New Column: In the Garden

Welcome to the first gardening column of the Madison County Master Gardeners. You will find this group of trained gardening volunteers planting trees along the bike path, installing a garden at a local library, or sharing gardening tips with neighbors or school groups. 

Here, we’re hoping to share their gardening tips and passion for all things growing. We also welcome your questions, tips and news of upcoming gardening events.


Why Garden?

Ask a master gardener why they garden, and you’ll hear a host of answers.  Some want safe, healthy and homegrown food. Others appreciate the exercise, especially the 300 to 400 calories burned each hour gardening. All master gardeners enjoy a garden’s four seasons of beauty, not to mention the additional 15 percent value to their property.  Others love to learn and try the newest plants, growing tips or pest control strategies. 

Many master gardeners welcome the opportunity to share gardening with another generation. Babs Janko of West Jefferson keeps the memory of her dad alive in growing his roses, while Linda Granger of Choctaw Lake encourages her school-age children to join her in the garden.

Gardening is a creative outlet for some, like former art teacher Debbie Cochran of London, and a social outlet with club meetings and outings for others. Many of these stewards of the earth garden for spiritual benefits and stress relief. For these folks, pulling weeds and dragging hoses is a welcomed weekend task after a hectic week.

Whatever the motive, the fruits of gardening can be enjoyed by all—birds, butterflies and passersby alike.

Ideas Abound

As gardens are at their peak, now is the time to sample homegrown vegetable varieties at a local farm market or check out various flower cultivars at the county fair. Make note of your favorites to add to the garden next season. 

Saturday morning farm markets begin July 12 in London and Mount Sterling. The Madison County fair will host flower shows on July 6 at 2 p.m. and July 10 at noon in the Floral Exhibit Hall. Fruit and vegetable specimens are judged July 6 and displayed in the Grange Building along with the London Farmer’s Market exhibit. Also check out the Herb Society’s container gardening display at the fair.

Teresa Woodard is a volunteer with the Madison County Master Gardeners. Questions and gardening news items are welcomed at 740-852-0809 or

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