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How Does A Master Gardener Grow Of Hissing Cockroaches, Watersheds, and Fairy Gardens

By tina will of the six chose to steal the show by nearly escaping! Children (and most MGs) are fascinated with bugs, and Guy and the MGs had the opportunity to talk about the good that insects, bees, and other pollinators do and to encourage kids to let the insects live and do their work. Holy Cross Academy “Does anyone know what a watershed is? Is it a building where they keep water?” “Let’s use some spices and food coloring to mimic the soil and air pollutants that can end up in our waterways.” So might begin a Master Gardener’s chance to “Hissing Cockroach” Photo by Susan Kenney engage the students at Holy Third in a Summer series about Cross Academy’s 6th grade Nature Club. Master Gardener Volunteers: MG Susan Kenney used the Enviroscape What does a Master Gardener do? Rock Hill Elementary School Master Gardeners (MGs) are volunteers for Virginia Cooperative Extension, and they love what they do especially when they can do it with children. And when children and bugs get together there is always a great reaction. Some will be excited, and some might rather squeal and run away, but when Guy Mussey, VA Cooperative Extension Agent for this area, brings his bug collection to the Elementary Schools, all the kids crowd around to see it. Twenty five children at Rock Hill Elementary were fortunate to have Carol O’Hagan and five Master Gardeners start a Junior Garden Club in January 2017, and Guy brought in his bug collection one day. He brought six(!) Madagascar hissing cockroaches which are extra large insects native to Madagascar (Africa). Some of the children wanted to handle them, and one

Guy Mussey & Susan Kenney with Bug Collection at Holy Cross Photo by Susan Kenney

demonstration kit to graphically illustrate how everything we apply to our gardens can be washed into our public water system which leads to our Rappahannock watershed and eventually out to the Chesapeake Bay. Such a visual representation stays with the children long after the discussion. Once all the pollutants are sprinkled over the farm, field, woods, town, and landscape, a watering can rains over it all washing everything into one “lake” area. No one wanted to sample the “water” that was collected therein. The students also went outside and tested the water from a stream on school grounds; they found it to be healthy! Heartfields Assisted Living Community “Wow! Look what’s in the Garden now!” It seems everyone loves a Fairy Garden. At Heartfields Assisted Living Community in Stafford County even those who can’t garden outside have a chance to garden indoors and to share it with their visiting grandchildren and families. Master Gardener Merilyn Highfield loves to garden and loves to volunteer at Heartfields. She has built an open garden box and meets with the residents to discuss and suggest small living plants. Visiting families, especially grandchildren, love to see what’s currently growing. The addition of a few seasonal figurines add fun storytelling interaction. One may wonder at hissing cockroaches, spices as pollutants, or an indoor fairy garden, but a primary goal and purpose of the Master Gardener program is to reach all ages and educate the public about anything related to the horticultural world. There are about 100 MG volunteers who have been

successful in reaching the very old, the very young, and everyone in between.

Citizens can meet Master Gardeners at one of the eight different Plant Clinics that we run during the Spring and Summer. Others know they can call one of the Virginia Cooperative Extension offices in the area with questions about lawns or other landscape issues. Even those who can’t garden outdoors have found a Master Gardener friend in Merilyn Highfield. Those with a heart for gardening never lose the love of it, and enjoy being able to talk about their own gardens.

Anthony Silver We offer private lessons for string, woodwind and brass instruments, as well as guitar, bass, piano and voice.

It’s All in the eyes

Located in "The House on the Corner at the Crossroads of Music" where Route 3 meets U.S. Highway 1. 540-899-6787

By A. E. Bayne Silver finished his studies at the University of Mary Washington with a fine arts degree.

Supporting The Arts Since 1997 Local artist Anthony Silver says it’s all in the eyes. They are the seat of the personality, the soul. With a tweak of a line and the eyes as his starting point, Silver captures something slightly more alive in his portraiture, a quality that frequently draws patrons to his deft application of pencil to paper.

Tina Will is a Master Gardener and lives in Stafford County. She can be reached at

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SUZY STONE Mobile:540.847.0630 Office: 540-898-2900

Since his faith influences his life in all areas, Silver sees no distinction between his artistic talents and his beliefs. Every element of his art life is a reflection


MAIN: (540) 373-9124 NURSERY: (540) 371-8802

July 2017

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test the waters…Even if they never try it again, it gives people a sense of what goes into making a piece of art. I think people come away with a little more appreciation of what artists put into their art.” Silver was inspired and mentored locally by Johnny Johnson, an artist Silver says he greatly admires and respects. He is also influenced by the work of artist Eddie Barnes, best known for his signature bold style and elongated figures. Silver has plans to work with the style as he develops art based on Bible stories with a fresh perspective.


Silver continues, “When my mom passed away a few years ago, I did a drawing of her. It was as if she was still here as I worked on that portrait. I captured her smile as I remembered, and what I remember most were her eyes. It was very rewarding and made me really joyful. I keep that one at the studio with me. She really pushed me to draw, and I respect that. That portrait is kind of like having her with me again.”

While music was his first creative passion, one that he has enjoyed since the age of nine, Silver says he also had a desire to draw and illustrate throughout his youth. He pursued the technical study of Germanna illustration through Community College in 2009 and developed an interest in portraiture work. He says, “Once I got the hang of it, I was really excited and I kept drawing portraits. We were only supposed to do three or four drawings for the entire semester, and I ended up doing sixteen.”

Fairy Garden at Heartfield by Merilyn Highfield

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Like most working artists, Silver promotes his work in a variety of ways. He showcases his talents with images of favorite celebrities, he records himself for a Tuesday video blog showing his technique to the public, and he hosts “sip and paints” with non-alcoholic refreshments to share the joy of freedom of expression with his clients. He says, "A lot of people want to get involved with art, but they don’t know how. These events are a good way for people to feel involved and

of his faith. He appreciates as gifts from God. Silver’s practice includes prayer and meditation, especially focused on Bible scripture. He says, “I definitely carve out time to tune in and listen for Him…I do a lot of praying before and during drawing, because I feel like a lot of what I do is being led by God, so I’m acting as his instrument. Sometimes, I’ll be doing a drawing and I won’t really like it, but the person who gets it is completely blown away at what I do with the pencil. It’s not me; it’s because of my prayers.”

Silver muses about opening a museum gallery in the future, perhaps somewhere between Fredericksburg and North Carolina where his extended family lives. For now, he says, “I’m still on the path and going in the same direction I wanted to be on. God has given me many gifts, and I try to use them for the good of my community.” Read more about Anthony Silver in the spring edition of Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review. Visit him on Facebook @AJ Silver Art. A.E. Bayne is a writer, artist and veteran educator living in Fredericksburg. She publishes Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review.

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July 2017


Front Porch Fredericksburg - July 2017  
Front Porch Fredericksburg - July 2017