Wednesday, January 29, 2014

19th Annual Urban Forestry & Horticulture Conference

19tn ANNUAL
Urban Forestry & Horticulture Conference
Friday, February 21, 2014
"Cultivate the Future"
Location: Cross Point Church of Christ, 1350 Cox Creek Parkway, Florence, Alabama 35633
 

KEYNOTE
Leon Bates
"Landscaping Inspired by Nature"--
During his professional career with the US Forest Service, TVA and the City of
Florence, AL, he served as a forester, biologist, botanist and urban forester/horticulturist.
Topics dealing with plant/animal interactions, site disturbances, invasive species, recommended
plants and converting "lawns" into mixed plantings will be presented.
 

URBAN FORESTRY:
Dr. Jim Lacefield, Retired Adjunct Professor of Biology and Earth Sciences at University of North
Alabama
Living Fossils: Relics of Ancient Forests and Their Place in the Modern World
Insights into some of the major dynamics and forces that have shaped the larger history of life.
 

Lee McBride, Founder of Landscape Management Consultants with over 32 years experience in
horticulture.
Basic Tree Inspection
How to identify potential problems with your tree.
 

Neil Letson, Retired from Alabama Forestry Commission after a 32-year career; spent many of those
years in urban forestry
Starting Your New Tree on the Right Foot
The first three to five years may be the most important time in a newly planted tree's life.
 

Dr. Stephen Dicke, George L. Switzer Extension Professor of Forestry for Mississippi State University
Located at Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center.
Tree Valuation
Four factors that influence tree value: tree size, species, condition, and location.
 

Neil Letson, Retired from Alabama Forestry Commission after 32-year career; spent many of those years in urban forestry
New Research in Urban Tree Care
 

HORTICULTURE:
Dr. Jim Lacefield, Retired Adjunct Professor of Biology and Earth Sciences at University of North
Alabama
Living Fossils: Relics of Ancient Forests and Their Place in the Modern World
Insights into some of the major dynamics and forces that have shaped the larger history of life.
 

Dr. Daniel D. Jones, Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Shade-tolerant Garden Gems: Adaptations, Strategies and Winners
How plants utilize specialized adaptations to survive under stressful conditions.
 

Bethany O'Rear, Jefferson County Extension Agent for: Commercial, Horticulture and Home Grounds
Crape Myrtle Trees: Requirements for Proper Care.
 

Carol Reese, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist at the University of Tennessee Extension in Jackson
Appeal of the Aberrant
"W'ows" in your Landscape: plants that deviate from the norm.
 

Allen Tomlinson, Editor-in-Chief of No'Ala
A Stroll through North Alabama Gardens with No'Ala Magazine
A photographic stroll through some of the most beautifully designed gardens in North Alabama.
 

Pesticide aftendees who want the full 10 points must attend all pesticides sessions.
Individual sessions are open to all attendees.
 

PESTICIDE;
 

John Neighbors, Executive Director, Alabama Green Industry Training Center, Inc.
Chemical Equipment Calculations and Calibration
Basic types of calculations for areas, volumes, top dressing amounts, fertilizer applications and pesticides.


Dr. David Han, Mike Reeves,
Fire Ants

John Neighbors, Executive Director, Alabama Green Industry Training Center, Inc.
Record Keeping for Professional Services
Pesticide application record keeping and the state law on operating legally in the Green Industry.
Dr. David Han.
 

ENDNOTE:
Carol Reese, Ornamental Horticulture Specialist at the University of Tennessee Extension in
Jackson
Ordinary Plants with Extraordinary Stories
You walk past them every day. Mute, they cannot tell us of their fascinating roles in our nation's
history, or further back, their contributions to the Native American way of life.
 


REGISTRATION FORM Fee $45
Mail completed form and fee to:
Mayor's Office, P .O. Box 98, Florence AL 35630
Registration limited to 200 persons
Check Primary Session of Interest
[ ] Trees [ ] Horticulture [ ] Pesticide
Please Print:
Name:
Organization:
Address:
City: State: zip:
Phone: Fax: Email:
Registration Fee (Includes materials, breaks and lunch)
On Site Registration- $50
Please make check payable to: City of Florence - 2014 Conference

Friday, January 3, 2014

The 2013 garden - a look back

Another gardening year is over! I really love the winter months and like to take this time to look back at photos of the garden from the previous year. It really does re-charge the batteries and renew enthusiasm for the garden. For me, the change of seasons and winter downtime is essential. I don't think I'd be happy in southern California or Florida where the weather stays the same all the time. I like change, get bored easily, and the transition of the seasons is just enough to keep me interested.

Winters here in northwest Alabama are relatively brief (2-3 months) and usually mild. The 2013-2014 winter is looking to be colder with single digits predicted next week. I don't think we had single digits last winter. This can be good - perhaps it will kill some of those dreaded mosquitoes.

By the time late February rolls around, the gray skies start lending themselves over to a sunnier, crisp, crystal blue. Buds on trees and shrubs begin to swell and you can feel spring right around the corner. One of the first trees to bloom in our garden is Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana "Rustic Rubra"). The tree is located along the circular drive-way behind our house and at an optimal spot. A narrow planting strip resides under a line of huge hackberry trees whose roots clutter and dry up the ground. Not a good place to garden but I learned that camellias, oakleaf hydrangeas and small trees like this one do well. Massives of daffodils, kerria japonica and late camellias make this spot a colorful one in March.

 

Despite the blooms, the garden still looks a bit stark in March with the absence of leaves and greenery.  Evergreens, like the spectacular Armand's Clematis (below) help remedy that problem. It took 3 years for this somewhat persnickety vine to get established but it has been well worth the wait. Blooms started appearing in early March last year and it continued to bloom until late April. This is an attractive vine even when not in bloom.



April brings warmer temperatures and spring showers and the garden really begins to take off. Things start popping up all over - bulbs, like Spanish Bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica) (below), tulips and daffodils carpet the ground with color. Newly developed leaves on plants project a vivid green that is quite spectacular after a rain shower. It is truly a tremendous time to be alive and enjoy the garden but April also is a busy month and the list of things to do is unrelenting. Fertilizing, planting, mowing, etc. etc. and as soon as the threat of frost is over, it is time to plant pots with annuals and get the vegetables planted.





Another sure sign of spring is the white wisteria that blooms in the "secret garden". The vine always sneaks up on me and seems to bloom overnight. I usually notice it from the opposite side of the garden wall where is rises above it. You can often smell it before you see it!


  
As lovely as April is, the peak time for our garden in is May. That is when the roses are blooming and the garden is like a fairyland. In late May, the hydrangeas begin blooming (we have about 50 varieties) and later the Oakleaf hydrangeas remain in bloom throughout the remainder of the garden year.

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

As the heat of summer increases, the blooms take a back seat and the garden becomes a study in greens. 2013 was a good year in that we had plenty of rain. Drought years are especially hard on both the garden and me.

 
The heat of summer often lasts well into October but signs of autumn begin to creep in. Sometimes the fiery hues of fall don't show up until November (as was the case this year) and when it happens, it seems to take place virtually overnight. I love the fall season in the garden. The Japanese maples, oakleaf hydrangeas, and other colorful shrubs provide a kaleidoscope of vivid colors. Long colorful autumns are nice but sometimes an early frost ends the show. Winter settles in and the garden goes into a deep sleep. Another year has ended, a new one begins!





Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy