Johnny Morgan | 4/12/2018 8:44:35 PM
(04/12/18) HAMMOND, La. — More than 100 people attended this year’s Margie Jenkins Lecture and Industry Open House held at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station on April 5.
This represents the fifth year for the program, said AgCenter researcher Yan Chen.
“This was an opportunity for ornamental horticulture professionals to learn about this winter’s impact on cool-season bedding plants and sustainable landscape and design,” Chen said.
The Margie Jenkins Azalea Garden at the Hammond Research Station was established in 2006 after a birthday celebration for Margie Jenkins, who is widely known as the icon in Louisiana horticulture.
“’Mrs. Margie’ is credited with many achievements, such as introducing new azalea varieties, promoting the use of native plants and many other contributions to the industry,” Chen said.
The lecture series has proven to be one of the premier educational events for the state ornamental horticulture industry, which includes nursery growers, landscape maintenance firms, retail garden centers, landscape architects and city planners.
“The audience was divided into two groups for a tour of the Sun Trial Garden and the Margie Jenkins Azalea Garden. Jason Stagg and I served as tour guides,” Chen said.
“One of the topics constantly being discussed during the tour was the impact of a very cold winter, which had not been experienced in more than five years, on some of the cool-season annual bedding plants planted last fall, and the return of perennial and woody plants,” she said.
AgCenter commercial ornamental horticulture specialist Jeb Fields held a special introductory session with the tour groups about the development of his extension and research program and an overall approach for the ornamental plant trial program at the station.
Fields discussed revamping the ornamental trials and the Louisiana Super Plant program as well as seeking suggestions from the ornamental horticulture industry.
Earlier this year, Jenkins was inducted into the Louisiana Agriculture Hall of Fame in recognition of her enormous contribution to the state nursery industry. She was the first woman to ever receive this honor.
Lectures were given by Neil Ordenwald, professor emeritus and former director of the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, and Dana Brown, landscape architect and principal of Dana Brown & Associates Inc.
A tour of the olive and tea research areas provided the opportunity to learn about the cold hardiness of different olive varieties, as well as weed management and results of consumer survey for growing tea in Louisiana.
LSU AgCenter commercial ornamental horticulture specialist Jeb Fields gives an overview of the ornamental trial programs during the industry open house held at the Hammond Research Station on April 5. Photo by Yan Chen/LSU AgCenter
LSU AgCenter horticulturist Jason Stagg leads a group tour of the sun trial garden during the industry open house held at the Hammond Research Station on April 5. Photo by Jean Pittman/LSU AgCenter