Extension Master Gardener℠ Volunteers of Clay County Host “Home Gardener” Series

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Calling all gardening enthusiasts! The Extension Master Gardener℠ Volunteers of Clay County, in partnership with N.C. Cooperative Extension – Clay County Center, are excited to announce a fantastic opportunity to take your gardening skills to the next level. Throughout 2024, they will be hosting a series of engaging classes tailored to help you boost your gardening skills.

Whether you’re a seasoned gardener looking to refine your techniques or a beginner eager to get your hands dirty, our classes offer something for everyone.

Space for each class is limited, so be sure to register early to secure your spot. Registration opens on March 6. Click on the registration link beside each class below that you wish to attend. Classes will be held at the Clay County Community Building located at 25 Riverside Circle, Hayesville, and will start at 2 p.m.

Home Gardener Series

March 27 Seed Starting – Roni Murphy  Register via Eventbrite for Seed Starting

Topic Info:  Come and learn how to start seeds in your own home. We will talk about gathering supplies, what seeds need to grow, problems that can occur, and how to get them ready to transplant into your garden.

Bio:  Roni Murphy has been gardening for 34 years. She is a Master Gardener in three states and is a certified Permaculture Design Consultant.

April 24 Art Elements in Garden Design – Arielle McIntyre  Register via Eventbrite for Art Elements in Garden Design

Topic Info:  A beautiful garden is worthy of admiration just like a moving song or painting. In this class you will learn how to apply basic art elements and visual design principles to create magic in your home garden space. Free your creativity and bring fresh vision to your garden!

May 22 Planting & Developing a Food Forest – Adam Bigelow Register via Eventbrite for Plating & Developing a Food Forest

Topic Info:  Join Horticulturist Adam Bigelow to learn all about Food Forests and they can benefit you, your health, your budget and help the ecosystem we all share and benefit from. You will learn the basics of Food Forest planning including site selection, appropriate Plant choices, maintenance needs among other topics. Attendees will leave with knowledge and confidence to begin our enhance their own Food Forest at their homes and properties.

Bio: Adam Bigelow is a horticulturist and botanist who lives in Cullowhee, NC, and has been studying the plants and wildflowers of Southern Appalachia for over 20 years. Adam is the owner/operator of Bigelow’s Botanical Excursions, an eco-tour business leading guided plant walks in WNC. He is an avid organic gardener and founder of the Cullowhee Community Garden. Adam is a member of the planning committee for the Cullowhee Native Plant Conference, the largest and one of the oldest Native Plant conferences in the country and has attended the conference for many years. Adam lives in Cullowhee at 3,600 ft surrounded by Native Plants and Wildflowers with his dog Magnolia fraseri, and two cats Hazel Alder and Silky Willow

June 26 Houseplants – Tommie Westbrook Register via Eventbrite for Houseplants

Topic Info:  Learn about the history of houseplants, houseplants, and air quality,  the 20 best air-purifying plants, house plants that are toxic to animals, and a few tips about growing plants indoors and some of my favorite indoor plants.

Bio:  I was born and schooled in Chickamauga (Walker Co. GA – Chattanooga area) and attended The University of Georgia in Athens, graduating in 1972. I worked in graphic arts, primarily commercial printing, in Atlanta my entire career. I happily retired in 2012. Always a gardener, I joined the Atlanta Native Plant Society in 2002. I loved going on plant rescues and we soon had an entire landscape of (mostly) native plants.

In 2015 my spouse and I sold our house in DeKalb County and moved to Blairsville where we already had several friends. Encouraged by a couple of Master Gardener members in our church, I took the Master Gardener course in 2019. I am very proudly active in the Towns-Union Master Gardener Association and served as Corresponding Secretary for three years.

My other interests besides incorporating native and wildlife-friendly plants into my landscape include cooking, classical music, and crafting using items found in nature.

August 28 Shrubs – Native Pollinators & Flowering Plants – Destiny Witt

Register via Eventbrite for Native Pollinators & Flowering Plants

Bio: Destiny Witt, a naturalist, will be our speaker. Her passion and focus is native species, and learning how every person can do their part to not just coexist, but benefit from ensuring that these native plants and pollinators thrive. Her talk will encompass Native Pollinators and Flowering Plants, their role in the ecosystem, your garden, and what you can do to help them. Learn about why these insects are so important, and easy ways to not just tolerate them, but benefit from them. This talk will also speak on what native plants are ideal for what situations, and what they’ll attract into your yard.

September 25 Dehydrating Herbs & Freezing Produce – Kim Terrell Register via Eventbrite for Dehydrating Herbs & Freezing Produce

Topic:  Join Clay County Family & Consumer Science Agent, Kim Terrell, to learn how to properly dry fresh-grown herbs and freeze your fresh-grown produce.

Bio: Kim Terrell is the Clay County Extension Director and Family & Consumer Science agent for Clay & Macon Counties. She is also a Registered Dietician and has her master’s in health science from Western Carolina University.

October 23 Planting on Banks/Slopes – Spriggly’s Beescaping Register via Eventbrite for Plating on Banks/Slopes

Topic:  Planting on a Steep Bank or Slope:  Fighting erosion on your property by planting on a steep bank first starts by choosing the right plants to do the job. A high diversity of native plants are the clear winners for this job due to their variety of root depths that have the ability to hold onto the soil and stop water from flowing too quickly. In addition to choosing the right plants, learn best practices on how to plant on a steep slope for maximum impact, along with other tips and tricks to manage erosion-prone areas.

Bio:  Brannen Basham and Jill Jacobs are owners of Spriggly’s Beescaping, a nature education and habitat restoration business with a special focus on native plants and native pollinators. On the habitat restoration side of their business, they offer in-person and online consultations for wildlife-focused sustainable landscaping, along with full-scale 2D and 3D design services.


Written By

Tyler Osborn, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionTyler OsbornProgram Assistant, Agriculture Call Tyler Email Tyler N.C. Cooperative Extension, Clay County Center
Updated on May 22, 2024
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