The second session of the Master Gardners met on the third floor of the State Fair Community College building at Kemper last Tuesday.
“Throw and grow” and “go home and dye” were two of the topics discussed as members and guests heard two presentations the same night.
Thanks to Missouri’s unpredictable weather cancelling two of the five scheduled evenings, Jane Lago and Mary Barile decided to cover plants and dyeing at the same meeting.
For the benefit of those who missed the first night, Jane Lago explained that the Master Gardners worked with the University Extension office. To join the Master Gardners one took some basic classes through the University which are all free.
The Master Gardners maintain a number of gardens around town. The largest is the children’s learning garden next to the CCBC building. “It’s a lot of fun working with kids,” Lago said, “and watching them experiment and learn about plants.”
The group is also responsible for the garden behind the old jail and the planter boxes in the downtown area. In the spring, they man a table at Walmart and answer questions for those buying seeds and plants for this growing session.
Lago said the single biggest question was, “When do I plant tomatoes?”
Another discussion involved annuals and perennials. Annuals just last the one season. The upside is the ease in which you can rearrange your garden by just planting them in different places the next year. Perennials come back year after year. The initial planting is easier, but it’s much harder to change your mind and rearrange the layout.
Regarding seeds verses plants. Some seeds can just be scattered with no planting required. Just “throw and grow” and let nature do the rest.  
Mary Barile said her yard had plants to dye for, as in to produce colorful dyes from roots, leaves bark, berries, and nuts.
Until the late 1800s, that was the only way to add color to fabric. With the coming of synthetic dyes, using plants to dye textiles almost became a lost art. But today, gardners and others have revived the skill and turned dyeing into an enjoyable art form.
Barile had many examples of her hobby and said almost everything in our garden that we throw away can be used as a dye.
Her parting words were, “Go home and dye.”