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June 14, 2003

The Many Hats of a County Extension Agent

Remember Hank Kimbal, the county extension
agent on Green Acres, the sitcom that aired in the mid-sixties? In one
episode, Hank (played by Alvy Moore) admits to Mr. Douglas (played by
Eddie Albert) that he's received a whopping 87 phone calls since
becoming county agent years ago! Our Georgia county extension agents
don't have it so easy, however. Your county agents are the outreach arm
of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental
Sciences. They must be familiar with dozens of scientific disciplines.
Walter uses the Research and Education Garden on the Griffin Campus as
a backdrop to talk with Aaron Lancaster, county agent in Bibb County.
Aaron brings her collection of hats to demonstrate all of the different
skills she must master to effectively serve her clients day after day.
87 phone calls? Aaron says, "Maybe on a slow day!"

Espalier Techniques

Is it "es-pal-YAY" or "es-pal-YER"? In either
case, the word describes the technique of shaping plants to a formal
design. Walter joins Parker Andes, horticulturist with Biltmore Estates
in Asheville, NC, to learn more about shaping a Rose-of-Sharon bush and
an apple tree along a historic stone wall. You might want to try the
same technique along some wall in your garden or landscape.

Armitage Plant Favorite – Tiarella

Dr. Allan Armitage, horticulturist with UGA's College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, oversees a trial garden for annual and perennial plants at the University of Georgia. One of Dr. Armitage's favorites is Tiarella (also known as foam flower). This plant was rarely seen in
nurseries a dozen years ago, but has now taken the garden world by
storm. Join Walter's visit with Dr. Armitage as he shows and talks
about this excellent plant for shady landscapes.