East Texas Quarterly Magazine Summer 2015 - Page 10

Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists Jasper Master Gardeners have many programs that the public can participate in, including weekly workouts at the Arboretum and Library gardens in Jasper. Friday and Saturday mornings are work days in the greenhouse and Butterfly Gardens, where you can just show up and help. The day starts early and is often done before noon to avoid summer heat. open. The answer is: all hours. It’s part of the Jasper City parks system and you can hike the trails and enjoy the gardens any time. Master gardeners maintain the formal gardens on the north bank of Sandy Creek from Main Street to Hwy 96, It’s not just about working for the community, according to the master gardeners who train volunteers. “We’re teaching people how to start seeds, transplant seedlings, and propagate new plants from cuttings,” according to instructor Hugh Pickle. Sometimes the whole morning is spent weeding, but what you are learning is how to identify weeds and the best scientific means to control weeds. By the way, do you know the definition of a “weed”? It is anything growing where it is not wanted. So that little oak seedling that could become a mighty tree is still a weed if it is growing next to the foundation of your house. Pluck it