Meadowlark: A First Glance at a Winter Garden
By Jennifer Naughton, Fairfax Master Gardener
A mother of three, I began the Fairfax County Master Gardener Association, Inc. (FCMGA) program when my youngest was in preschool. It was a thrill to learn again, especially about plants and gardening. I grew up making my mother bouquets of lily-of-the-valley, corn flowers, buttercups, violas, mint, playing in dirt and grass from dawn to dusk. I started a marriage and first garden in California where camellias, bougainvillea and roses climbed up the wall to my windows and a giant, grafted lemon-tangerine tree towered higher than my 900 square-foot home. After the demanding, all-encompassing care for my children as babies, toddlers, preschoolers, I was ready to broaden my scope, and the FCMGA program was a perfect, satisfying fit. When I graduated this year, I did not feel that I finished the program. I knew that my status as a Master Gardener would allow me opportunities to continue to learn, volunteer, but I wanted to study a seasoned gardener, watch them work the earth, combine color, texture, size, purpose in landscape design as an artist paints her canvas, tend plants lovingly.