“The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.”
–  Gertrude S. Wister

With thoughts of spring, now’s the time to consider how you would like to serve and grow this gardening season in your role as an OSU Master Gardener.  What community service events would you like to be involved with?  A long time favorite event or a new one?  How do you plan to expand your gardening know-how through our many continuing education opportunities?  See some possibilities in the articles below.

Now is a good time to sign-up for our Master Gardener office hotlines (via CERVIS,).  Farmers Market schedules open over the next several weeks, so please check back if the event you are looking for has yet to be posted.

It is also the perfect time to help welcome and usher in the new class of Master Gardener trainees.  Come sit in on one of the MG training sessions (here’s the schedule).  Introduce yourself to a trainee.  Learn what interests brought them to our training program. Share your passion for gardening and the Master Gardener program with those new to the program.

Welcome Janet!  A new member of our MG program team!

We are excited to announce and welcome Janet Hohman as Administrative Program Assistant for the Metro-area Master Gardener program team.  For the past year, Janet has served as an Office Specialist for the Clackamas Co. OSU Extension Service office.  A portion of her position included time supporting the Master Gardener program.  In her role as office specialist, Janet has been assisting and supporting Master Gardeners signing up for the Clackamas phone hotline and the MG program team.  You may have met Janet at our Fall Recertification events in 2017 and 2018.

There is a bit of a transition time as Janet continues to assist in the front office, but starting April 1, Janet will be moving full time into her new position!  We are thrilled to have Janet, her skills, and positive energy contributing to the metro-area OSU Master Gardener program.

Janet will be supporting Master Gardeners with using our online systems.  Need help getting logged into CERVIS?  How about navigating the online modules in Canvas?  Janet will be sharing her knowledge with encouraging guidance.

A few fun facts about Janet…she has confessed to LOVING dirt (hey, we are fans too!), has a keen interest in composting, and plays the banjo!  Please join us in giving Janet a warm welcome!

2019 Master Gardener Training to Commence!

February marks the beginning of our 2019 metro-area OSU Master Gardener training.  For 7 weeks starting the first week in February and running through March, we will have science-based instruction from a stellar group of horticulture experts.  Perennial favorite instructors are returning…Jen Aron, Margaret Bayne, Chip Bubl, Jane Collier, Claudia Groth, Monica Maggio, Weston Miller, and Jean R. Natter. In addition, we welcome 3 new instructors, metro-area Master Gardener Sally Campbell, and OSU Extension’s Heather Stoven and Rachel Suits.

Each AM or PM session attended counts as 3 hours of continuing education credit for 2019.

We are thrilled that we will be welcoming over 180 new Master Gardeners!  If you attend training class, please take the time to say hello to new trainees and welcome them to the Master Gardener program.

The training sites and days are:

Tuesdays, February 5 – March 19, 9AM to 4PM
Hillsboro United Methodist Church, 168 NE 8th Avenue, Hillsboro

Thursdays, February 7 – March 21, 9AM to 4PM
Museum of the Oregon Territory, Museum of the Oregon Territory 3rd floor- 211 Tumwater Drive, Oregon City

Fridays, February 8 – March 22, 9AM to 4PM
Multnomah County Headquarters, Multnomah County Headquarters -501 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland

See the 2019 Metro-area Training Schedule HERE


Demystifying Grafted Tomatoes: The Why & How for Gardeners

Photo credit: Sterling College

Now there’s a topic of great interest to many vegetable gardeners and it happens to be the latest topic for the OSU Master Gardener Advanced Training Webinars!  You can take part in this informative webinar, presented by Dr. Cary Rivard, of Kansas State University, on Friday, March 15th, at 11AM.  To register, go to:  https://learn.extension.org/events/3604

If you can’t view the live webinar, a recording will be available.

‘Demystifying Grafted Tomatoes’ is just one of many webinars produced by OSU Extension to supplement your OSU Master Gardener continuing education.  If you missed any previous webinars from 2017 or 2018 – please take the time to view the recordings.

Each webinar viewed counts as 1-hour continuing education credit.

2018 Webinar Series http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/ediblegardens/2018/09/24/the-complete-2018-mg-webinar-series/

2017 Webinar Series https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIelD7ZO8N55rvyA6Q-y–4l3B4VCJPvw


Display Your 2019 Sticker!

Again, this year, we have distributed a new, 2019 MG badge sticker to indicate those Master Gardeners who are up-to-date with their volunteer, continuing education (recertification) hours and have submitted their signed 2019 Conditions of Volunteer Service agreement. You served diligently!  Now display your sticker proudly!

To maintain your certification, the following are the minimum criteria for Veteran MGs in 2019

Start logging your hours on a 2019 Volunteer Log Sheet.  Once that log sheet is brimming with your annual requirements, please submit your log to the Metro MG Program office, no later than September 30, 2019.


Supporting the OSU Master Gardener Program through Chapter Membership

The metro-area OSU Master Gardener program has 3 vital, and active Chapters.  Each Chapter is part of the Oregon Master Gardeners Association, which formed to support the OSU Master Gardener program.

With the start of a New Year, our three metro-area Chapters have been accepting membership renewals.  Chapter membership is optional and not required to maintain active Master Gardener status. Many choose Chapter membership for the added benefits that these OSU Master Gardener supporting associations provide.  You can belong to any Chapter you would like.  Some Master Gardeners belong to multiple Chapters.  To renew your Chapter membership contact Chapters through their websites.

For those of you who took your MG training in 2018, during your training year you received complimentary Chapter membership in the county Chapter where you reside.  You now have the option of belonging to the Chapter of your choice.  The Chapters each have varying annual fees.  For more information visit their websites:

Clackamas County Master Gardeners

Multnomah County Master Gardeners

Washington County Master Gardeners


Fondly remembering Bill Greer

If you attended Master Gardener training in Washington County in the past 25 years, upon arrival you received a warm, friendly welcome from OSU Master Gardener, Bill Greer.  Bill volunteered at the check-in table at MG training for longer than anyone can remember. He was a fixture who could be counted on to welcome all, with a kind word and his delightful sense of humor.  We were deeply saddened to learn that Bill died on January 1.  Continue reading our fond remembrance of Bill Greer…


Fondly remembering Bill Greer

If you attended Master Gardener training in Washington County in the past 25 years, upon arrival you received a warm, friendly welcome from OSU Master Gardener, Bill Greer.  Bill volunteered at the check-in table at MG training for longer than anyone can remember. He was a fixture who could be counted on to welcome all, with a kind word and his delightful sense of humor.  We were deeply saddened to learn that Bill died on January 1.

Another place you were bound to see Bill was on Monday mornings at the Washington County hotline office.  In the office, Bill took on the role of mentor by listening, advising and guiding his fellow Master Gardener volunteers and the gardening public.  Many Master Gardeners learned the ins and outs of serving the gardening public while volunteering alongside Bill.  Bill was a patient teacher, guide and valued volunteer!

Bill Greer with his son and grandson.

Bill became an OSU Master Gardener in 1993.  Bill was an avid gardener with an extensive collection and knowledge of rhododendrons. According to his family, his background in engineering also supported an elaborate irrigation system that hydrated his rhodie garden.

At this year’s Washington County MG training as we enter and pass the check-in table, we will be thinking of Bill with fond and grateful remembrance!  Bill gave so much to the Master Gardener program, fellow Master Gardeners and those wanting to learn more about gardening.

On behalf of the OSU Master Gardeners, we want to extend our sincere sympathy and thanks to Bill’s family.  In past years, Bill’s children would transport Bill to training classes and to the Washington Co. office for his hotline shifts, so Bill could continue his tradition of giving to the community!

Bill was a very special Master Gardener volunteer who touched many as he shared his love of learning and the natural world.

Remembrance donations can be made to Valley Community Presbyterian Church, the OSU Master Gardener Program, or the American Rhododendron Society.

Here is another memorial remembrance of Bill.