Lockerly Newsletter October 2016

Scary Scarecrows
 
It is time to place your vote!  Our Scarecrows in the Arboretum contest is officially in full swing.  We have 25 entries ranging from silly to spooky and even educational.  The scarecrows are scattered throughout the arboretum and are easily viewed by following the gravel road.  Maps showing the scarecrow locations are available at the office.  Each entry is labeled with a sign showing the name of the scarecrow and the person or organization who submitted the entry.  Scarecrows came from the Mullis family, Dr. Whipple's class, Sherrill Jones, Sanchez & Craig Orthodontics, the Merry Magnolias, Girl Scout Troup 60360, Boys & Girls Club, Animal Rescue Foundation, the Groseclose family, Carrington Woods Garden Club and Lyn & Kathy Chandler.

Votes are 25ยข each. You can place your vote at the Lockerly Arboretum office anytime during the month of October or you can come out on Saturday for Family Fun Day and place your vote at the voting booth.  Family Fun Day is free and everyone is welcome.  Please come out between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm to see our fabulous bee exhibit in the Woods Museum and take part in many educational and fun activities. 
                                                                   
                                           
Ghostly Dogwoods

Lockerly Arboretum recently received 5 dogwood trees donated by the US National Arboretum in Washington, DC.  The Arboretum donated and distributed Cornus wilsoniana trees to public gardens all across the southeastern US. They grew the trees from seed and shipped them out as part of a distribution program. The trees are currently 3 to 4 feet tall.

Cornus wilsoniana, commonly called Wilson's dogwood or ghost dogwood, is a deciduous to semi-evergreen shrub or small tree that typically grows to 16-40 feet tall. It is native to forested areas in central and western China. Tiny white flowers bloom in May in clusters. Although individual flowers are small, a tree in full bloom is quite showy. Fruits mature to purplish-black in September-October. Ghost-white bark on mature trees is usually quite showy (some say the most ornamental part of this species). The common name of ghost dogwood is in reference to the smooth, ornamentally attractive, ghost-white bark which is found on mature trunks of this tree. 
                                                                 
Old Daylilies
 
When word got out that Lockerly was planning to put in an AHS Historic Daylily Display Garden, donations started rolling in.  It has generated much excitement in the daylily community and the local daylily clubs have been very supportive.  The garden will feature daylilies developed prior to 1980 so finding plants will be a challenge. Lockerly is hoping to receive a grant to help fund the installation of the garden. The grant would help pay for fencing, irrigation, and a gravel and brick pathway. Even with the grant, we are counting on daylily clubs, growers and hybridizers to donate plants for the garden.

James Fennell, a Georgia daylily hybridizer, donated our first two plants, 'Fol de Rol' and 'Kindly Light'. James is currently serving as the AHS Region 5 Regional Garden Judges Liaison. Our next donation came from Sharon Brown. Sharon donated 4 plants from her AHS Display Garden, Piney Creek Gardens. Sharon's donation includes 'Lady Neva', 'Pandora's Box', 'Siloam Bo Peep' and 'Tuscawilla'.  We are very appreciative for all of the support and donations we have received and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with all of the daylily clubs and contributors as we move forward on this project.

October Gardening Tips
Debbie Foster
Lockerly Horticulture Director 

The words "Fall" and "Autumn" usually conjure up images of falling leaves and harvesting crops.  For most of us, our summer gardens have come and gone except for those more ambitious gardeners who have planted crops for fall and winter harvest. 
 
It might seem a bit too early to be thinking about seeds for next year's garden but seed savers are planning ahead.  If you want to save seed for next spring, there are some things you need to know.  Don't save seeds from vegetables or flowers labeled "hybrid". Seeds from hybrid varieties produce a mixture of plant types that are not true to the parent.
 
Seeds from tomatoes, peppers and eggplants can be harvested from fully ripe fruit and placed on a paper towel at room temperature to dry. The seed pods of peas and beans should be left on the vine until they rattle. Make sure the pods are completely dry before removing the seed.  Lettuce seeds are a little more difficult. Select a few plants that can be left alone and allow them to flower. Gather the seeds when the blooms have formed a seed head similar to those of a dandelion.  It usually doesn't pay to save the seeds of cucumbers, melons, squash and pumpkins. Cross pollination will result in something other than what you expected.  Carrots, beets, onions and cabbage are biennials.  The roots from this year will need to be carried over and replanted next spring. Flowers and seeds are produced during the second season but may cross pollinate with wild, native carrots and crucifers. Keep onion bulbs cool and dry during the winter and plant them in the spring. When the heads are dry and the seeds are plump, gather the seeds and dry them at room temperature.
 
Store seeds in a labeled envelope in a cool, dry place away from insects. Corn, onion, parsley, parsnip and pepper seeds are short-lived, lasting only 1 or 2 years.  Asparagus, bean, broccoli, carrot, celery, peas and spinach may last for 3 or 4 years.  Long-lived seeds such as beet, chard, cabbage, turnip, radish, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce, melon, pumpkin, squash and tomatoes can last up to 5 years. For long term storage, keeping seeds in the refrigerator can improve longevity.
 
If you want to know if your seeds are too old, test the seeds for germination before planting.  Moisten some paper towels and place a few seeds on top. Roll the towels loosely and place them in a plastic bag.  Keep the towels in a warm place and check the seeds at 2-day intervals. Some seeds will germinate in a few days while others may take 2 weeks. 
 
The sound of a buzzing bee can put fear into the hearts of those who are allergic to their sting, but that same sound is like music to the ears of a gardener.  Plant lovers near and far know that bees are vitally important for food and seed production.  Honey bees aren't just great for making honey, they are one of our most important pollinators and the sole source of pollination for some of our commercial food crops.  To fully appreciate these amazing creatures, we need to know more about them. It takes about 21 days for an egg to develop into a worker bee.  Each worker bee lives for about 40 days. Half of a bee's life is spent in the hive working, the other half is spent outside the hive foraging.
 
The worker bee spends its first two days of life cleaning cells. Then she takes on the role of a nurse bee where she feeds developing larvae for the next 9 days. After feeding duty she spends 6 days capping cells with wax that she produces. Her final four days working in the hive are spent guarding the front entrance. After working in the hive for about 3 weeks she transitions to the role of forager and goes out to collect food for the colony until she reaches the end of her life span.  Some worker bees that are produced in the fall live longer than 9 weeks because they spend the winter in the hive and have early foraging duties in the spring.
 
To learn more about honey bees, come out to Lockerly Arboretum and check out the Bee Exhibit in our Woods Museum. There will be diagrams, photos, a beekeeper suit and beekeeping equipment. Have you ever wondered what an active beehive looks like on the inside? On October the 8th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm there will be a live bee hive encased in glass on display during our Family Fun Day. There will be hands on learning stations and activities for kids and adults throughout the arboretum. Come out and join the fun and vote for your favorite scarecrow. Scarecrows will be on display the entire month of October. For more information call 478-452-2112. 

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Lockerly Arboretum  1534 Irwinton Road, Milledgeville, GA   478.452.2112  
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