Workday in the Calendar Garden at Gwinnett Tech

Weeders and mulchers

On a cold but sunny day in early April, Gwinnett Master Gardeners braved high winds to spruce up the Calendar Garden at Gwinnett Tech.   This area  blooms from the front of Building 100 to the back entrance, with blooms coming seasonally.  It starts with the lavender phlox in March, and continues to the far end, with white butterfly ginger and purple asters blooming in September.  They share that corner with tall clumps of varieties of grasses and a large loquat tree at the end.

Master Gardeners weeded and spread many bags of mulch.  A large winged creature, a Luna moth that was trying to get out of the cold wind, visited us as we were finishing up.

On hands and knees pulling weeds.

This garden, alongside building 100, is accessible to the public.  Many of the plants have name tags, so you can stop by anytime to see what is blooming.

Carole Teja sporting appropriate weeding attire

While we were having a brown bag lunch, Aaron Paulson gave a presentation on propagation.  This should help us in sharing plants with others.  And talking of sharing, we got to take home a few cuttings, plant divisions and baby plants that were growing in the Calendar Garden as well as the greenhouse.

The Value of Trees


While we know there are many benefits to incorporating trees into our landscape, many of us simply enjoy trees for their beauty.  Some people enjoy the birds they attract while others actually enjoy the antics of the squirrels scampering through their branches.  We enjoy the immediate rewards from the sound of the leaves rustling in the breeze, the shade we enjoy on a hot summer day, and the contributions for that budding compost pile to the more far-reaching concerns for possible climate change.

But, do you know the monetary value of the benefits provided by any particular tree in your landscape?  If not, you can use the Arbor Day Foundation’s “National Tree Benefits Calculator” to easily determine the economic and environmental benefits provided by any tree in your yard.

What do you need to know?  You will need to enter your zip code, select a tree species from the pull-down menu, enter in a diameter measurement of the tree, and select an area type from another pull-down menu.  Once you submit the information, you will be provided with a detailed breakdown of the economic benefits for that particular tree in your landscape.

You will receive a breakdown of benefits in the following categories: air quality, CO2, electricity, natural gas, property value, and stormwater.  For example, the 8-inch diameter Maple tree in my front yard has a quantifiable value of $65 per year with the potential of $110 in annual benefits if it is cared for and grows to 13-inch diameter.

So, in addition to the enjoyment you receive from your trees, how much more of an economic return are they providing?  Wouldn’t it be fun to find out!

The Latin Quarter

Some Latin plant names give away important clues about the nature of the plant.  Here are a few of the more commonly used names, and perhaps a few rare ones, to broaden your knowledge of the wonderful world of Latin.

Rosa damascena - A variety of the Rosa damascena, the York and Lancaster rose was a striped damask rose, with green branches and pubescent leaves, commonly found in Victorian gardens.

coccinea = Scarlet
Salvia coccinea – Scarlet sage

sulphureus = Sulphur-colored
Cosmos sulphureus – Cosmos

rotundifolia = Round-leaved
Tithonia rotundifolia – Mexican sunflower

communis = Growing in common; general
Ricinus communis – Castor bean

cylindrica = Cylindrical
Luffa cylindrica – Luffa sponge

tuberosum = Tuberous
Allium tuberosum – Garlic chives

sativum = Cultivated; planted deliberately
Coriandrum sativum – Cilantro/Coriander

vulgare = Vulgar; common
Foeniculum vulgare – Fennel

officinalis = Medicinal; of the pharmacopoeia
Melissa officinalis – Lemon balm

Paniculatum = having flowers in a cluster, with each flower borne on a separate stalk
Koelreuteria paniculata – Goldenrain tree

Place names:

sinensis or sinicus = of or from China
Camellia sinensis – Tea

peruviana = Peruvian; from Peru
Physalis peruviana – Cape Gooseberry

florentina = of or from Florence, Italy
Iris florentina – Sweet Violet is the source of orris, the powdered root still used as a fixative in perfumes and cosmetics.  The rhizome, when dried, has the fragrance of violets; in modern perfumery, almost all “violet” scents are derived from orris.

persicaefolius or persicifolius = of or from Persia; resembling the peach
The peach, Prunus persica, was originally called Malum persicum, the “Persian apple”.

punica = of or from Carthage
The pomegranate, originally known to the Romans as the “apple from Carthage”, Malus punica, later became known as the “apple full of grains”, Pomum granatum.  Now the modern botanical name, Punica granatum, incorporates both elements.

Definitions taken from Gardner’s Latin by Bill Neal

Field Trip to Piccadilly Farm and Specialty Ornamentals

The gangs all here!

To welcome Spring 2011, Gwinnett Master Gardeners boarded the County van and multiple carpools from around the County for a field trip to Piccadilly Farm and Specialty Ornamentals.  Piccadilly Farm is a tradition and a wonderful
adventure and owner Sam Jones led us along the paths to explore and learn.
The gardens and nursery featured hellebores, perennials, native flowers, camellias, unusual shrubs, and dwarf conifers.  Following the tour, the shopping began!  After a break for a picnic lunch we loaded our treasures and traveled on to Specialty Ornamentals.  Flo Chaffin, owner, identified new and unusual plants that are not easily found in the trade and answered our many questions about getting the right plant in the right place!
Following the tour we purchased our “must haves” to bring year round interest and enjoyment to our own gardens.  It was a relaxing, beautiful spring day in the gardens with fellow gardeners!  What more could we ask for?

Which one gets this high?

Lunch with friends

Lunch break

Inquiring Minds

Hey, look at this!

Flo Chaffin leads tour

Farmer Jones

Enjoying the sunshine


Words of wisdom

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