Master Gardener President


Darwin Bell can be reached by emailor phone: 205-602-2582.




Darwin Bell


President’s Message

Darwin Bell January 2022

Happy New Year Fellow Master Gardeners!

While we may not be out of the weeds yet with COVID variants, I and my fellow officers are looking forward to a renewal of the JCMGA in 2022!

Reflections on isolation - At least I checked off a few to-dos in the garden...
As gardeners, perhaps we (and our gardens) have fared isolation better than most. More and more people have turned to gardening as a hobby and garden-related businesses and industries are among the few that thrived! As the JCMGA, we have been able to keep interesting programs going through the wonder of Zoom and last year we were even able to return to volunteering, benefiting several community projects and the BBG! We should be very proud of what we have accomplished!

Reading the tea leaves for 2022 - What has been need not always be!
In 2022, we want to focus on you, our membership, to continue your active participation or, for some, we enthusiastically encourage you to rejoin your gardening community as active participants in the JCMGA. As we hopefully transition back to in-person meetings, you can expect a veritable celebrity lineup of our best speakers from the past, as well as new and exciting names that you know or won’t soon forget! Your programs this year will also include at least one never- been-done field trip, and, if all goes well, we will see the return of our annual cocktail party, and November banquet, as well as maybe a few surprises!

January Program Announcement
I am delighted to announce, that Bill Finch has agreed to present his talk entitled “What Alabama Can Teach Us” which focuses on biodiversity. Finch is a renowned newspaper columnist for all three major Alabama newspapers and radio show personality with a weekly program on FM106.5. I am so looking forward to his talk.
Due to the omicron variant and high Alabama infection rates this will be a Zoom meeting.

February Luncheon - Request for Pandemic Garden Photos
Our current plan is for the Potluck luncheon to return at our Master Gardener meeting on February 8th, 10 AM at the BBG if we see downturn in COVID infections. This is our “Reach for the Stars” meeting. And because we know you have all done some amazing gardening these past two years, we would like to make your pandemic gardens a special feature of the luncheon! Please send up to three photos featuring your 2020-2021 garden accomplishments to First Vice President, Amy Weis,
amym426@gmail.com or (205) 332-0949.

Closing Remarks
As we begin to see rays of hope cutting through this pandemic haze, we hope for renewal of in- person activities that will invigorate and help bring us all together. Special thanks to outgoing Board Members Mary Foy and Carol Melton and Advisory Board Member Larry Stephens for all the work that they have done for the betterment of the JCMGA. Also, a continued thanks to all the Chairs and members of JCMGA Committees for your tireless work. Finally, a very special thanks to Gary Walker who led our organization over the last year. His leadership was most appreciated. I failed to count the number of times he said to me “I hate Zoom”.

JCMGA 2022