Lockerly Newsletter August 2017
President's Musings
It has been several months since I have been in touch with you. I would like to take just a few minutes of your time to recap what has and is happening at the Arboretum. Let me start by recognizing the hard work our staff has put in to these accomplishments. Our Volunteers are certainly to be acknowledged and thanked for all the time, effort and value they contribute. I must also acknowledge the time and work the Board of Trustees, also volunteers, put into making all this possible.
Let me start by recognizing another successful Lockerly Plant Sale. I hope all of you had a chance to stop by and pick up a few items for your own garden. The Plant Sale Committee will be meeting in the near future to make next year's event even better. If any of you are interested and would like to volunteer for this committee please contact Mrs. Pollard. As a fundraiser, it is imperative to have a great group of volunteers committed to organizing and making it happen.  

As you may know Rose Hill (the Mansion) has finally, after several years, been designated as a National Historic Site. We are hopeful that this recognition will increase our visitors to include individuals from around the Southeast. I would remind everyone that old houses are always in need of some repair. The 'Invest in Rose Hill' campaign continues as we are committed to keeping Rose Hill in good order. If you are so inclined to help please contact Mrs. Pollard or Mrs. Jones.

With the able guidance of Mrs. Pollard, we have completed our first 'Strategic Plan' in many years. We appreciate all the input that we received from all of our partners. I believe we now have a plan to carry us forward into the future. Mr. Grassmann's vision was a major part of the process. One of the areas I am most excited about is the expansion of our Education Program to include significantly more programs for Adults. We hope to present a series of garden specific topics. I hope that everyone will take advantage of this program as we plan to roll it out in 2018. I look forward to sharing information about our Education program in each edition of our newsletter.
Early this spring we were contacted by Mr. Bill Hartley about a camellia collection which had been owned by Mr. Grassmann, our founder. The collection was at the old clay mine in Dry Branch. We got permission to visit the site and took pictures and tagged several Camellia japonica. They were still in bloom at the time of the visit. Lockerly staff members have subsequently also visited and have taken cuttings which are presently in the greenhouse under mist.   We hope that they will root and we can continue to preserve them and add to our Collection, which was also started by Mr. Grassmann.  

As an Arboretum, we must track and catalogue our trees and shrubs. To that end, our volunteers have been diligently at work tagging and counting our plants. With this process well under way, we were reminded that we could apply for certification with ArbNet, a program spearheaded by The Morton Arboretum in Illinois. This program has four levels of certification and is recognized as the Number One accreditation program for arboreta worldwide. Dr. Wipple and Ms. Colvin tackled the application program with great vigor and we are confident that we will be recognized as a Level 2 Arboretum in short order. We will be in very select company when this certification is complete as only four other organizations in Georgia are at Level Two. Thanks to the staff for pulling all the information together so that the committee of two could get this submitted so quickly.
As you may have heard we finally drilled a well which found water. It is not a lot of water but we are moving forward with plans to irrigate our valued collections of plants. A normal year does not require much irrigation but a drought like last year makes it imperative that we have a source of water other than the city/county. This is an ongoing project which we hope to have completed by next spring.

If you are a longtime partner of Lockerly you will remember the 2004 inaugural event called 'Lockerly Under the Stars'. It was the start of a wonderful program that everyone so enjoyed.   Well, we are bringing it back. The plans are to make it an annual event that all of you will look forward to attending. Please look at your calendar and join us for a wonderful evening of music and food on September 9, 2017. You can register on line or call Lockerly to reserve your spot for this wonderful event.

In any organization change is going to happen. Procedures changes as do people. I want to say thank you to a very special lady who has been instrumental in the continued success of our Education Program. She came to us as a Dirt Digger and then served as a Trustee and Education Committee Chair for several years. Her retirement from the Board of Trustee in April was a great loss. As you may remember Mr. Grassmann had Education at the top of his wish list. Without Mrs. Kathy Chandler's contributions, our Foundation would not be where it is today. Her vision was also the reason the Woods Museum is a wonderful spot to start a day's outing at Lockerly. Thank you, Kathy, for all your help and guidance. I look forward to seeing you at the fall festivities and many other future events.

Let me close with some parting thoughts. I did not intend for this to be so long but our accomplishments are many and needed to be acknowledged along with the people who made them happen. All of this cannot be done without the support of volunteers and donors. We have plans for new and exciting programs for families and we will be having some special events for our donors and Friends. All of this comes with a price tag and I would like to encourage each of you to please renew your Friends of Lockerly membership at a higher level. If you are not presently a member of Friends of Lockerly I would invite you to join at the Dogwood level or above. I am continually in awe of the progress we have made to shine the Lights on Lockerly.

I am really looking forward to seeing each of you at Lockerly Under the Stars in just a few weeks. Please get registered and be prepared for a lovely evening.

Rodger Flotta, President
Lockerly Arboretum Foundation
Thank you to our members!

Members who joined for the first time or renewed memberships during July include:
Mrs. Beegee Baugh
Ms. Mildred Braxley
Ms. Brenda Briley
Mr. William Millians
Ms. Christine Sims
Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Walsh
Do you need to join or renew?  Click HERE to donate today!!
Lockerly is a member of the American Public Gardens Association which means a Lockerly membership entitles YOU to discounts at other public gardens, including FREE admission to the Atlanta Botanical Garden if you live more than 90 miles away.Go to to find a listing of participating gardens. 

This casual evening is sure to be entertaining, with music by Reunion, delicious food by Aubri Lanes including fried and roasted chicken, pulled pork sliders, macaroni and cheese with assorted topics, roasted vegetables and more!

Silent auction items include:
Japanese Maples
2 nights on Jekyll Island
dinner for 8 in Milledgeville's oldest home
Round of Golf for 4 at Reynolds Lake Oconee
One year of pool service

Get your tickets TODAY! 

Fun Facts about Figs
by Deborah Foster 
The common fig tree (Ficus carica) belongs to the mulberry family. Its leaves are deeply lobed and quite large, ranging 5 to 10 inches long and 4 to 7 inches wide. While figs are common place here in the south, they are not native to the United States. The fig tree was imported from the Mediterranean and Asia. Cultivated since ancient times, figs can now be found growing all over the world.
Ficus carica is a deciduous tree or large shrub that grows well in the south where conditions are hot and dry. They prefer full sun and produce best with at least 8 hours of sun each day during the summer. Most fig trees grow between 10 and 30 feet tall. While most southerners are familiar with figs, there are some interesting facts about figs that most of us may not know. Apples, pears, cherries, and peaches all have gorgeous blooms that we grow not only for their fruit but their flowers. But have you ever seen flowers on your fig tree? How is it possible that a tree with no flowers can bare fruit?
Commonly referred to as a "fruit", figs are actually an enlarged, fleshy, hollow stem lined with hundreds of tiny flowers. The flowers themselves are not visible from the outside as they bloom inside the false "fruit". The small hole visible on the bottom of the "fruit" is a narrow passage way which allows a specialized fig wasp to enter the "fruit" and pollinate the flowers. Each tiny flower produces one seed which gives the fig that familiar crunch.
Fig trees are gynodioecious. Simply put, some plants in the fig species only have female flowers while others have male and female flowers. The figs grown in California and the Mediterranean have separate male and female flowers and require a tiny fig wasp for pollination. The figs we grow here in the south have only female flowers and are self-pollinating. In fact, it would be a fruitless effort to attempt to grow a Mediterranean fig here in Georgia because the fig wasp doesn't exist in this part of the country.
Figs are typically 1 to 2 inches long, with a green skin that turns bright yellowish green, purple or brown as it ripens. They are highly nutritious and serve as a natural source of beta carotene, iron, potassium and both soluble and insoluble fiber. Figs can be eaten fresh, preserved or used for baking. The variety you are growing will determine when your figs are ready for harvest. Figs will usually ripen over a 4 week period between mid-July and early September.
When picking figs; look for "the droop". The short stem of a ripe fig will begin to bend causing the fruit to droop and look heavy. The skin will also be showing a good amount of color and may even have a few cracks. A perfectly ripe fig will be soft and sweet, like eating candy. Figs have a very short shelf life. Some varieties will only last a day or two after harvest while others may last up to a week in the refrigerator.
If your tree fails to produce, it could be a case of over fertilization. Plants that are growing vigorously will often drop their fruit before they are ripe. Hot, dry periods while the fruit is maturing can also cause fruit to drop. Sour fruit is caused by yeast spread by insects and will give off an offensive fermented odor. If you have a latex allergy, you might need to steer clear of fig trees in the summer. The plant has a milky white sap that can cause the same itchy reaction. The fig itself however, is not known to be an allergen. Figs will grow in many types of soil but should be planted in soil free of root-knot nematodes. Nematodes are the leading killer of fig trees in the south and infected trees cannot be cured.
For gardeners in central Georgia, Celeste and Hardy Chicago are two of the best fig varieties to grow. If you live south of the fall line, you will have more varieties to choose from. Brown Turkey, Celeste, Hunt, Kadota and Magnolia are excellent for preserving. Alma, Celeste, Brown Turkey, Green Ischa, and Hunt are good for eating fresh.
If the thought of growing your own fruit seems like too much work and trouble, then growing fresh figs is the perfect fruit for you. Fig trees require no specialized pruning or training, no spraying for pest or diseases and they don't require a lot of water or fertilizer. They have no thorns and you don't have to bend over or squat to pick them. They are the perfect low maintenance fruit tree that produces a ton of yummy fruit that you can't get in the produce section of the grocery store. If you have never tasted a fresh fig, come out to Lockerly Arboretum soon for a free sample.


Invest in Rose Hill's Heritage & Future NOW
Progress on our Invest in Rose Hill's Heritage & Future project continues. Dining room chairs are currently being recovered as are the circa 1820 Recamier settee in the back parlor and the circa 1840-1860 Empire settee in the central hallway.
Please join us in preserving Lockerly's beautiful 1852 treasure for future generations.
To learn more about this project go to

Donations may be made online or checks, made payable to Lockerly Arboretum & marked for Rose Hill's Heritage, may be sent to:
Lockerly Arboretum                                                  
P.O. Box 310
Millegeville, GA  31059
YOUR support is needed and appreciated!
A Special THANK YOU to our CURRENT DONORS:      
Cornice: $10,000 +
Community Foundation of Central Georgia
Watson-Brown Foundation Jr. Board
Staircase: $5,000-$7,999
William R. Harper
Second Floor: $1,000-$4,999
Anela Kolone Foundation
Ed Hall
Alan & Sherrill Jones
Sandy & Judy Mercer
Milledgeville Garden Club Council     
Milledgeville Town Committee of Colonial Dames
Frank & Ann Vinson
First Floor: $500-$999
Russ & Anne Walden
Fielding & Harriett Whipple
Ground Floor: $100-$499
Gerald Grimes Plumbing
Joe & Nancy Hodge
Milledgeville Garden Club
Gail Tucker Murphy
Bill & Dede Reoch
Ed Wolpert
Robert Wood
Foundation: Up to $99
Douglas & Kyle Rick
William Sherrill Chapter, Colonial Dames 17th Century

  • Summer has been an exciting and fun-filled time for children at Lockerly and at Worley!
      40 rising 1st through 9th graders attended a variety of camps this summer.  Each day children experienced a wide variety of hands-on activities that were educational and fun. Children were encouraged to explore, experiment and make their own discoveries!
  • Congratulations to Greg Eilers and the education committee/staff of Lockerly!  Their Gymnosperm/Angiosperm ID education activity has been selected to be included as an education resource on ArbNet.  ArbNet facilitates the sharing of knowledge, experience, and other resources to help arboreta meet their institutional goals.  Way to go, team!!!
  • Don't forget, NOW is the time to call and schedule fall field trips for all ages including church groups, schools, home-schools and garden clubs!  We offer customized educational programs for all ages as well as for school groups focusing on horticulture, geology, life sciences, and environmental studies in compliance with the Georgia Performance Standards.   

From 10am - 3pm on Saturday, October 14, Lockerly will once again host Family Fun Day. This event is FREE and open to all ages!
Activities for the day will include:
Hay Rides
Fun with Microscopes
Guided Hikes
Animal Tracks
Historic toys, games and more!!!

You can also view and vote on your favorite Scarecrows in the Arboretum!

The Scarecrows are Coming! The Scarecrows are Coming!

Join us for our Second Annual Scarecrows in the Arboretum!  The contest is open to everyone: Individuals, families, businesses, organizations, Scout Troops and school classes, grades,
clubs, etc.
  • Scarecrows will be on exhibit throughout our 50 acres during the month of October. 
  • Visitors & Exhibitors may cast their votes (25ยข each) for "Best in Show".
  • Entry forms are due by 4pm, September 18.



Proceeds from Scarecrows in the Arboretum benefit our education programs. 
In the Greenhouse 
The next time you are visiting Lockerly, be sure to check out the greenhouse!  Horticulture Director, Deborah Foster maintains a beautiful variety of plants in the "middle" greenhouse, including these fabulous specimens:

Venus Fly Trap

Doritaenopsis Cherry Wine "Newberry" Orchid

September 9:  Lockerly Under the Stars


October 14:  Family Fun Day


October 1-31:  Scarecrows in the Arboretum


December 7:  Rose Hill Holiday Reception


December 9:  Rose Hill Holiday Open House



We appreciate our sponsors and supporters.

Lockerly Arboretum  1534 Irwinton Road, Milledgeville, GA   478.452.2112  
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