Floral Design

(From left): Erika McDaniel, John Walden, Peggy Walden, Virgina Rowlett, Kayla Dowden.

HOUSTON – The Master Gardeners and the Mississippi State Extension Service will be hosting a Holiday Floral Design workshop on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 6:15 p.m.

The event is designed to serve dual purposes. Firstly, it will teach the people who attend how to make decorative pieces, and it will also serve as a fundraiser for the Master Gardeners to raise money for their beautification projects around Chickasaw County.

The Master Gardeners started in 2003 with seven members. To become a Master Gardener, they complete a roughly six week training course wherein people come and teach the material instead of them reading it from a computer screen. They must complete the 40 hour course and pass the test to become a Master Gardener, and then their first year, they must complete 40 hours of service to the community. Each year after that, they are required to complete 32 hours of service, which consists of 20 hours of community service and 12 hours of education.

“The University trains volunteers in the counties to be gardening experts,” said Erika McDaniel, County Coordinator for the Chickasaw County branch of the MSU Extension Service.

Anyone interested in becoming a Master Gardener should contact the Mississippi State Extension Service.

This will be the second time that the Master Gardeners and MSU Extension Service have hosted this event, the first being in 2015. The demonstrations this time consist of table arrangements, wreathes for Thanksgiving, Christmas and with fruit, mantle pieces and an optional bow. Anyone interested in the bow will be required to bring 30 feet of two to four inch ribbon.

The instructor of the course will be Kayla Dowden, a floral design artist from Nettleton. She serves as the Monroe County 4-H Extension Agent. She began working for MSU Extension in 2015 after a four year tenure as the Monroe County Career and Technical Center Plant Science Instructor. She holds a master’s degree in Agricultural Extension and Education, and is currently working on a PhD in Horticulture.

As far as her expectations for the course, Dowden hopes to use her love of floral design to educate and enrich the lives of the people she will be teaching.

“I just hope that with the basic training, people can learn to make simple designs whenever they want, and hopefully they will have something that they can take home and enjoy for the holidays,” said Dowden.

Tickets for the event are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. To purchase tickets, contact the MSU Extension Service by phone at 456-4269 or by email at ecc44@msstate.edu, and they will assist you in doing so.

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