[Image: Camelot foxglove]
[Image: Ron Strahan]
[Image: rainy tour]
News Release Distributed 05/21/14
HAMMOND, La. – More than 180 Louisiana Master Gardeners braved showers and cloudy skies to attend their annual appreciation day at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station on May 9.
Attendees came from almost all parishes across the southern part of the state.
Each year Louisiana Master Gardeners provide more than 70,000 hours of volunteer service to the people of Louisiana through the AgCenter,
Master Gardener volunteers get involved in everything from plant health clinics and answering gardening questions in LSU AgCenter parish offices, to manning booths at fairs and festivals, said LSU AgCenter horticulturist Allen Owings. Some Master Gardener associations also are actively involved in rapidly expanding youth gardening, school gardening and community gardening programs.
“The annual appreciation day has been held in Hammond the past several years to show Master Gardeners how much their volunteer efforts mean to the statewide horticulture programming efforts of the AgCenter,” Owings said.
Activities for the day included a presentation by LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill. In addition, LSU AgCenter specialists Alan Morgan, Ron Strahan, Kathryn Fontenot and Raj Singh hosted booth displays at the event.
The program included contests, such as “Name that Weed” and “What’s Wrong with This Plant?”
Owings led a tour of the sun garden trials which feature new plants for 2015 in addition to a new planting of tropical and sub-tropical plants from Florida.
This year Louisiana Master Gardeners voted for their favorite Louisiana Super Plant. The winners were Camelot foxglove (first place) and Kauai torenia (second place). Belinda's Dream rose and Serena angelonia tied for third place in the voting.
Master Gardeners also voted for their favorite plants in the shade and sun gardens at the station. The winners were:
– Gold Medal – Mesa Bright Bicolor gaillardia
– Silver Medal – Diamonds Blue delphinium
– Bronze Medal – Tidepool Dark Blue lobelia
– Bronze Medal – Camelot Mix foxglove
– Bronze Medal – Carnival summer poinsettia
Honorable mentions went to Drift Coral rose, Endurascape Red verbena, Kauai Deep Blue torenia, Techno Heat Lite Blue Improved lobelia, Dash Magician dianthus, Mesa Peach gaillardia, Swan Mix columbine, Flutterby Petite Tutti Frutti Pink butterfly bush, Dalmation Lavender Improved foxglove, Fragrant Bouquet hosta and bog sage (Salvia uliginosa).
Additional information about the Louisiana Master Gardener program is available at AgCenter parish offices or by contacting state coordinators Rene Schmit at 985-785-4473 or Miles Brashier at 225-638-5533.