Magic In The Garden by Laverne Fuller

Magic in the Garden

By Laverne Fuller

Imagine looking at your garden and seeing a perfect shed surrounded by beautiful plants. A stone path leads to a swing and in the far corner is a trellis. There are statues and other garden art, even a wind chime hanging from a shepherd's hook. Now imagine all of this fitting in an old dishpan or a wooden tray. Welcome to the world of fairy gardens. Fairy gardens are a popular way to garden in a small space. Moss and small succulents and other tiny plants are used to cover the soil and create the appearance of a full size garden. Structures are added and provide an opportunity for creative recycling. Paint a used soup can to resemble a cottage and add a roof. Fences and other accessories can be purchased at a craft store or made at home. Many items can be made from oven baked clay. The only limitation is your imagination.

The Southside Master Gardeners are sponsoring a Fairy Garden contest at the Halifax Farmer's Market on June 11 as part of the Second Saturday series. Rules and entry forms are available at the Halifax Extension Office at 171 S. Main St., Halifax. Entries will be accepted at the market on June 11 from 8 to 9:45 am and will be judged for design and creativity. Prizes will be awarded for 1st and 2nd place. The public can vote for the People's Choice award from 10 to 11. Contest winners will be announced at 11:30. At least 2 live plants must be used with no artificial plants or live animals allowed. See the entry form for other rules. While at the market visit the outside vendors for fresh produce, eggs, organic meats and herbal ointments and soaps. Inside are all types of vendors including portrait photography, antiques and collectables, dog treats and supplies and funky artwork. Create the garden of your dreams and share it with us on June 11 or just stop by to vote for your favorite.


Caption for picture: This exquisite design, by Bunleng Thanaporn, is an example of the types of Fairy Gardens entering the June 11 Fairy Garden Contest at the Halifax Farmers Market.    

Halifax is Jamming with Home-Grown Talent on June 3rd

The Town of Halifax will be “jamming” again on Friday, June 3rd from 6pm-11pm at the Town of Halifax Farmers Market with two “home-grown” local bands from Halifax that are making names for themselves. Opening the “Jam” playing from 6-7 pm are the High Rock Ramblers. A young group that has been playing Bluegrass, gospel and classic country tunes together since September of 2015. They have been busy playing at local churches, nursing homes, the Main Street Café, and events including the Halifax County Heritage Festival, and Ride for Hope. The bands four members include Chris Crews, Stephen Comer, Kyle Hiatt, and Jason Smith.

Then from 7pm-11pm is Turkey Scratch an Outlaw Americana group that states they were “born in the backwoods of Halifax County, Va”, and formed in 2012 from a “mutual love of good honest music”. They blend a variety of musical styles into their own unique sound, which includes original songs. Band members include: JC (Preacher) who plays mandolin, guitar, banjo, harmonica, and vocals, Reed on guitar, harmonica, and vocals, Brian (Mr. Hall) provides percussion and vocals, and Dennis (Bassman) plays bass, harmonica, and vocals. Turkey Scratch strives to “present our music in a straight forward and unpretentious format hoping that you will enjoy listening to it half as much as we enjoy playing it”.

Tickets are $7 if purchased in advance from any of these event sponsors listed: Hite Insurance, The Packhouse, The Trent Law Practice, Bagwell & Bagwell, Molasses Grill, Halifax Village Association, and the Town of Halifax. Tickets may also be purchased from these local businesses as well in the Town of Halifax - Reiter & Reiter, The Peddlers Market, and Benchmark Community Bank. If you can’t make it into the Town of Halifax before the event but want the advance ticket price, other locations where tickets can be purchased are, Foster Fuels in Danville and the Halifax Visitor Center in South Boston. If you wait to purchase tickets at the gate the cost is $10. Also, children aged 10 and under are free with a paid adult and kids’ activities will be available. Proper identification will be required for alcoholic consumption and no coolers allowed. There will also be two food trucks on site, Dogs-n-Que, serving a variety of food choices and Tacos El “Kora” with authentic Mexican food. Gates open at 5:30pm for those that want to visit with friends, or get their food and settle into their seats before the entertainment begins!

2016 Master Gardener Class Graduates

2016 Master Gardener Class Graduates

The 2016 Southside Master Gardener Training lasted 16 weeks including four difficult tests.  Pictured are the 2016 Graduates: Gretchen Williams, Hongqing Ye, Irene Dunn, Nancy Bane, Dawn Bruno, Donna Campagna (absent but there in spirit), Andrea Burke and Jeanne Durham.  Pictured in the back row are Dan Goerlich, Central District Director, John Freeborn, Assistant Virginia State Coordinator and Bill McCaleb, local Master Gardener Coordinator. Two of this year’s graduates, Andrea Burke and Irene Dunn, had completed an additional 50 volunteer hours and are now Master Gardeners.  If you would like to know about the Master Gardener program and activities visit or contact the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147, option 0.

Thanks, Kathy Conner Cornell

Friday Night Jams - June 3rd

2nd Saturdays with the Southside Master Gardeners

Second Saturdays Are Back

By Laverne Fuller

Second Saturdays with the Southside Master Gardeners are back at the Halifax Farmer's Market. The 2016 season begins on May 14. Master Gardeners will be at the Market to help children pot up plants to be taken home. Plants and supplies will be provided free of charge. The plants could be a late Mother's Day gift or an addition to the new spring garden. Introducing children to the wonderful world of gardening can lead to a lifelong hobby or even a career in agriculture or horticulture. Be sure to bring your kids or grandkids May 14 for a fun time.

There will also be a tool cleaning and sharpening. Having the right tool for a particular job and having that tool in A-one shape makes the work much easier. Tools should be cleaned after each use. A garden hose can be used to remove dirt and mud. Steel wool or a clean grill brush can be used for stubborn spots. After cleaning, hoes and shovels can be dipped in a tub filled with sand and used motor oil to prevent rust. Good tools are an investment that can last a lifetime if properly maintained. Maintenance includes sharpening your tools when they become dull. A 10 inch mill or bastard file can be used for sharpening. When filing, it is important to pull the file away from the edge of the blade and to maintain the angle of the factory bevel. If this sounds like a chore you are not comfortable with, bring your tools to the Farmer's Market on May 14 between 8 and 11. The Master Gardeners will be available to perform the task for you.

While you are waiting for your tools, visit the market vendors for fresh produce, organic meats, open range eggs, baked goods, handmade soaps, portrait photography and lots of arts and crafts.  For more information about the Master Gardener program, call the Halifax Extension Office at 434-476-2147, option 0 or visit the website at

or e-mail ask    


Caption: Even though Mothers Day has passed the Master Gardeners want to encourage young people to love plants and get their hands in the soil. Bring out your kids and grandkids on Saturday May 14th at the Halifax Farmers Market to pot up a bedding plant for the spring garden. Bring your small gardening tools for cleaning and sharpening.