Wednesday, March 29, 2023

LC Master Gardener Association Presents its Annual Spring Gardening Series

The Lafayette County Master Gardener Association’s annual spring gardening lecture series will take place in March.

Each session will be approximately one-hour long and all will be held in the Dotsy A. Fitts Auditorium in the Lafayette County and Oxford Public Library at noon each month.

Parking is available at the library or across the street at the Oxford Skate Park or the Pavillion.

Dr. Jason Hoeksema

The first lecture will be at noon on March 9 with Dr. Jason Hoeksema, professor of biology at the University of Mississippi as the guest lecturer. Hoeksema will present a talk on “Mushrooms and Other Fungi.”

This talk will be helpful to anyone interested in identifying mushrooms in the wild or growing them at home.

At UM, Hoeksema teaches courses in Mycology, Ornithology Coevolution, Biometry and Meta-Analysis. He holds a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis. His research focuses on the ecological, evolutionary, and ecosystem consequences of interactions among species, especially involving plants, mycorrhizal fungi, and migratory birds.

Dr. Brice Noonan

On April 13, the speaker will be Dr. Brice Noonan, an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Mississippi. His presentation is entitled “Your Big Backyard … And All Its Wonderful Reptiles and Amphibians.” If you have questions about what kind of snakes and amphibians might be inhabiting your garden, you won’t want to miss this lecture.

Noonan holds a Ph.D. in Quantitative Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington. At UM, Noonan teaches classes in Evolution, Genetics, Herpetology, Biology of Invasive Species, Biology of the Caribbean and Island Biogeography at the undergraduate level. At the graduate level, he teaches courses in Molecular Systematics, Phylogenetic Systematics, and Phylogeography.

The final presentation will be on May 11 with guest speaker Jeff McManus, Director of Landscape Services at the University of Mississippi since 2000.

Jeff McManus

His presentation is entitled “Pruning Like a Pro.” McManus holds a bachelor’s degree in Landscape

During his time as Director of Landscape Services, McManis and his team have earned numerous awards for campus landscaping.

Princeton Review, Newsweek Magazine and USA Today have each identified the UM campus as one of the nation’s most beautiful. McManus and his team have also been praised by the New York Times, Forbes and The Huffington Post for the beautiful landscape of the campus.

The Lafayette County Master Gardener is a program sponsored and directed by the Mississippi State University Extension Office. The Master Gardener program trains volunteers in consumer horticulture and related areas. New classes are offered each year.

For more information about the LCMGA, visit their website at, follow them on Facebook or Instagram, or call the local Extension Office at 662-244-4451.

Staff report