Field Trips – A Fun Way to Learn

On Friday, January 25, 2019, the Master Gardeners set off for Leon County to visit 2 different gardens. This was our first continuing education program for 2019.

Leon County Extension Services

Our first stop was at the Leon County Extension Services and Demonstration Gardens, located on Paul Russell Road. Thirteen of us met with Mark 2010 MG Leon ClassTancig, Horticultural Agent and Master Gardener Coordinator for Leon County. We asked to see not only the gardens, but the behind-the-scene areas that the Leon Master Gardeners use to create and maintain their gardens.

2010 MG Leon Class

We spent some time in the vegetable garden talking about the composting program, potting shed, irrigation system, and crop rotation systems. There are teams of Master Gardeners for each of these projects and this gives everyone on the team a voice in how they will maintain their gardens. This method also allows gardeners to work in an area of interest where the work is more enjoyable.

2010 MG Leon Class

Keeping tools organized, planning for plant sales, making sure plants in the gardens are labeled, and ensuring everyone has a safe environment to work in are all part of Mark’s responsibilities as the Master Gardener Coordinator. He has a large group of active Master Gardeners and can delegate many tasks to willing volunteers. We were delighted that he took the time to meet with us and show us around their lovely gardens. Thank you, Mark!

A Home Landscape Tour

One of our Master Gardeners, Michele Hackmeyer, lives in NE Tallahassee on 3 acres. She and her husband, Drew, built their home and created their 2010 MG Leon Classlandscape over the past 20 years. Michele offered to talk about ‘lessons learned’ from her own gardening experiences and we were happy to accept her gracious invitation.

Michele talked with us about everything a gardener needs to consider when designing beds, such as light and water requirements, growth habits of plants, and even the gardener’s interests – including what types of plants or activities the person likes and dislikes. Do you prefer a neat and formal garden, or a more relaxed and natural landscape? Do you want colorful flowers and plants all year, or are you okay with plants that shed their leaves in the cooler months? Do you like to mow and prune, or can you accept a plant’s natural growth and non-symmetrical shape? Does your property have more hours in the sun, or is it more in the shade?

After revi2010 MG Leon Classewing some of her successes, unsuccessful ventures, and lessons learned, Michele took us on a tour of her property so we could see firsthand what we learned about inside. This was taken around her ‘apple tree bed’). This was a great way to put theory into context. We could better understand when some of her beds were successful and when she had to re-think her initial planting. It is the sharing of ideas, like Michele did for us, that makes our group special. Thank you, Michele!


To learn more about scale insects in Wakulla County, visit the UF/IFAS Wakulla County website at or call 850-926-3931.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information, and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions, or affiliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A&M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating.

Posted: January 28, 2019

Category: UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension, UF/IFAS Research, UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: Master Gardeners, Master Gardeners Blog

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