The Times and Democrat’s longtime garden columnist will present a mini-gardening workshop on making a pallet garden and gardening vertically this Saturday at the Orangeburg Walmart.
Minnie Miller will share her wealth of plant knowledge with the community from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Walmart Garden Center.
The free public event is sponsored by Walmart.
“A lot of gardeners have shown an interest in putting together a pallet garden using a re-purposed wooden pallet,” Miller said. “I will have a planted one on hand plus do a demonstration of how it was put together.”
Miller said there will be a discussion on different plants that would do well in a pallet garden as well as how and where to display a pallet garden. Current vertical garden planters on the market and their advantages will also be discussed.
“We will be giving away the planted pallet garden to some lucky person in the audience through a random drawing,” Miller said. “It is 30 inches square and is an edible garden which includes herbs, leafy greens and violas — yes, you can eat them too.”
Miller said anyone who enjoys plants and being outdoors is encouraged to come to the “Growing Up” workshop.
“Even if they did not put the information to use in their own garden, they may very well find that it is a project they would like to help a neighbor or a school group take on,” Miller said. “One topic often leads to another during these workshops, and I always learn things from the audience as well. The people who attend share ideas with each other and that, in and of itself, is great.”
This is the second year The T&D and has partnered with Walmart to put on the mini-gardening workshop.
“Minnie knows her gardening, and the workshops are very informative and fun,” T&D Marketing and Promotions Director Carla Hall said. “The workshops were well attended last year, and we’re hoping for big crowds again. There has been nothing but positive feedback after last year’s workshops.”
“People came to the ones that interested them or that they were able to fit into their schedule,” Miller said. “This year with four workshops, the public will have even more to chose from.”
Miller has more than 45 years of experience in gardening, and has volunteered her time and expertise to 4-H clubs, school and community gardens and beautification projects. She holds a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Clemson University.
“People who have not tried their hand at gardening just don’t know what they are missing,” Miller said. “Gardening — whether it involves a large plot of ground or a few indoor potted plants — has so many rewards.
“The key for the new gardener is to not take on too much at once. Small successes outweigh big failures.”
Saturday’s event is the first workshop in a series of four.
On April 26, the workshop will be on “Establishing a Backyard Wildlife Habitat,” following the basic guidelines from the National Wildlife Foundation, Miller said.
“We will talk about the many ways you can provide food, shelter and water for wildlife, including strategic use of plants,” she said.
Workshops will also be held on May 24 and June 21. The topics will be announced at a later date.
Miller’s interests include propagating, growing, harvesting, canning and photographing a variety of ornamental, fruit, vegetable and other plants. She also enjoys growing and using herbs and sprouts; greenhouse gardening and learning more about all kinds of gardening topics.
In addition to writing gardening columns and features and working as a news correspondent for The Times and Democrat, Miller contributes to the South Carolina Peanut Association Newsletter.
“Since I love the out-of-doors and plants, gardening naturally follows,” Miller said. “There is no way to single out one particular benefit or point of joy. I just know that anytime I am around plant life, my spirits feel lifted. In more recent years, I seem to be gravitating toward herbs and edible plants that can also be an attractive part of the landscape.”
In her spare time, Miller serves as a volunteer with the Friends of the Bamberg County Library and the Bamberg County Chapter of the American Red Cross. She owned and operated Bamberg Farm and Garden Center for 22 years, and lives with her husband, Gilbert, who works as an area vegetable specialist with Clemson Extension.