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Garden Wise Gazette

Spotlight on CCMGA Projects

Welcome to our new "Spotlight On" series for 2023! Have you ever wondered: what exactly is a Master Gardener and what do they do? Let us lead you on a journey around Collin County as we shine a monthly spotlight on many of our community outreach gardens and projects right here in your own backyard. 

Winter Rest and Houseplants

Since moving to North Texas three years ago, harsh winters, with sub-zero temperatures, have become a thing of the past. Nevertheless, when it comes to having house plants, the winter months can prove to be challenging. 

Spotlight on . . . Erin Hoffer, Collin County Master Gardener

Erin shares, “In 2000, I trained as State of Texas Master Composter to help me learn how to deal with Texas soil. That helped some but I was still failing at gardening in Texas - even though I had been a successful gardener in other states and countries. A friend in Oregon was a Master Gardener and suggested trying that. Once I found out that the primary role of a Master Gardener was educational outreach, I was definitely interested and joined the Fall 2002 training class.”

Spotlight on . . . Leona Kwait, Collin County Master Gardener

There is a saying that a gardener grows patient and learns to appreciate and forgive the ever-changing season Mother Nature brings us. Master Gardener Leona Kwait grins, “I became a Master Gardener in 2015 because I loved gardening, but was new to it and kept killing more plants then I kept alive. Since the Master Gardener program offers such great training I decided to join. I also wanted to have a community of other gardeners to be able to discuss gardening.” 

Ode to the Green Anoles: Southern Bug Zappers

My latest Guest Rant is dedicated to America’s green anole lizards, the Rodney Dangerfield of beneficial predators.

They’re cute. They eat bugs. They don’t bite people. And yet, compared to ladybugs and lacewings, they get virtually no respect/press coverage from mainstream gardening media.

Spotlight on . . . Jennifer Rauschmayer, Collin County Master Gardener

A graduate of the Master Gardener training class of 2020, Jennifer Rauschmayer is a busy gardener with endless energy, talent and interests.

Spotlight on . . . Tina Bargmann, Collin County Master Gardener

Gardening can be described as both an art and a science; a heart and a mind. Retired nurse, Tina Bargmann brings the qualities she learned as a nurse to CCMGA.

Skin Cancer and My Summer Freeze Damage

With temperatures hovering at around a gazillion degrees, it seems strange to Rant about a small spot of freeze damage, a spot which is not on my plants, but on the side of my neck.  

Spotlight on . . . Jim Ewoldsen, Collin County Master Gardener

They say people who are gardeners at heart have a lot of great virtues. They are a unique blend of patience, vision, creativity, kindness and wisdom.  This surely describes Master Gardener Jim Ewoldsen!

Spotlight on . . . Laura Van Poppel, Collin County Master Gardener

Laura says, “I became a Master Gardener in 2015. My children were getting older and I had some time to give to a volunteer organization. I love plants and gardening, so Master Gardener was a good fit that matched my time and passion.”

What is a "mast year" and why do I have a bumper crop of acorns?

May Question of the Month

Every few years my neighbors and I ask each other the same question. Where are all of the acorns coming from? Some years, my yard is covered in acorns. Can you help us understand what is going on?

Spotlight on . . . SuEllen Mooney, Collin County Master Gardener

A gifted teacher and natural leader, SuEllen Mooney was the 2021 Master Gardener of the Year. She is known to the Master Gardener training class leaders, students, and mentors, but not by most of the general membership. You’ll want to get to know this dynamic lady!

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