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Re: Advice needed
  • Subject: Re: Advice needed
  • From: Aplfgcnys@aol.com
  • Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2011 14:35:23 -0400 (EDT)

Daryl, the majority of our students are older, but we have a few bright
young things.  It's true that general club-membership seems to be
older and older.  More young women are working and just don't have
time for us. However these classes have attracted some who are not
working but whose children are old enough not to require constant
attention.  We occasionally have someone who is not even a garden-
clubber, but just wants the information.  Once on Staten Island a
young fireman came because he was responsible for keeping up the
garden around his firehouse.
I know that the timing of the classes is important, and try to keep
that in mind with the scheduling, but partly I have to adjust to whatever
time schedule our speakers can fit into.  For instance one of our best
speakers on several topics comes from Long Island, so needs to be
scheduled in the late morning or early afternoon so she can avoid the
heaviest traffic. Both days of classes end with a point-scroring exam
for those taking the course for credit, but I try to schedule the point-
scoring practice session right after the speaker on the specimens 
being judged.  I don't allow as many breaks as some schools just
because it is so hard to get people back together.  I do allow a full
hour for lunch, since there is a garden shop at Lasdon Park & Arboretum
where we hold the schools, and people like to walk down to it and
Thanks for your input. I'll keep the flash-card idea in mind.
In a message dated 8/2/2011 12:26:13 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
dp2413@comcast.net writes:


For years, I assisted with tagging specimens for our local and regional club
shows, and I was surprised at how few members knew the nomenclature. Some
entrants didn't know more than the common name of the plant, let alone how
to write it. I found that to be true with various schools that I attended or
taught. It was very frustrating to me as an instructor,  but I took great
comfort in the fact that they were willing to learn.

One thing that I did for several classes, both club and MG, was to make 
flash cards. That
introduced an element of fun as well as repetition, and a little 
competition, too. It helped to do a short bit of taxonomy and ID between the
first lecture and lunch. After they'd had their coffee, and a chance to 
chat, they were much more likely to pay attention than when it was after
lunch. Small bites of information made them more likely to remember, too. 
When I did the class scheduling, I always tried to keep the last sessions 
very light, because I knew that most of them were running on information 
overload by then.

I'm curious. How many of the participants are young and how many are
retired? The younger ones seemed to be much more distracted, especially in
the afternoon when they were worrying about finishing in time to get home to
take kids to soccer practice or whatever. It was gratifying to me that they
showed up at all, since for several years, all we had were older ladies, and
it seemed that the clubs (our own and many others) were going to go under
after so many decades. I've been inactive for several years, taking care of
my Dad, but I'm giving talks to several Atlanta area clubs in the coming
year, and am very curious about how their membership is distributed.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Aplfgcnys@aol.com>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2011 9:43 AM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Advice needed

> I'm sure you're right, Noreen, that some of the students don't pay
> attention to proper horticultural nomenclature.  We try to make a
> point of that, and one lecture in each series is just on taxonomy,
> but some still don't seem to get it.  That's especially surprising
> since one requirement for eligibility for top horticulture awards in
> standard flower shows is proper botanical name.  It's always
> surprising to me what some people don't learn.
> I really appreciate the insights I've been given here.  I am trying to
> pass this program along in the best possible shape.  I have run this
> system for 22 years - much too long - and I'm sure my successor
> will make some changes, but I still want things to work right.  I have
> felt over the years that it was an excellent system - in fact this has
> always been the one weak spot.  Having three schools this spring
> and every one of them showing this particular weakness just made
> me feel that I wasn't doing something right here.
> Thanks again for all your input.
> Auralie
> In a message dated 8/2/2011 8:56:08 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> TeichFauna@aol.com writes:
> Hmmmm....  I figured picking up on the fact that it is Cherokee Chief  or
> even Ospo Red, would be enough for a yes answer, considering that it isn't
> the true species that is protected.  But since you said that most answered
> no, then perhaps it's not enough emphasis on basic proper horticulture
> nomenclature??  The genus plus the specific epithet.  Genus in Latin
> capitalized, species in Latin, but not capitalized......followed by
> varietal  names
> also not capitalized preceeded by  var.    Or followed by a hybrid name
> (in
> modern language) which is always capitalized.  Cultivars (cultivated
> varieties with distinguishing characters) written in modern language,
> capitalized,
> and in single quotation marks or followed by  cv.
> Perhaps it is taken for granted that at that point everyone in the  class
> should know this, when most don't????  I must admit that I was  foggy on
> proper writing of varieties, hybrids and cultivars......but  could at
> least
> recognize the difference between those and a true species in  names.  I
> was
> surprised to find out that a few in our class couldn't.   So this might be
> the
> same in your classes?
> Noreen
> zone 9
> Texas Gulf Coast
> In a message dated 8/1/2011 3:30:49 PM Central Daylight Time,
> Aplfgcnys@aol.com writes:
> Unfortunately, Noreen, most of them say "no" and give me some  stuff
> about it's being on the Protected Plant List and can only be shown  in
> educational exhibits.  At least they get the point that protected  plants
> are not to be exhibited in competitive classes.
> As for  questions that are not covered in the lectures - I always sit in
> myself,  or if that's not possible, appoint a knowledgable master judge
> to sit with  a list of questions and answers just to be sure all points
> are
> covered.  If I feel that one is not being sufficiently addressed, I  will
> ask
> stupid-sounding questions until the answer is completely  covered.
> I make up the examinations myself, but from questions and  answers
> submitted by the speakers.  I want to be sure that the answer  I have
> on the answer-sheet is exactly what the speaker says, not just  what
> I think.  When I return the graded exams I always include an  answer
> sheet, thinking that if the student is interested, he/she can learn  from
> mistakes.  I often wonder if they really look at the returned  exams other
> than to see if they passed.
> My opinion is that they  somehow don't register on the "distinguishing
> feature" aspect.  I  don't always use "Cherokee Chief" as the example.
> Sometimes I use another  like Kalmia "Ospo Red" or some other such.
> I just think "Cherokee Chief" is  a popular one that these people should
> know.  Oh well.  I'll keep  trying.
> Auralie

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