Master Gardener President


Gary Walker can be reached at 205-240-0060or by email.


President’s Message

Gary Walker

President’s Message

A new year, a new beginning, a new you.

Winter has never been my favorite season. As a child, I was always a voracious reader. In the dark days of winter, I buried my head in all manner of topics. Mythology being a favorite, Demeter and Persephone resonated the most. The story is symbolic of changing seasons and the perennial change from life to death, to life once more. To we mere mortals, it’s the change from Summer to Winter and the return of life in Spring.

A buddy and I regularly have a repartee regarding seasons. Me asking how can anyone live in the north with snow for months and freezing cold temperatures that never seem to end. And him retorting with how can anyone live in that God-awful heat of the south that never seems to end! My answer is always, “we grow things for months and months!” and the debate goes on. However, this time, I reflected on our conversation and it made me really think about Winter and what it gives us.

When I became a Master Gardener 11 years ago, my eyes had to be opened to the life that was occurring during the Winter. James Horton, the former Horticultural Director of BBG, opened my eyes to the many wonders of winter growth. I never imagined the rainbow of colors available in pansies and Lenten Roses. I looked over camellias entirely. Then one

Leucojum asetivum

day, I discovered what would soon become my favorite Leucojum aestivum. It is commonly called Summer Snowflake or Loddon Lily, but actually goes dormant in the summertime. The common name is quite misleading and even though it typically grows early spring, it does seem to be growing earlier and earlier each year. This little flower gives us amazing dainty bell- shaped white blooms with a perfect green dot on each petal right when we need it.

So, I’ll give my friend a little merit in not minding the cold dark days of winter. If you look, there is beauty. There is light. However, I will never like FEET of snow! I’m always ecstatic when the groundhog does not see his shadow. Let’s all cross our fingers this week.

Gary Walker President

JCMGA 2021