Roots and Shoots Newsletters

The Roots and Shoots Newsletters are emailed to the Master Gardener membership each month.

Roots & Shoots

Be sure to read this month’s President’s message.

If you need a copy of the current issue, you can emailKathy Rostand.

If you are looking for a previous issue of Roots and Shoots, please see Jason Kirby in The Library at Birmingham Botanical Gardens when it is open again or emailJason.

Below are some of the September highlights:

Bethany's Extension Extras


Bethany’s Extras

The first frost always makes me a little nostalgic—the end of the growing season, childhood memories of late harvests, flashes of my boys when they were little in a pumpkin patch. I was in that frame of mind when I took a turn in the Botanical Gardens recently on a mini break in the day. I was finishing a loop that started in the rose garden, descending the stairs at the herb terrace when I met up with Kathy Sherrer (MG 2019). She teased that I might be checking up on her volunteer hours. When I looked at that beautiful scape of aromatic herbs and a few last butterflies, it was easy to assure her that I didn’t need convincing about all the hard work that team puts in. As I turned, I waved to Leland Hull (MG 2017) who was coming from the beehives. A few steps later I caught up with Nancy Natter (MG 2015) who was clearing a bed opposite the Carver Garden demonstration bed; she was hard at work, so I didn’t linger. Keith Turney (Friends Horticulturist) was installing pansies and antirrhinum in the Forman Garden. Paper bush (Edgeworthia chrysantha) has also just been planted so you can expect to see, and smell, fragrant blooms there around Christmas. Jane Underwood (Friends Director of Gardens Support) whizzed by in her golf cart with a friendly hello, on a mission. Turning back to the main building, I passed Caroline Rowan (ACES Lab Tech) on her way to uncover frost-sensitive basil plant varieties which are part of a trial study. I wasn’t back at my office five minutes before Neela Patel (MG 2022) dropped in to confirm her attendance at the upcoming graduation. By the time Bunny Fite (MG 2021) carried in produce from Grace Klein Foundation I thought I might be on a single day winning streak of “Name that Gardener”. But Jason Kirby (MG 2007 and Friends Library Archivist) topped it all off by dropping by materials from an event we had both presented at recently, Blount County MGA’s “Stories from the Garden”. Still not lunchtime, in the space of 30 minutes, I had been reminded of the amazing and talented gardeners I’m privileged to know. One more for the memory books.

GPIC needs volunteers. No prior experience is needed, we’ll provide the training.

No minimum commitment is required. One and done? That’s OK, but I suspect that many people will enjoy the camaraderie of working as a team with other Master Gardeners satisfying like it was “in the old days” before March 2020. Jefferson County next hosts the Helpline the week of October 10th. If you’re interested inreceiving training or volunteering contact me at or Kate Musso at


Master Gardener Library

Check out the Alabama Master Gardener Library

PowerPoint Presentations, created by Alabama Advanced Master Gardeners, extension agents, and university instructors, represent varied areas of expertise and interest. In keeping with our mission of outreach and continuing education, library presentations have been chosen for length and topic as suitable for a “Lunch & Learn”, a membership meeting, a community program, or interesting browsing for Master Gardeners.

Sign into the Reports link and choose the "MG Library" link at the top.


JCMGA 2022