NFMG Receives First Place Award for Horticultural Education Efforts in the Face of Pandemic

The 2021 David Gibby International Master Gardener Search for Excellence (IMGSFE) Awards have recognized the North Fulton Master Gardeners for their efforts in the face of a global pandemic in successfully providing horticultural education to the North Fulton community and beyond through virtual webinar technology. The First Place Award in the Workshops/Presentations Category will be presented during the virtual International Master Gardener Conference in mid-September 2021. More details at

The Evolution of the NFMG Gardening Lecture Series (2019 - 2021) in Response to the Global Pandemic

The Evolution of the NFMG Gardening Lecture Series (2019 - 2021) in Response to the Global Pandemic - Video by Anila Nair, NFMG Intern

The title of our application and this video really sums up the transformation of our work this past year and a half. Prior to the pandemic shut down, we presented each of our classes in person at 3 different locations in North Fulton County. We typically attracted about 300 attendees to all 7 classes.

During the Spring 2020 Lecture Series, life as we knew it came to a stand-still. On March 13, in response to COVID-19, we announced the cancellation of the remainder of our in-person classes.

Our team quickly pivoted and learned how to record classes using Zoom. We created a YouTube account – We recorded one of our cancelled classes using Zoom and uploaded this first video in May 2020. This Hydrangea lecture has over 1,100 views to date.

In 2020, we Zoom recorded and posted 13 gardening lectures to our YouTube channel. To date these classes have been viewed more than 4,200 times.

In the spring of 2021, feeling brave, we transitioned to LIVE zoom webinars. Our team executed an extensive marketing and social media campaign. We held 10 live webinars – streaming live to both Zoom and Facebook and afterward, we posted the recordings to those same sites. The Spring Gardening Lecture Series has had over 10,000 views.


The David Gibby Search for Excellence (SFE) Awards recognize the outstanding volunteer work of Extension Master Gardeners (EMG) throughout the United States, Canada, and South Korea. The award was renamed in 2019 to recognize the contributions of David Gibby, the former Area Extension Agent in King and Pierce Counties for Washington State University. In this role, he established the Master Gardener program in 1972 to address the needs of backyard gardeners for urban horticulture and gardening advice. SFE includes seven categories in which EMGs can demonstrate meaningful contributions to their communities: Community Service, Demonstration Gardens, Innovative Projects, Research, Special Needs Audiences, Workshops or Presentations, and Youth.

The Fall 2021 Gardening Lecture Series presented by the North Fulton Master Gardeners begins September 1

This series of 7 FREE virtual gardening classes begins on Sept.1, 2021. We hope you will join us for a class or two or the entire series. We are sure you will agree that we have a great lineup of presenters and classes! Register TODAY to reserve a place - More details about each class follow. Please share this email with your friends, family, neighbors and acquaintances who are garden lovers.

Check out the classes on Facebook Events
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North Fulton Master Gardeners, Inc., is continuing to provide horticultural education to the North Fulton community and beyond through FREE virtual gardening education programming. This series of seven classes begins Wednesday, September 1, 2021 and will be available through live Zoom webinars and Facebook Live. The classes will also be available for later viewing at

Each class emphasizes practical gardening activities at the time of year that is best suited for that activity. Please register in advance at to assure your place. You may register for all seven classes or just pick specific classes. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the webinar. If you cannot attend the live webinar, you can register anyway so you will receive a recorded link to the class.

Don't miss these incredible opportunities to learn more about gardening in metro Atlanta.

Fall Lawn Care in Atlanta

Live Zoom: Wednesday, September 1 at 7:00 pm

To have a beautiful lawn next year, you need to start now. Depending on your grass type, there are certain things you need to do and others you should not do. Early fall is the only effective time to reseed or plant cool-season grasses (fescue). If you have warm-season grass (Bermuda, Zoysia), you need to prevent winter weeds from taking over. North Fulton Master Gardener John Kligora will teach this class, which will cover warm vs cool-season grasses; soil testing; fertilizing, watering, and weed prevention.

Fall Vegetable Gardening

Live Zoom: Sunday, September 12 at 2:00 pm

Fall is a great time to grow vegetables in North Fulton County. North Fulton Master Gardener George Scesney shares his expertise on how to prepare your garden, select the best vegetables to grow in the fall in the Atlanta area, the optimal time to plant each type and some tips for a bountiful harvest!

ABC’S of Fall Gardening

Live Zoom: Sunday, September 19 at 2:00 pm

There is more to fall gardening than raking leaves! Please do not put away your gardening tools and please do not stop visiting your local gardening centers. Georgia weather gives gardeners opportunities for four-season gardening. As the summer months fade, the transition to cooler days and more rainfall, provides the perfect time to plant trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs, and some cool weather vegetables. It is also time to change out your summer containers and replace the plants with colorful plants that will survive from fall until spring. We will explore how to modify containers by adding garden art to celebrate end of year holidays. Time spent in your garden during the fall will reap benefits all year long! This class is presented by North Fulton Master Gardener Carole MacMullan.

Landscaping Lessons Learned!

Live Zoom: Sunday, September 26 at 2:00 pm

This class is presented by Michael Snow, an Intern with the North Fulton Master Gardeners. You can learn from his mistakes to experience a stress-free landscaping project and produce a more beautiful result. Early planning can substantially reduce the amount of time and back-breaking work required. Several simple steps made today can make a great difference in the five-year outcome.

Fun Garden Projects to do with your Kids

Live Zoom: Sunday, October 10 at 2:00 pm

North Fulton Master Gardener Donna Whitesel uses her many years of working with children to guide you through several fun and horticulturally based projects to do with kids. Tap into your child’s natural curiosity with these hands-on and age-appropriate activities that are sure to make a plant lover out of your little sprout!

Winter Vegetable Planting Demonstration

Live Zoom: Sunday, October 24 at 2:00 pm

A hands-on, “how and what to plant” class with North Fulton Master Gardener, Robin Pollack who will showcase her beautiful raised-bed gardens. Learn the basics of growing great vegetables over the winter. Suitable for beginners to experienced gardeners!

Cool Season Flowers Beyond Pansies

Live Zoom: Sunday, November 7 at 2:00 pm

Winter does not have to be dreary and flowerless. North Fulton Master Gardener Donna Whitesel will teach you all about flowers and plants you can grow through the winter for winter landscaping beauty.

About the North Fulton Master Gardeners:

North Fulton Master Gardeners, Inc. is a Georgia nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose purpose is to educate its members and the public in the areas of horticulture and ecology in order to promote and foster community enrichment. NFMG assists The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension by providing unbiased horticultural information to Georgians through volunteer community service and educational gardening projects using applied research and the resources of The University of Georgia. NFMG Volunteers are trained and certified by The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.

Over the years, the North Fulton Master Gardeners have provided gardening community education classes in Alpharetta, Roswell, Sandy Springs, and Farm Chastain (now transitioning to a virtual learning format due to the pandemic); gardening education for young children; university and college scholarships for horticulture students; and local demonstration gardens maintained by the North Fulton Master Gardeners. For 21 years, we brought Garden Faire to the North Fulton community on the last Saturday in April on the grounds of historic Bulloch Hall.

North Fulton Master Gardeners are available to speak at your next virtual meeting or event on a multitude of topics. To request a speaker, contact Speakers Bureau Chair, Kathie Lunsford at 678-699-1977 or email

In response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the North Fulton Master Gardeners went virtual with our pre-recorded Fall 2020 Gardening Lecture Series. All Fall classes can be viewed on the Fall 2020 Gardening Lecture Series playlist which includes "Hydrangeas - How to Plant, Grow, and Prune" with Master Gardener Linda Cline, "Gardening in the Shade" and ”Fragrant Gardens for All Seasons” with Master Gardener Carole MacMullan, "Create A Fall Vegetable Garden" with Master Gardener George Scesney, "Top Ten Lawn Care Mistakes" with Master Gardener Ben Whitley, "Vermicomposting" with Master Gardener Kathie Lunsford, "All About Bulbs! Bulbs for all Seasons" and "How to Create a Bulb Lasagna Container Garden" with Master Gardener Donna Whitesel, "Winter Interest Plants" with Marlysa Raye-Jacobus, and "Holiday Wreath-making with Plants from the Garden", "Mailbox Holiday Decoration with Plants from the Garden", and "Decorating Your Mantel for the Holidays" with Master Gardener Judy Peacock.

The Spring 2021 Gardening Lecture Series transitioned to Live Zoom webinars and were also streamed to Facebook Live. The Spring playlist includes “Spring Vegetable Gardening” with Master Gardener George Scesney, “Growing Lavender” with Master Gardener Rebecca Pinckney, “Right Tree! Right Place!” with Master Gardener Tom Redmon, “Hosta- A perfect Addition to Your Shade Garden” with Master Gardener Carole MacMullan, “Lawn Care for Spring and Summer in Atlanta” with Master Gardener John Kligora, “Big Trees of Sandy Springs” with Master Gardener Katherine Coppedge, “Establishing and Growing Perennials” with Master Gardener Donna Whitesel, “Attracting Wildlife and Detracting Critters” with Master Gardener Marlysa Raye-Jacobus, “Native Schmative! What's the Big Deal? “ with Master Gardener Paula Lindsey, and “Spring Vegetable Planting Demonstration” with Master Gardener Robin Pollack.

To receive more information about classes and other NFMG activities, you can sign up for our email list at

Please follow us on social media to learn more about our upcoming Fall 2021 Gardening Lecture Series.

We wish the best of health to all members of our community.

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