Gold Medal Garden at Union County Farmer’s Market – 2017


Posted by Barb B | Posted in Community Projects

Gold Medal Garden at Union County Farmer’s Market: Educational garden containing Georgia Gold Medal Plants; requires regular maintenance and new plantings yearly to add to the garden.

June 2017 – Meet Me In The Garden – MGEV

Dates:  Tuesday, June 27th – Friday, June 30th – Meet Me In The Garden (Gold Medal at UC Farmers Market)
Time:  9:00 AM
The Gold Medal Garden at the Union County Farmers’ Market is in dire need of weeding.
Since everyone is very busy working in their own yards as well as MGEV projects, I decided that it may be more convenient to you to Meet Me In The Garden (Gold Medal) at your convenience!
This is how it works —   I will be in the Gold Medal Garden weeding each day this week at 9:00 AM.  Work for 30 minutes or 15 minutes, whatever you can fit into your schedule.  You be the judge on RAIN as I will not send out a weather/work update for each day.  Bring your own water, gloves and trowel. Thanks in advance for your help.  Marcia Little, Chairman

Fall 2016 Gold Medal Garden Report

The Gold Medal Garden at the Union County Farmers’ Market in Blairsville still looks wonderful even though blooms are dying down.

The next visit by members will be scheduled for the last week in October or in early November to retrieve seeds from spent blooms and prune down perennials left standing from our last visit.  The roses will also be pruned down; and, we’ll all share in discussion of the Beautyberry that is blocking the walkway.  The correct Gold Medal winner variety has been purchased and we’ll discuss where it needs to reside.

We also need to re-do two perennials beds that have been taken over by wild violets and a time frame as to when we want to attack and what we want to reinstall.

Our next working visit (end of October or early November) will be minor work and more talk!.  Weather permitting we may plan a Fall luncheon (outside) with shared soup and bread!  FUN!!!!!  Marcia Little

What a perfect update to the Gold Medal Garden – This is August’s report!!!!!

Everything blooming with the glory of our wonderful mountains as a backdrop.  What human could have done such beautiful work?!
We Master Gardeners just like to dig in the dirt and the results are not totally ours.
The beautyberry that is blocking the walkway probably needs to be removed Emoji ; but, there are still two remaining.  Will pursue removal ceremony in the Fall.
Shasta Daisies have been deadheaded and seeds collected (but I think I told you this)
Will begin deadheading the black-eyed susans, small amounts at a time to leave some for the birds.  Will leave the seed heads of the coneflowers for the birds and will remove the stalks in the late Fall or late Winter (some seeds should fall to revitalize the bed)  Speaking of coneflowers – the bed has been taken over by wild orchids and the bed needs to be re-worked next Spring.
Happy gardening!
Marcia Little

MGEV Cathy Haist reports the following:  “As I was leaving the Farmer’s market yesterday, I noticed an artist painting in the Garden.

She had captured some of the Garden with the mountains behind on her canvas.  I just had to take pictures of her work to share with you.
 July 2016 update for the Gold Medal Garden
o     Everything looks healthy!
o     Weeding is soooooo minimal since the mulch was added by the County!!!
o     A second family of “field swallows” has fledged – what fun to garden with them.
o     Battle is ALMOST over with Japanese Beetles and Milkweed bug – but the squishing continues for a while longer.
Marcia Little, MGEV

May 2016 update for the Gold Medal Garden

Have you seen the garden lately – Merrily,  Merrily applies!

New mulch has been applied and more rock have been installed to help the “wash” during torrential rains.  Weeds have been sprayed in the “dry ditch” and everything is perking up beautifully!  Still awaiting the Clethera to emerge, but all other residents seem to be doing just fine.
Plant ID “tags” will be elevated for easier viewing and Small Metal Markers will be installed to identify all Non-Gold Medal Plants.
For all you recent graduates (Trainees)  I encourage you to take a walk through the garden, use the posted map to locate and identify the plants, learn what Gold Medal Plants are (use the internet to tell the history) and enjoy the season long beauty.
I am seeking suggested ANNUALS from the Gold Medal list to create a small annual flower bed at the entrance to the garden.  It will, too, be outlined with rocks and some prep work will also have to be done.  So send me you suggestions!
Next work day will be sent via email.  Marcia Little, Gold Medal Plant Garden, Project Chairman
To see the 2016 Gold Medal Plant winners, please check here:

Chairman Marcia Little submits this current update on the beautiful Gold Medal Garden at Union County Farmers Market for your reading pleasure:

Here’s the Spring 2015 update for the Gold Medal Garden
  • The Plant ID tags are in place
  • Cletherea ‘hummingbird’ was purchased as this year’s major addition.  Sorry to say they expired and have been returned for replacement.  I did plant five (5) small plants that I dug and grew from my yard.
  • The Amsonia that JoAnne has been growing have proven to be more difficult to grow from seeds and seedlings.  Thank you JoAnne for ALL the time and effort it has taken.  I will be looking for larger plants in the meantime.  JoAnne has graciously offered to continue the vigil of raising the babies she has – THANKS.  The larger plants, once located, will probably be in 2016 budget for next year’s planting.
  • JoAnne provided a flat of pink and white mix cleome.  However, there are 1 Billion seedlings already in the garden (I counted) and we may hold off on adding more.
  • There is a pair of Meadow or Field Swallows (I believe, as they are a beautiful blue) currently building a nest in the birdhouse that was placed in honor of JoAnne’s Mom.
  • JoAnne provided “Red Hot Poker” and they were split and planted in front of the electrical box and telephone pole on the West side of the garden.
  • We were able to talk with Mickey about needing mulch, etc etc etc.  You will be happy to know that he will talk with both Larry and Lamar in hopes of also getting “egg” rock to be placed in the garden to help with the mulch staying put to avoid drainage issues.  Mickey suggested mulch around the plants and “egg” rock elsewhere.  This conversation and request will be continued, but I just wanted you to know that Mickey is on board with helping to cut down on the weeds and also adding beauty to the garden.  Mickey’s comment was that this may be a large expense initially, but will pay off may times over – YEA!!
  • The garden will be fertilized in the next few days – hoping it will rain this weekend so I can fertilize this Thursday
  • Everything else looks great – a few bugs on the Black-eyed Susans, but all else just looks hungry
  • There are many Beautyberry baby plants emerging and we will harvest them at another time to replant and sell at Ask The Master Gardener
WOW, What a Garden – thanks for everyone’s help!
On a beautiful 2015 “April Fools Day” there were no fools working in the
Gold Medal Plant Garden at the Union County Farmers’ Market!
The County’s experienced and talented Towns & Union Counties Master Gardeners were hard at work performing Spring gardening chores in the beautiful Gold Medal Plant Garden they designed and installed in 2009.  Once a parking lot drainage area, the Master Gardeners transformed an unsightly area into a learning garden of specially selected Gold Medal Plants.  Gold Medal Plants derive their prestigious name from a selection of vines, shrubs, trees, ground cover, perennials and annuals that are nominated and then selected by a committee to be “the chosen” for each year.  The plantings selected for Union County’s Gold Medal Garden were specifically selected for growth in this area.  Plantings were also selected to provide flowering throughout the growing season as an example to residents of Union County.  The location for this garden was selected due to the vast number of visitors to the beautiful Union County Farmers’ Market each year.  Thank you to the County for allowing the Towns & Union Counties Master Gardeners to provide the beautiful garden for all Union County residents.  Our Garden invites you to walk the pathway in the Garden and enjoy all its beauty with the birds, butterflies and bees.

For a history of Gold Medal Plants and their selection please click here:

To see the Gold Medal Plant selection for 2015, please click here:

To see the Gold Medal Plant selection for 2014, please click here: Gold Medal Plants 2014

In the event you are interested in seeing the Gold Medal Plants selected for years 1994 – 2013, please click here:
Contact: Marcia Little, Chairman

For further information, please contact:  Dan Greenfield, President –

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