‘Redneck Gardening’ with Arty Schronce set for September BYA meeting

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From Special Reports

Making landscapes more ecologically friendly and biologically diverse is of special interest to gardening columnist and speaker Arty Shronce. His garden in the Cabbagetown neighborhood of Atlanta is an oasis for wildlife including birds, butterflies, Carolina anoles and four box turtles named Aristurtle Onassis, Michelle, Sparkles and Little Ray-Ray.

Schronce will discuss “Redneck Gardening: Lost Landscapes of the Rural Piedmont” at the Sept. 10 meeting of the Coweta County Master Gardeners Backyard Association. The free presentation begins at 7 p.m. at the UGA Extension in Newnan.

His horticultural career began in 1971 when the teen-aged Schronce began selling English boxwoods he rooted. The business, which expanded to a nursery and greenhouse, continued until Schronce went to college at North Carolina State University. There he studied under the noted botanist J.C. Raulston, who established the NCSU arboretum.

For seven years, Schronce wrote a weekly gardening column for N.C. State carried in 30 newspapers in North Carolina and Virginia. Schronce, who also worked for a major agricultural biotechnology company, served as senior horticulturist for Hastings Seed Company and Garden Center and wrote a popular garden column in Georgia’s Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin.

Schronce’s articles on his father’s black-skinned peanuts (Schronce’s Deep Black Peanuts) and his family’s favorite cucumber (Roseland Small White) led to their preservation and propagation by seven seed companies.

As a freelancer, Schronce had his articles and photographs published in numerous newspapers, magazines and books including Gardens of the World (the companion book to the PBS series) and The Garden in Autumn by Allen Lacy. Schronce currently is working on a book about his lifetime of horticultural experiences and experiments.

The Backyard Association is an educational program sponsored by the Coweta County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers (MGEVs). The presentations are free to the public and are held on the second Tuesday at the UGA Extension-Coweta County, located at 255 Pine Road in Newnan.

You do not have to be registered to attend the lecture, but if you want to be in the drawing for door prizes, usually plants and gardening supplies, please call the Extension office at (770) 254-2620 or email: [email protected]. For more information, visit: www.ugaextension.org/coweta.

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