September 2009

Lowcountry Gardening Lessons: Take a Tour and Learn From the Masters

Author: Linda S. Hopkins

Whether you have the greenest thumb in town or don’t know a daisy from a dandelion, you won’t want to miss the Lowcountry Master Gardeners’ Educational Tour and plant sale. On October 17, 2009, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., you will have the opportunity to tour eight Master Gardener’s private gardens, located in the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, SC areas.

According to Master Gardener, Chris Rosenbach, whose Port Royal Plantation garden is included, the main emphasis is the educational experience. The featured gardens are representative of various Lowcountry environments, including tropical, woodland, small and new, she explained. Plants will be labeled and Master Gardeners will be available to answer all of your questions. It is a self-guided tour, meaning that you can visit the gardens at your leisure and in any order you prefer.
“The Lowcountry offers great growing opportunities in a sub-tropical environment new to many local human transplants,” said Rosenbach. “If you just want to spruce up your yard, or if you are here from another climate, it’s a good orientation for anyone who is interested in gardening.”

In addition to enjoying and learning about the gardens, during the event hours, plants you see on the tour will be available at reasonable prices at Hilton Head Island High School, which was recently landscaped by Master Gardener volunteers. Lunch, tenderly used garden tools and an educational DVD will also be for sale there.

Tickets for the tour are $15 and can be purchased in advance at Burke’s Pharmacy, Bruno’s Nursery, The Garden Gate, The Greenery, Markel’s Gift Shop and Sunshine Nursery. On the day of the tour, tickets will be available at Hilton Head Island High School. Proceeds will support the 24 educational and beautification projects sustained by the Lowcountry Master Gardeners.

According to Rosenbach, last year’s tour was a big success in spite of less-than-perfect weather. “It was our first, and those who attended were blown away by what they saw,” she said. Don’t miss this fabulous opportunity to learn from the masters. For more information contact Chris Rosenbach at (843) 681-2618 orccrlbeach@aol.com.

Become a Master Gardener
Would you like to become a Master Gardener? The Lowcountry Master Gardener Association (LMGA) is a non-profit volunteer organization, serving Beaufort, Colleton and Jasper Counties, that engages in projects and activities which promote and foster community enrichment in the areas of horticulture and ecology. Master Gardeners receive a minimum of 40 hours instruction and core training in soils, plant nutrition, basic botany, plant pathology, entomology, and all types of gardening, landscape design and several other related subjects. The organization partners with city and county governments and non-profit organizations for the beautification and preservation of our community.

In addition to the upcoming Lowcountry Master Gardeners’ Educational Garden Tour, current area projects include Hilton Head Island High School (the whole perimeter); Boys & Girls Club Children’s Garden; the Butterfly House at Honey Horn; the Butterfly Garden at Pinckney Island; the Hilton Head Plant Clinic; Hilton Head Welcome Sign; Hilton Head Library Memorial Garden; Rent A Master Gardener; Bluffton Farmers Market; Heyward House and many more. Volunteers are always needed to help with garden projects as well as office tasks.

Learn more about the Lowcountry Master Gardener Association at www.lowcountrymga.org. For information about Master Gardener classes in your area, contact Laura Lee Rose at the Beaufort office at (843) 470-3655 ext 177.

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