Larry Beier, Henderson County Master Gardener Intern, has been pulling weeds since he was a child working in his grandmother’s garden. She would pay him for the service, and so, as a teenager, he branched out, working in neighbors’ gardens. Today, Beier still pulls weeds, but now in his own garden. He has nine beds: seven flower beds with “a few vegetables mixed in here and there” and two raised beds for vegetables and herbs. The payment Beier receives is in having some “quiet time, a place to relax, and just being able to enjoy peace.”
Beier recommends starting a new garden bed in the fall. He did this last year, by “removing a large area of sod, amending the soil, and putting in some cool-weather plants to keep the area from looking bare until spring.” He enjoys seeing pollinators visit, especially “bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.” However, he doesn’t appreciate the deer who stop by to munch on plants.
Beier took the Master Gardener class last year, and will complete his requirements for certification this year. He enrolled in the program because he “wanted to grow myself, and to learn better techniques.” Beier says that mission has been accomplished. “I have learned an enormous amount.” He has also formed many new friendships. “The Master Gardener program seems like a large family. Even when you go to an event hundreds of miles from home, when you see other Master Gardeners, they talk as if they have known you for years.”
Henderson County Master Gardener Association maintains the greenhouse on the campus of Trinity Valley Community College. It is this project Beier enjoys the most. Beier says, “It is a great learning place and there's the annex outside so there is some outside work as well. The variety of people who work at the greenhouse offer a wide range of knowledge and experience to draw from, and I'm learning about more plants here than I think I would any place else.”
If you have an interest in becoming a Henderson County Master Gardener, please contact the Extension Office at 903-675-6130 for an application.