Garden Enthusiast - Backyard Nature Station August Update

The monthly newsletter is full of useful information.

Aug. 20 already!  The blistering heat of 2012 will soon be behind us. I’m hoping my roses will start to perk up a bit as the temperature cools.

This is a long newsletter but packed with information on all sorts of activities. Sign up for the classes that interest you and/or volunteer for a neighborhood activity from our Community section. And more…


What's New in ?

Birding: New Birdfeeders/Houses, Squirrel Feeders

Garden art: Pottery by Amy Parker, Statuary by Tony Dileo,

Tool Shed: Hydroponic Supplies, Cedar Seeders Mobile Garden handmade using untreated, decay-resistant Western Red Cedar - can be used as either a planter or a raised bed! Seed organizers and recipe boxes.

Miscellaneous: Gift Totes, children’s books; handmade soaps by local artist Julie Frye.

New Botanical Interests Certified Organic Seeds, Non-GMO Seeds and Heirloom/Open Pollinated Seed will be in shortly.

September issue of Birds and Blooms is in the store – How to Become a Better Birder.

Old Town Tucker Update

120th anniversary of Tucker continues!

New on Main Street is which moved from the Shopping Center. Also, Elle’ Shon Studios Salon opened recently next to . LaShonda Davis is the owner. Hours are Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome. $10 haircuts on Mondays!

BIG thank you to all those who volunteered at the !

* The volunteers from

* Our other community volunteers

And to…

* Jason, Jenna and their friend for the fabulous sand sculpture at the Tucker Summer Festival. I really wanted to move it in the store!


The merchants on Main Street recently found out that we were becoming responsible for the landscaped areas on Main Street that were put in last year. The Old Town Tucker Merchant’s Association (OTTMA) is currently working on a solution for this. According to Dekalb County resources, the contractor is supposed to be taking care of these spaces for another year which includes weeding. Some businesses and community members have been pulling weeds. Bear with us – and/or bring a pair of gloves and take out a few weeds!

As many of you know, OTTMA formed last summer with the mission to develop downtown Tucker into a pedestrian-friendly destination by providing excellent, friendly customer service, a mix of shopping/dining/service options and events that encourage community involvement.

This spring we officially became a non-profit. All of the money made from our events (Chili Cook-off, Green Market on Main, Tucker Summer Festival, BBQ & Bluegrass Festival and Christmas on Main) goes back into the Main Street district. Some of the money will be spent on maintenance issues as described above and we’re also working with the on plaques for some of the buildings. We would like your input on what you think we should do to improve this area. Some have suggested more color, shade, more benches, etc. Give us your thoughts. Email or come by and tell me what you think and I’ll share it at our OTTMA meetings.

Upcoming events on Main Street

Add these to your calendar now!

·      Sep. 8 - Cruise-In (live music) – last one for this year – come on out!

The following events are sponsored by the Old Town Tucker Merchant’s Association (OTTMA). Proceeds benefit the Main Street District.

  • Nov. 17 - BBQ and Bluegrass Festival
  • Dec. 8 - Christmas on Main
  • Mar. 2, 2013- Chili Cook-off
  • GREEN MARKET ON MAIN – Old Town Tucker’s own farmer’s market Sundays from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Main Street through Oct. 28

If you want to volunteer for the market or any events, please let me know.

Classes & Events

Lots of new classes! Please take advantage of them when you can.

(Note: preregistration is requested – class size is limited – call 404-474-7072 to register or for more information)

Thursday, Sep. 6 (6:30-7:45 p.m.) - PRUNING TO RETAIN THE NATURAL FORM OF PLANTS (Barbara Dorfman/Landscape Consultant): This presentation will cover the tools you will need, timing and when to ignore the rules, renewal pruning on overgrown shrubs, how to thin overly dense hedges, where to remove tree branches and why, and how to predict the way plants will respond to pruning.

Saturday, Sep. 8 (10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.) - Acrylic Stain on Muslin Fabric (Sonya Prater/Art Teacher): We will be painting on muslin fabric and creating stains with acrylic paints. The different steps will be discussed and demonstrated in detail including how to transfer a drawing, fabric preparation, how to create acrylic stain, and apply stains to muslin fabric for your finished product. Drawing examples from nature will be provided or you can bring your own 8x11 line drawing to class. Acrylic stain on muslin fabric is fun and gives you the opportunity to create wall paintings, pillows, quilts and other great ideas. Price: 30.00 supplies included. (Ages 16+)

Saturday, Sep. 8 (10 a.m.-12 noon) - You will have the opportunity to address your gardening questions and concerns with a member of the Dekalb Master Gardner Association, Jimmy Dorsey! Come in any time during the 10 -12 time frame to meet Jimmy.

Saturday, Sep. 22 (10:30-11:30 a.m.) – Birding by Ear (Pam Higginbotham/Atlanta Audubon Society): Whether you are new to birding or want to raise your level of expertise, learning bird songs is essential. It’s a tough task, but doable with the right guidance and information. Pam can help you “get a handle” on some of Atlanta’s common birds. Donations to Atlanta Audubon Society welcomed. 

Saturday, Sep. 29 (10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon) - Five Ways to Make Your Pictures More Interesting (Chuck Holmes):  Flowers and plants are beautiful, but — as some smart person once said — there’s no reason you can’t make your pictures of them even better and more interesting. This session takes up five ways you can make your digital photographs of flowers, plants, and nature scenes much more striking. The techniques include framing your shot in the camera, perspective, size, color (or lack of it), and digital manipulation with low-cost or free software.  Bring your camera and shoot some truly different pictures. Cost: $25

Sunday, Sep. 30 (1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.) – Pruning to Retain the Natural Form of Plants (Barbara Dorfman): This presentation will cover the tools you will need, timing and when to ignore the rules, renewal pruning on overgrown shrubs, how to thin overly dense hedges, where to remove tree branches and why, and how to predict the way plants will respond to pruning. 

Saturday, Oct. 6 (1-3 p.m.) – Mycology 101: With a Hands on Tutorial for Building your Own Mushroom Log (Brady Bala): Learn the basics of Mycology by starting your very own mushroom culture. Cost: $35 (supplies and mushroom log included)

Saturday, Oct. 13 (10 a.m.-11:30 p.m.): Coil Wrap with Yarn (Sonya Prater): Coil wrapping is a great way to create baskets, wall hangings or sculptures. This coil wrapping class includes different designs to choose from and complete instructions for good wrapping techniques. During this class you will be able to work on your design and leave with supplies needed to finish your project at home. Due to variety of designs and techniques each piece will vary in time. Cost: $30 (supplies included) Ages 16+

Saturday, Oct. 20 (10:30-11:30 a.m.) Plantings for Birds (Pam Higginbotham) Native plantings are stressed, especially those that provide food (berries, seeds, and the like) or are habitats for insects (which draw in all of the insectivorous birds – warblers, wrens, bluebirds, vireos, etc.  to your yard).

Saturday, Oct. 27 (10 a.m.-12 noon) - You will have the opportunity to address your gardening questions and concerns with a member of the Dekalb Master Gardner Association, Jane McLean! Come in any time during the 10 - 12 time frame to meet Jane.

Saturday, Nov. 3 (10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.) – Dream Catcher made from a Branch in Nature (Sonya Prater): Dream catchers have been a part of Native American culture for many generations. Learn how to make your own dream catcher from a branch and feel free to bring symbols to add. The history of the Dream Catcher will be shared. Cost $30 (supplies included) Ages 16+

Saturday, Nov. 10 (1 p.m.-2 p.m.) – Trees of Our Lives: Small Native Trees for the Landscape (Dawn Hines, Master Gardener)

Saturday, Dec. 1 (10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.) - Drawing/Blending with Pencil (Sonya Prater): The focus of this class is learning how to draw and to apply different blending techniques. Learn to draw by looking at different images provided and using a variety of blending tools. Drawing can be a great way to express yourself. Cost $30 (supplies included) Ages 16+

Saturday, Dec. 13 (10 -11:30 a.m.) – Bamboo Wind Chime (Sonya Prater): Wind chimes bring a soothing musical sound to any garden or outside space. Learn about the history of wind chimes from different cultures. Enjoy making your personal wind chime made of bamboo and other natural objects. Cost $30 (supplies included) Ages 16+

2012 Best Backyard Squirrel Photo Contest!!!

Here’s how it works!

Contest begins on Aug. 31 and ends on Sep. 31. The finalists will be posted in the store for public voting from Oct. 2 through Oct. 10. The image with the most votes wins!  The winners will be announced on Saturday Oct. 11!! Prizes will go to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place!!

Contest is open to professional and amateur photographers alike. New entries only–no previous submissions please!  Images must be the creation of the entrant. One entry per person.   

Don’t forget to put your name and phone number on the back of the picture!   


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