April 2015

Lockerly Arboretum
April Newsletter

Everything will be coming up roses on April 8th!

The Oconee Master Gardeners and Lockerly Arboretum invite you to spend a morning filled with the beauty, and challenges, of growing roses on Wednesday, April 8th at the Arboretum. Nancy Golden, who is known in Sandersville as "The Rose Lady" will share her passion for growing roses during a presentation from 10:30-noon that morning.

Nancy's passion for roses began with an appreciation of the roses her mother grew. Nancy is known as "The Rose Lady" because she now has 70+ rose bushes in her yard. Her generosity with her knowledge is just as profuse as the flowers she shares with friends and neighbors in Sandersville.

We will meet in the classroom in historic Rose Hill at 10:30, and also go outside to look at the rose bushes planted in the Arboretum. There is no charge for attending the program.

Lockerly has a picnic area overlooking a pond, so please bring lunch if you would like to stay longer and see what is blooming.

Join us for a Plant Swap and full day of fun on April 11th
We have all kinds of activities and events planned for April 11th as part of our year-long 50th Anniversary Celebration. We hope you will join us for outdoor fun and exploring, a demonstration on Container Gardens, our first-ever plant swap, guided tours of Rose Hill, and lunch on the grounds ( please order lunch in advance online or at the Lockerly office by Tuesday, April 7th). All the details are on our web site.

  • Plant Swap 10:00-11:00 (set up begins after 9:00 that morning)
  • Guided search for historic items lost on the Lockerly grounds led by Travis Strickland, 10:00
  • Orienteering Kevin Haywood will help you learn about using a compass and map to navigate (we'll have compasses and maps to share) 10:00-2:00
  • Guided Tours of Rose Hill 10:00-3:00
  • Geocaching Caches are available all year but we will have staff and volunteers to help you get started. Download a geocache app and bring a smartphone with GPS and internet connections.
  • Letterboxing Bring a small journal and pen, we'll help you get started on this new exploring activity. We'll have staff and volunteers to help from 10:00-2:00.
  • Lockerly Eco-Explorers: Children ages 12 and younger can register to be Eco-Explorers all year. We'll have staff and volunteers to help on April 11. ($5 registration)
  • Container Gardening Demonstration 11:00-12:00 in the Rose Hill classroom
  • Lunch on the Grounds 11:00-1:00 (order online or at the Arboretum office by Tuesday April 7th to guarantee a bbq or chicken salad plate).
Lockerly Summer Camps

Lockerly's Summer Camps
 offer children lots of time outside to explore and learn. All of our camps allow plenty of hands-on learning because we keep a low ratio of campers to instructor.  Children will leave camp each day with stories to tell about their adventures and what they learned.

We offer two Camp Oliver Worley sessions at our outdoor education center in Putnam County near Eatonton. There will be a session for rising 3rd-5th graders and another for rising 6th-9th graders.
Camp Discovery is designed for rising 1st and 2nd graders and is held at the Arboretum.

Find out more and register online today before our camps are filled up!

Art Classes at the Arboretum
Christi Tate's painted metal bucket for porches and gardens
This spring and summer Lockerly will offer two different types of art/craft classes. If you think you aren't an artist, then these classes are for you. If you are an artist, our classes may give you a chance to work with different materials. Our instructors will provide all the help you need so you can leave with a completed project to enjoy at home or give as a gift. 

On Wednesday morning, May 13th, Milledgeville native Kim Joris will offer a class using reclaimed materials and the theme "Hurt not the Earth." Kim's class will show you that beautiful art can be made with all kinds of found objects and materials. The class will be $35.00

Christi Tate, an artist living in north Georgia,
will offer a class on Saturday morning, June 20th from 9:00-noon. Participants will create a colorful plant container using a bucket and weather resistant paints. Class cost will be $30 and include all the materials.

We'll post class information, more photographs, and online registration soon. In the mean time, mark your calendar and plan to get creative at Lockerly!  

The polls are open!
It is time to vote on a name for Lockerly's new tree! Our Dirt Diggers narrowed the list to four names, and now it is up to you to chose what our new Nuttall Oak, planted on Arbor Day in the front lawn, will be named. 

The polls are open through Monday afternoon, April 13th, at 5:00. You can vote for your favorite name from your phone, tablet, and  computer, but you can only record one vote from each device.

Share the link with friends and run a campaign for the name you want to win! We'll announce the winner on April 14th.  

April Garden Tips

Jana Otis
Horticulture Director

April 15th is the official frost free day for this area. You should be safe to plant even the most tender annual after that. You can plant tomatoes and tender annuals before that, but you might have to cover or protect them from temperatures that dip below freezing or a heavy frost.

Before the 15th, you can prepare your beds for the new plants. Remember to add organic matter to the soil to help the soil structure, drainage and moisture retention. Some good sources of organic matter are:  mushroom compost, composted cow manure, Nature's Helper, and Soil Conditioner (usually a finely ground pine bark product). You should also add a general purpose, slow-release fertilizer to the beds and work it into the soil. This will replenish any nutrients that might be lacking and give the plants a good start in the growing season. If you have a heavy clay soil, you can help break that up by also adding a product called Gypsum.

Now is also a good time to fertilize your fruit and nut trees, vines and bushes (like

grapes, raspberries and blueberries). A slow release fertilizer is good for this as well.

Spring bulbs like daffodils and hyacinths have probably finished blooming by now but remember, you can't cut the foliage back until it starts dying off on its own. If you cut them back too soon, the plants won't be able to store enough energy for the bloom next spring.