Gwinnett Tech 2014 Horticultural Scholarships Awarded

Horticultural education is a primary mission of the Gwinnett County Master Gardeners Association (GCMGA) through sharing our knowledge with the community and fostering advanced education.  Gwinnett Master Gardeners have a long-standing relationship with Gwinnett Tech in providing educational programs for our members and supporting mutual goals.

To support area horticultural students who need a helping hand, GCMGA started with a memorial scholarship established by the family of Master Gardener Helen Dyer several years ago.  In June, we again funded two scholarships at Gwinnett Technical College.

The scholarship funds will be awarded for the 2014 fall semester to two qualifying students.  GCMGA members will have the opportunity to meet the scholarship recipients at a GCMGA meeting next year.  As a qualification requirement for the scholarships, the students will  make a presentation to the organization on their horticultural career goals.

2013 Photo Contest Winners

 Award Winner Title
Best in Show Nancy Costello Dragonfly
 First Place Lori Prosser House Hunting
 Second Place Suzanne Franklin Hummingbird at Rest
 Third Place Glenn Parsons Visiting Suet Feeder on a Rainy Day
 Honorable Mention Payge Cox Phoebe
 First Place Lori Prosser Ready to Unwind
 Second Place Suzanne Franklin Native Swamp Sunflower
 Third Place Sherryl Bailey A Mushroom Bouquet
 Honorable Mention Payge Cox Yellow Sunshine
 Honorable Mention Glenn Parsons In the Wild Growing Free
Garden Landscape
 First Place Melinda Anderson Follow Me
 Second Place Suzanne Franklin Xeriscape Wildlife Rock Garden
 Third Place Kathy Parent Garden Rock Pathway
 Honorable Mention Sherryl Bailey The Ice Plant Cometh
 First Place Suzanne Franklin Butterfly and PurpleButterfly BushBlossom
 Second Place Payge Cox Perfect
 Third Place Jane Burke Escargot
 Honorable Mention Colleen Weinkle Afternoon Snack

2013 Photo Contest

The Gwinnett County Master Gardeners Association is holding a photography contest for its members and friends for photographs taken during the 2013 calendar year.  The photos will be judged by an experienced nature photographer from outside the organization.   Results will be announced and prizes awarded at the March 2014 meeting of the Gwinnett County Master Gardeners Association.  Ribbons and possibly Prizes and will be awarded for First, Second, and Third Place in each category.  Honorable Mention ribbons will also be awarded in each category.  At the Judge’s discretion additional honorable mention ribbons may be awarded in a given category.

Contest Rules

  • All those making submissions must be Gwinnett County Master Gardeners or Friends in good standing.
  • Deadline for the submission of photographs is midnight Sunday Jan 26, 2014.
  • Photographs must have been taken in Georgia in 2013.
  • Photographs should all be nature or garden related and appropriate to the category entered.
  • Categories for the Contest
    • Garden Landscapes – Photographs of gardens or portions of gardens but not close photographs of small features
    • Plants – Photographs of individual plants or flowers from a single plant taken in garden or natural settings.
    • Birds – Photographs of birds at feeders, in garden or natural settings
    • Wildlife – Photographs of wildlife (other than birds) such as insects, squirrels, snakes, etc. in garden or natural settings.
  • All rights to the photographs are retained by the submitter with the exception that GCMGA has the right to post the photographs on its web site and display them on screen at meetings.
  • Each submitter may enter 2 photographs in each category.
  • Photographs submitted for a category must meet the definition of the categories given above.  GCMGA reserves the right to move a photo to a more appropriate category or to remove a photo that does not meet the above definitions.
  • All photographs should be in good taste.  GCMGA has final say on the appropriateness of a picture for the contest or for a given category.  GCMGA may eliminate pictures determined not to be appropriate for any reason.

Submission Guidelines

  • All photos shall be submitted via electronic mail as attachments to an email sent to  The subject should read: GCMGA Photo Contest.
  • All photographs should be formatted as JPEGs (,jpg or .jpeg) with a maximum pixel count on the longest dimension of 1024.
  • Each attached JPEG file name must be in the form of:
    <category>_<last name>_< initials>_#.JPG.
    An examples of correct filename would be
    where the # is a number indicating the first or second entry in a category.
  • Please include information in the email for each photo submitted.
  • Subject
  • General Location Where Photo Was Taken
  • Title for the photograph
  • Can your name be display with this photo on the GCMGA website after the contest is over? (yes, no, or first name and last initial)
  • The following abbreviations can be used in the names of the photos.
    • Garden Landscapes – garden
    • Plants – plant
    • Birds – birds
    • Other Wildlife – wildlife

President’s Report – 2013

Our 20th year as an organization has been a busy, productive, and rewarding year as we worked to fulfill our mission to serve as stewards of the environment, and provide education that promotes beautiful gardens and a healthy lifestyle.

We began the year with changes to the UGA volunteer requirements. As always, change is challenging and creates controversy. It was a trying time because we are all so passionate about what we do for the community and what is best for our organization. We worked through the issues and came to compromises that created a win-win situation. As a result, the spirit of our organization and our relationship with the Extension Office is even stronger today.

Our organization’s mission is achieved through the commitment of our volunteers. You came forward this year, as in the past, and provided leadership, service, and many, many hours of your time.  You were there in terrible weather for the 4-H Plant Sale Pick-up day at the Fairgrounds, at numerous Ask-A-Master Gardener events, the Home Expo, working at Community Gardens, beautifying parks and recreational areas, being Angels to our Garden Tour hosts, and spreading your love of gardening while educating the public whenever and wherever you had the opportunity.

Your efforts have captured the attention of the media and there have been many wonderful articles on what Gwinnett Master Gardeners do in the community. We have become well-known throughout Gwinnett County as an organization that cares about our community and the environment and gets things done.

This year we awarded $5,000 in grants to community gardens, parks and recreational areas, and youth educational programs. We contributed $1,500 to higher education scholarships to support and encourage students studying horticulture.

Of course, we could not do this without the financial support of your dues and fundraising efforts. Your participation in the community has spread the word about our organization, and our membership exceeded the 200 milestone. This increases our volunteer force and income to support our activities. This year we raised funds through the Whole Foods Market 5% Day, our fabulous garden tour, cookbook sales, Master Gardener trainee breakfasts, and tonight’s drawing for these beautiful wreaths and centerpieces. I am pleased to report that we have exceeded our income goals and expenses are under budget.

As we all know, we get back more than we give through the sharing of information, friendships, and the fun we have working together. That is what forms the bond of our organization.

We have enjoyed many covered-dish suppers and learned from informative speakers at our monthly meetings about — Growing Up with Vines; Adding Interest to the Garden with Foliage, Bark and Berries; The World of Plant Propagation; Japanese Maples; Importance of Pollinators How to Spot a Dangerous Tree; Extending Your Gardening Season for an Endless Harvest; Southern Living Plant Collections; and Native Plants You Should Know. At our meetings, we also received reports from our grant recipients on how our grant funds contribute to the community and what we can do to assist in their efforts.

To further our own education, we sponsored Advanced Master Gardener Leadership Training, and introduced workshops to learn new skills . . . and have fun. We received inspiration for turning trash into garden treasures and we created stepping stones and planters. We learned how to use woodworking tools and power equipment to build birdhouses, and we got down and dirty working with hypertufa to make birdbaths. At our Photography Workshop we received tips on how to take the perfect picture and some of us even learned what the buttons on our cameras can do. Most recently we created beautiful wreaths and learned how to make living centerpieces and forever wreaths using dried flowers. All thanks to the volunteers who lead the workshops.

Educational field trips were both fun and enlightening. We visited the Johns Creek Environmental Center, attended the Southeastern Flower Show (at which many of you worked), toured Gibbs Gardens for Master Gardener Day, traveled to The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain to visit a wildflower nature preserve, toured Cox Arboretum and Ryan Ganey’s unique garden. On our most recent trip—in one day—we learned how our garden soil is tested at the UGA Soil Lab, visited the State Botanical Garden and gained knowledge about organic farming! We will conclude the year with a holiday tour of the Governor’s Mansion.

This year we continued some traditions including our Members Thank You Picnic, Photography Contest, Plant and Seed Exchange, and Weed and Feed events to assist members with their gardens when they are in need due to health issues.

After many months of preparation, we successfully launched our new website to better serve our members and provide information to the public. We documented officer and committee chair duties and procedures and posted them on the website to make leadership transition easier in the future.

Yes, it has been a busy year and we have accomplished a lot. I want to thank the Executive Committee, Committee Chairs, Fundraising Coordinators, Workshop Leaders, and each and every member for all you do for our organization and the community.

There is so much more to be done. Your unceasing support and contribution to this wonderful organization is needed for us to continue to grow and serve. Please extend your enthusiasm to the incoming officers and committee chairs for a wonderful 2014.

Thank you for your support this year. You made it happen!

Respectfully submitted,

Margaret Bergeron
President 2013