall has arrived-

Love the grandeur of the season but I’m not a cool weather gardener. With that being said-it is time for this Turkey to pack it up

& head inside to grab a blanket while sitting in front of a warm fire.

This brings the 2019 extension garden season to an END!!!!! *** your Monday morning garden warriors????

By Gail K
At the close of our last meeting-we toured each of the defined gardens we care for @ the extension.
With the issues identified & a project list was created- directing our efforts so to complete the list before winter. Follow along as I try to show you our progress.

On the western edge of the Children’s Garden-it was determined we should remove the oval herb garden–the brick path and replace it with grass………(# secondary goal- decrease & make easier, the work load on our dwindling & aging membership).

Finished project–look closely, some grass seed did germinate. Concern- this area gets a lot of dumped snow from the parking lot.

Heading to the Memory Garden:
The Anemones must go!!! So out they came– will wait to do anything more in this area until spring; any roots missed will begin to re-sprout and we will be able to tackle them again.

Since they are so beautiful when in bloom; it was decided to not totally rid the gardens of them but instead move them so they could be better appreciated and not so intrusive. They now have a new home in the far northwest roadside garden.

There were plenty left over to share-

Going south along the front lawn-the next area to tackle is to remove the raggedy Cottoneaster bushes and trim up the Pine tree.

Now they can mow right up and under, and the pine needles will provide a natural mulch………what a difference!! Note in the back along the bldg. no bushes……..they were removed by the county.
Next up–removing undergrowth from around the Beautyberry Bush.

Perennial Bed just some light plant pruning–the geraniums are so pretty. My photo did not do justice.

The entry garden-what a difference 1 week can make!! Everything trimmed, ready to rest for winter so we can enjoy another show come spring.

The next large tackle was the junipers which line the entire front entry of the building. Instead of removing as they did in the front yard….we will trim up as they anchor the front gardens and soften the walls of the building.

It sure smelled good when we did this. Check them out when you come to the next meeting-let us know what
you think.

That brings us back to the infamous northeast fenced area–again, the ivy has encroached in just about every direction but up. Below is a pic of just a small amount of the ivy overgrowth that was removed and at this time;

More work is needed in the area outside Children’s Garden (Rose of Sharon need major thinning). The paths not even visible & totally entangled in vines.Trying to clean the area found Naida & I tripping over 2 stumps.I returned with a chain saw and removed but discussion needs to follow. What could provide the same purpose (??), but safer for foot travel by both the young and old & easier to maintain–
Note to self: never in my garden.

Along the north fence we tackled the Jerusalem Artichoke.

It had to be cut down and Jenny harvested some of the tubers which can be used in your fall cooking dishes.

Another fall project, removal of the wild clematis “Old Man’s Beard” from the fence it hides but it takes a lot of time to remove it.

Last fall, Joan and I spent an entire work session snipping & pulling it from the fence. (another note to self, think twice before planting this) This year, we sprayed it & now we wait; can’t touch anything in that area.

As we finish around the fence, we end in the Butterfly Garden. Timing is everything in this garden due to the multi purpose of the plants for our insect world. ( see bee, butterfly??)

Sorry Stella, other photo even worse….Naida stop chuckling.

That’s all folks!!! It took a couple of visits over a couple of weeks but for the most part, the garden has been tucked in and will soon fall into a deep winter’s sleep– -I will be impatiently waiting for spring.!!!!

Welcome Back

After a three month hiatus, September 21, 2019 marked the beginning of a new season for the Monroe County Master Gardeners & Horticulture Club. For our first meeting, we were planning to make a short trip to the Woelmer farm where Mr. Woelmer would take us through his BEER HOPS garden. However, Mother Nature prompted Mr. Woelmer to harvest his crop,so we will defer and catch up to this new “FAD” during the next growing season.

Lucky for us,Master Gardener- Bob Bransky, was able to come in and show off his non-gardening talents by playing a song he learned about “volunteeers” during a seminar in Wisconsin.

While munching on the light snacks provided, we sat back, listened and enjoyed Bob’s performance-
It was then time to get back to work; we need to prepare the demo gardens for their long winter sleep; so out to the gardens we went, with Jenny pointing out the needs in each of the garden areas.

Discussion on ground covers

The Children’s garden has been well tended but we need to look at the changes we can make to decrease amount of labor needed to keep all the beds looking their best.

can you name this plant????

Flowers in the children’s garden area


Did someone say Rose of Sharon?? How many are too many?

Walking along the north side of the building, we discussed the shrub row and the need for the anemones in the Memory Garden to be moved-stopping to inspect the 7 Son’s bush, before heading to the front gardens.

Can you see how it got its name?

See the flowers?

In the front garden we noticed all the evergreen shrubs have been removed from the front of the building. This will save much pruning–moving along brought us to the pine tree area. Bag worms a problem in the past
and apparently still are, as Gail found a sack but numbers not as great.

While continuing to inspect the pine tree-Gail came across a cluster of UGH! worms-were these the bag

No these are the larvae of the saw fly-now I have creepy
crawly skin!!!!

Now on the southern end of the front gardens-

Jennie continued to discuss adjustments which could be made, allowing for less maintenance on our end.

Walking along the south side/parking lot gardens

Our Beauty Berry Bush was just that, a real beauty.

The entry garden always puts on a season’s long show!

A clematis in the entry garden; one of my more favorite areas just because of all the blues

We need to check on a favorite in the native shrub row–Paw Paw Tree- this year found it loaded with those big luscious fruits.

Lastly, look at the tall asters in the butterfly garden-

Members Share Page

A page has been added to our Blog called Members Share (unless the group can come up with a better name). This is a private page with a password for members only. The password is the same as our members page

Four Star Demo Gardens

Story and photo by Gail K.
Following our tour of Linda’s garden, we headed to the Four Star Demo Gardens. The Four Star plant was a standing tour when Monroe Ext. offered the Master Gardener classes. I graduated 2004 but I can’t remember ever visiting the Demo Gardens. Enjoy some highlights from our “self-guided tour.”

The roadside sign–
members use the strategically placed chart to identify plants in the area behind the sign.

Many liked the pale lavender color of the dwarf butterfly bushes planted in the sign display. (added Note from Linda: I was there yesterday with my niece and these were covered with various butterflies…but only a few Monarchs).

I really liked the arbor and the grasses along the walkway which led us around the sign garden to the larger display areas.

As we walked to the larger gardens, the Milan girls stopped to discuss which plants they could use in their Veteran garden display.

Larger display areas:

Looking back over our shoulders, you see the arbor where hanging baskets and large pots- make for an impact display of color & design.

This one caught my eye.

Migrating from area to area-we each moved at our own pace. Drawn to an area because of color, style or just because-

Despite being “self-guided” the size of our group made for group discussion which really enhanced our learning experience
and as always-Jenny was on hand to answer our questions. Below-display with ID board

(Close up of plant ID key

(individual plant ID & information marker )

In addition to the actual displays-the plants were in different settings.

The pond & waterfall: Left,back-a Lavender Chiffon Rose of Sharon. Thinking, Lavender is going to be an up and coming color

pond edge

A display of trailing begonias

( Yesterday when I visited you could hardly see the lattice. It was one beautiful vertical garden)lw
From the bridge you can see just how vast the flower displays are
The plate sized-hardy hibiscus were big hits, a dark maroon above and the pale pink one below.

Some other favorites:

mini mauvette, annabelle hydrangea

peach colored rose

I even found plants growing along the ditch bank interesting
and so did this garden favorite
Trip worth taking alone or with a group…………..Just think next year it will all be different………that’s the way of test gardens……

Monarchs on the Move

Karen Hehl sent me this for posting:

This afternoon my husband and I were out in the garden around 5:30. He noticed several Monarchs in the air. They flew past. We kept watching, then there were a couple more. Over the next couple hours there was a steady stream of them flying over our farm, heading south. I saw more Monarchs in three hours than I have seen in the past three years. Some stopped in for a snack on the Zinnias. As the sun was going down, we noticed several flying around under the trees. I am hoping some of them will spend the night in the trees. I will be looking for them tomorrow.