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Making it grow

3 mins read

By Lee Scott

It is always a good idea to take advantage of learning moments throughout one’s life.

Most recently, I had the chance to listen to three Master Gardeners. The program was designed as a question and answer session, so the audience could ask questions about landscaping and growing plants and flowers in the Lowcountry. However, since the event was held soon after our recent snow and ice, the questions were more like: “Did I kill my bushes by covering them?” or “What will happen to my drooping palm trees?” Everyone was concerned about what to do next.

It was interesting how well the three panelists adapted to the new line of questioning. I think they understood that most of the people in the audience had no idea how to handle the post-freeze aftermath (myself included).

One of the gardeners gave some quick and easy pointers. The first one was, “If it is brown, cut it down — but wait until after our cold spell breaks.” That made sense. Those leaves on my plants outside are not going to suddenly turn green again. When the freeze warnings are over, I will have to cut them back. 

Then another little tidbit. “If it is black, it is not coming back.” Well that takes care of the Begonia I left on the screen porch. I had totally forgotten about it. I had been taking care of that plant since the spring of 2015. But it is black. Totally gone. It was suggested that I just buy another one.

Some people brought in pictures of plants in our yards. I brought in a picture of a shrub that I was not sure was a plant or a weed. The gardeners assured me it was a Fatsia plant. Now that is the kind of plant I need: I have given it absolutely no attention for four years and it looks bigger and better than ever. Perfect! 

The experts also talked about the Clemson Extension Office in Beaufort, where you can obtain gardening information and also have your soil tested. My husband and I did this when we moved here. Our backyard looked terrible so we took some of the soil to the extension office and they told us we needed lime. We followed their recommendations and ultimately grew a beautiful lawn. 

The Master Gardener program was a success and the participants took home much needed information. As we wait now for warmer weather to return and determine which of our plants survived, it is probably a good time to order new plant and seed catalogs. It looks like a lot of gardens will be changing this spring.

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