The season is winding down at the Teaching Garden, and its a great time to honor Leslie who is the coordinator of the program. I met Leslie last April when I took over as a TG blogger. Right away I was impressed with her diverse knowledge on just about every topic. She introduced me to everyone, showed me the beds, sent me a list of all the bed leaders and their emails, and answered just about any question I had. I felt at home right away, and this has made my new job so much easier. I still remember that chilly, sunny day in April. Leslie was up on the ladder setting up the Purple Martin house, tending to the Deer Resistant bed, checking on all the beds, pulling weeds, and talking with every bed leader. Throughout the season I heard her voice from the other side of the garden, “Where’s Robin? Come take a picture of this!” This season has gone so quickly, and I am thankful for the chance to learn from the best.
I asked some of those that have worked with Leslie for many years what their memories of her were. This from Paige Thacker:
“Oh my gosh, where to start!”
“Leslie has volunteered for just about every activity we have. She has led many activities including running the MG class the year between the transition from Pat Reilly to Nancy Berlin.”
“She has worked the help desk sine probably 2005. She used to help us coordinate sign ups, answer questions, manage the MG computer, train new volunteers and answer hundreds of questions coming through the help desk. She headed up ordering class tee shirts, cobras and other items MGPW used to sell. She ran the Basics of Gardening or has hand a hand in supporting the series since 2004. She for many years camped out in front of the Chinn Park Library in June to reserve class dates for the following year for MGPW and for the office. (so glad they changed that process.) Since they changed the process she has shown staff how to do this and help us locate rooms and speakers for many educational programs.”
“She has been on the board of MGPW for many years. She helped for Audubon at Home, she is a volunteer for VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Habitat at Home program, has taught wildlife, coordinated or been a important part of the Teaching Garden since its revamp in 2006.”
“She is an Advanced MG Land Care steward, a tree steward and water steward and has gone through those trainings at MG College. She has been to MG College almost every year since she became an MG. I am sure there is more. She is amazing!”
Nancy Berlin also had a long list of volunteer programs that Leslie has been involved with as a Master Gardener:
“Hours accumulated 808.25 (continuing ed), 9894.25 (service)”
“She has been involved in the following projects:
“DGIF habitat gardens at PWCPS and Detention Center, Audubon Ambassador – administrates and teaches, teaches Wildlife for MG training – 10 years?, attended MG college (all but one? year) organized VMGA auction many of those years, Served as MGPW president (a couple of terms), teaching Garden manager for past (6?) years, taught at Saturday in the Garden on deer, organized highly successful plant sales for MGPW (10 years +) which have made the TG sustainable, interfaces with Monastery on changes to the Teaching Garden, an advocate for the MG program wherever she goes, mentored me when I started the job 10 years ago, she handled the job in the interim before I was hired (2007), serves in her neighborhood as Neighborhood Plant Expert, has taught habitat programs for schools in FX, PWC, others(?) in cooperation with DGIF, runs TGBEES meetings for planning purposes for teaching garden programs, and Leslie teaches wildlife for Fairfax County MGs. She was also Volunteer of the Quarter with VCE a couple of times and Volunteer of the Quarter with PWC .”
If you ask around the Teaching Garden, the MG’s have great things to say about Leslie!
“She knows every plant in all the beds”
“She can spot even the most hidden weed anywhere!”
“She has such a wide knowledge of everything! You can ask her any question and if she doesn’t know the answer right away, she gets back to you very quickly!”
“Leslie, along with Ruth, are the soul of the garden. They are the ornamental plant experts”
Her friend Harriet: “Leslie works with Bob and I as part of the Detention Center project, which takes a lot of time. She has a heart of gold!”
From another bed leader: “Leslie is super dedicated and tireless. She takes on any project that others don’t want to do. ”
“Leslie is the force behind the high school wildlife habitats”
“She is a HUGE asset to Prince William County!”
“She is always at the TG with practical and well thought out ideas, for any problem”
Thank you Leslie, for everything!
Signed, your MG/TG Friends