Published on 12/02/98

'The Georgia Gardener' Focuses on Christmas

What's Christmas without a tree? Host Walter Reeves will show you how to choose a fresh-cut tree and keep it fresh for the holidays on "The Georgia Gardener," on Georgia Public Television.

reeves.jpg (74135 bytes)
"The Georgia Gardener" host
Walter Reeves

This new TV series is designed with Georgia gardeners in mind. A pilot aired on Nov. 18. This second show, geared for the holiday season, is scheduled for Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. The series will begin weekly shows next spring.

A featured speaker and best-selling author, Reeves is the host of WSB 750 AM's top-rated Lawn & Garden Show every Saturday morning. His 25 years as a county agent with the University of Georgia Extension Service helps keep the new show's focus on the gardening needs of Georgians.

The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences produces the show, along with GPTV and Peachtree Film Company.

The Dec. 10 show introduces Charles Berry, president of the Georgia Christmas Tree Association. He'll describe how families can cut their own trees at choose-and-cut farms.

For those who aren't keen on cutting trees, Walter visits Louisa Atkinson and Jane Zamarippa. They'll show how to choose and plant a living Christmas tree.

The two teenagers are vice-presidents of the Society for Living Christmas Trees. They tell how living trees planted at their former school form a grove beside the playground.

gagard.jpg (59352 bytes)One of the features of the Georgia Gardener is Reeves' promise to "use the whole state as our garden."

The holiday show visits Callaway Gardens, where thousands of poinsettias are grown for the holidays. Learn how to choose a fresh plant. Reeves explains the difference between a poinsettia flower and a bract, the brightly colored part that makes plant so showy.

Parker Andes, horticulturist at Callaway Gardens, tells how they manage the poinsettia coloration process. Want to keep your poinsettias after the holidays? Parker shows the complicated process needed to make the plants change color for next year's holidays.

Then head to Wilkerson Mill Gardens. There, Elizabeth Dean shows how to make a holiday wreath from kudzu and decorate it with berries.

Callaway Gardens educators Patricia Collins and Helen Phillips show Walter how to use natural landscape materials (including weeds) to beautify a home during the holidays.

The Georgia Gardener will offer a toll-free number to get publications. A World Wide Web site, <>, will give more in-depth information.

Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.