August 2015

Lockerly Arboretum
August Newsletter

The Merry Magnolias are our Volunteers of the Month
The Merry Magnolias, left to right: Linda Jorgenson, Jan Adair, Suzie Troxell, Sharon Carr, and Jean Stevens (not pictured,Janie Seglund)

Earlier this summer Lockerly issued a challenge to the four plant collection teams who are identifying and tagging the plants and trees in the Arboretum. We offered to buy lunch for the team that got us to 100 plants in the data base.

On June 25th The Merry Magnolias got our data base to 100 plants and then kept on with the work after a quick recognition of their accomplishment.

The Merry Magnolia team members do much more at Lockerly than the Plant Collection project. They came to Lockerly to participate in the Dirt Diggers programs, but are eager volunteers for other projects. Jan and Jean took our Garden Container Workshop in June. In July they both came out to stain new rocking chairs purchased with grant funding. Some of our August Garden Tips in our Newsletter were shared by Suzi and Jan.          

Jan and Jean stain chairs for the back porch of Rose Hill
During their team lunch last week at The Local Yolkal (a new Lockerly sponsor in downtown Milledgeville) The Merry Magnolias had lots of ideas about sharing     garden and horticulture books and magazines that might not be readily available in our area. 


The Plant Collection teams are taking this month off, but they will be back out in September.We are appreciative of everything our teams are doing to make Lockerly a place where everyone can enjoy plants, and learn about them too.

Greg Eilers knocks one out of the park during interview
Last week we got a call from WMAZ asking if a Junior Journalist could come out and do a story on the Arboretum. Aly Watson's first story as a Junior Journalist brought her to Lockerly, where she spent an hour in the Arboretum talking with
phot credit D Hunter Joyce, WMAZ
photo credit: D. Hunter Joyce, WMAZ
Greg. Aly finished her visit here by exploring Rose Hill. 

Greg captured exactly what an arboretum is, and what makes Lockerly so special to our volunteers, students, visitors, and staff. 

If you know a student working on their school newspaper or church newsletter who would like to do a story on Lockerly, we would be glad to talk with them.

Join us at the Mainstreet Milledgeville celebration
Mainstreet Milledgeville is hosting a community celebration downtown on Friday, August 14th, from 6:00-10:00 pm in the 100 block of West Hancock Street.

Lockerly will have a table there until it is dark, and we'll be hunting for fossils. We'll be giving away Lockerly stickers in addition to information on our programs, summer camp, and special events.

Kathy Chandler, who chairs our Education Committee, is leading a group of volunteers to help us that evening. If you would like to be part of the fun, let Katherine Cummings, our Executive Director, know that you want to help. You can contact her at or 478.452.2112. 
The search is over!

Last month the Search Committee for Lockerly's Horticulture Director was pleased to invite Debbie Foster to join our staff. Debbie will be joining us in early September.

Debbie will be moving from southeastern Virginia with her husband and daughters. Two of their girls are in college and the youngest will be in Middle School.

Debbie has a Horticulture Degree from Virginia Tech and a Master's in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from North Carolina State University. She teaches the Master Gardener classes at the Currituck Extension Office in Barco, North Carolina. Debbie is passionate about working with volunteers and sharing her enthusiasm for gardening and plants. She smiles when she says she is a plant geek. We think Debbie will be a great addition to the Lockerly family.

The Trustees and Staff would like to thank the Search Committee, which included Shawn Davis, Marsh Letson, Doug Goings, Dede Reoch, and Katherine Cummings, for conducting the search that brought such a good candidate to us.

Our first Dirt Digger meeting after Debbie arrives will be Wednesday, September 16th, at 9:00 in the classroom of Rose Hill (this is a change of location for us). If you are interested in helping in the Lockerly gardens, please join us then. You don't need to know a lot about plants to be a Dirt Digger. If you enjoy being outside in a beautiful location with interesting people, you'll fit in right away.  

Dirt Diggers planning to welcome our new Hort Director 
Our first Dirt Digger meeting after Debbie Foster, our new Hort Director arrives, will be Wednesday morning, September 16th, at 9:00 o'clock. We will meet in the classroom of Rose Hill, which is a change of location for us.

If you are interested in helping in the Lockerly gardens, please join us then. You don't need to know a lot about plants to be a Dirt Digger. If you enjoy being outside in a beautiful location with interesting people, you'll fit in right away.

For more information about Dirt Diggers contact Katherine Cummings at 478.452.2112 or email  

August Garden Tips
August can be brutal to your yard and plants. You may be dealing with too much rain and wind from hurricanes and tropical storms, or not enough rain and scortching temperatures.

Jan Adair, a Dirt Digger and member of the Merry Magnolias Plant Collection Team, suggests using newspapers covered with pinestraw in garden beds. This will discourage weeds, and help the soil stay a little cooler while retaining any rain we get.  

Make sure your taller plants are staked in case we have strong winds from storms. 


It isn't too late to plant spider (also called September), butterfly, and Aztec lillies for
Spider Lillies
color in the coming weeks.

Trees and shrubs should tolerate some light pruning. Check for any limbs that may be a hazard during a storm. Take time to look for bug problems in your trees. We recently took some pine trees down that had bug infestations. The Lockerly Staff are especially appreciative of our Plant Collection teams for alerting us to problems they find while they are labeling plants and trees.
Merry Magnolia Team Leader Suzi Troxell came across a link from Bonnie Plants that includes some good tips for prolonging the life of tomatoes in your garden. She also recommends Month by Month Gardening in Georgia, a new book just published by Walter Reeves. Both experienced and beginning gardeners will find helpful tips and ideas to use throughout the year.

Summer Schedule update
Based on current, and previous year visitor numbers, we have decided to continue being closed on Saturdays through Labor Day weekend. Wherever you spend your weekends, be sure to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun.

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