Tales of India at Backyard Assn. meeting


Plant explorer and native Georgian Scott McMahan will speak at the July 12 meeting of the Backyard Association, telling tales of his adventures while botanizing in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, India in the spring of 2015.

This region of the eastern Himalayas was just deemed the last frontier of biodiversity by the World Wildlife Fund. At least 113 new plant species have been reported over the last five years in remote jungles that haven’t been explored in over 80 years.  Scott relates that “from cobras under the cots, to elephant rides through the jungle, traveling through India will never disappoint one’s sense of wanderlust.”

Scott, a native of Decatur, describes himself as an “extreme plant fanatic.” He has traveled the world, as well as the southern and northwestern United States, in search of rare plant finds, garnering great joy in pushing the limits of what will grow in our very own Zone 7.

Since selling most of his ownership in successful businesses, McMahan’s Nursery (near Lake Lanier), and Garden*Hood in Atlanta, he has accepted the full-time position as the manager of international plant exploration at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. With this new position, Scott will oversee plant collection and evaluation at ABG, as well as creating a visiting scholar program to promote exchange of knowledge and plants with other botanical institutions around the world.

The Backyard Association is an educational program sponsored by the Coweta County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers (MGEVs). Presentations are held on the second Tuesday of each month at UGA Extension – Coweta County, 255 Pine Road in Newnan.

Admission to the 7 p.m. lecture is free, and you need not register in advance to attend unless you want to be registered for the door prizes, usually plants and other gardening goodies. Please call the Extension office at 770-254-2620 to register.

For more information about the MGEV program, please visit www.ugaextension.org/coweta.