Master Gardener Classes get Rave Reviews

Barb Mrgich
Adams County Master Gardener

Gardening in your Environment is a seven week course offered every year by the Adams County Master Gardeners with a slightly different twist each year. This year, it was Flower Gardening in Your Environment. We try to always include basic gardening knowledge, but change it up enough each year to encourage return participants. This year, we had several returnees. We asked our participants to write down some of the ways our classes impacted their gardening lives. Shelley Reetz commented, "Now I feel so much more confident as I strive to create an environment that will be beneficial to both humans and wildlife!"

"We thoroughly enjoyed each session, learning many new things each week." said Heidi and Doug Crawford, from York. Doug Crawford admitted, "I wasn't very excited when my wife signed me up for the Saturday classes, but once we started, I was hooked and enjoyed every minute of it."

The master gardeners who instruct the classes have the advantage of research based information coming from Penn State University. Master Gardeners spend much time and effort in preparation for their classes and often comment about how much they learn as they prepare to teach. From our standpoint, the teaching is a positive experience because the students are so enthusiastic and interactive.

Jim Krout says, "The instructors are so knowledgeable and offer insights into day to day issues. Thank you so much for offering these courses. We love them!"

Pat Van Buskirk from Gettysburg says, "We need to protect and enhance our natural environment. Gathering knowledge from master gardeners will help guide me in using native plants to bring more pollinators to my yard."

Richard Taylor called the classes, "Very enjoyable, fast moving, and informative."

In referring to Audrey Hillman's class on Bees, Butterflies, and Birds, Margaret Stoddard told us she "Felt like I was back in a college wildlife class. I thought I knew a bit about bees and butterflies, but I learned so much tonight."

Demonstrating that he was really paying attention, Tim Howell told us, "My wife really wanted to compost, but I was reluctant and resisted. Barb showed me how we can make it with no mess or smell, and how important it is for gardening." He also says, " I didn't understand how important native plants are to our local wildlife. Now they will be a key part in our garden plan." And finally, "I always saw bees and bugs as pests. Now, thanks to Martie and Audrey, I see them as pollinators and a key to our success as gardeners."

We really did talk about many other plants besides the natives, but judging by the comments, our students really took the lessons about the natives to heart.

Tim's wife, Nancy adds, "We were getting ready to resurface our driveway. After listening to John Hecker's talk on Green Gardens, Clean Water, we will stay gravel with trees along both sides!"

How gratifying it is for us as master gardeners to receive such wonderful comments!

My final quote comes from Lynn O'Leary. "This is my second year of totally enjoying the gardening classes. I'm slowly "blooming" into a more knowledgeable gardener. I'd like to thank all the Adams County Master Gardeners for sharing their love of gardening. I highly recommend this "growing" experience to all."

And as Jeanne from Dover put it, "These classes have been wonderful. I hate to see them end."

Look for us next year as we present another installment of Gardening in your Environment. Sign-ups will always be during January, with classes starting in early February.

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