Lilac bloom.


Can words describe the fragrance of the very breath of spring?
– Neltje Blanchan

Spring greetings Master Gardeners!  Although our in-person volunteer activities remain on hold, there is a plethora of informative and inspiring virtual presentations being offered to Master Gardeners in the following weeks and months.  We encourage all Master Gardeners to take advantage of these valuable continuing education opportunities.

The Culture of Gardening Series

The OSU Master Gardener Program’s ‘Culture of Gardening’ Series kicks off with a special presentation with Abra Lee, “The Work is in Our Hands”, on Tuesday, May 18, 12noon.

Through determination, enthusiasm, and willpower Black women overcame ugliness in America to cultivate beauty in the landscape. This is a discussion of how their self-expression and activism through gardening led to a lasting legacy of community pride throughout generations. 

Abra Lee is a national speaker, writer, and owner of Conquer the Soil,a platform that combines Black garden history and current events to raise awareness of horticulture. She has spent a whole lotta time in the dirt as a municipal arborist, extension agent, airport landscape manager, and more. Lee is a graduate of Auburn University and alumna of the Longwood Gardens Society of Fellows, a global network of public horticulture professionals. 

This presentation is free and open to all OSU Master Gardeners and the public.  Register in advance here: https://beav.es/JCF


Join-in the OSU Master Gardener Bio Blitz

Grab your camera and join the OSU Master Gardener Program on our iNaturalist project page to capture the insects, birds, wild plants, and other wild organisms in your garden or a nearby community or public garden space. Your efforts will help to document garden biodiversity in Oregon! Learn all the details and register here: https://beav.es/Jyg


Elevated Skills Training Remains Open

2 pair of hands holding a clay bowl of cherry tomatoes.  One pair of hand is bare.  The other pair of hands is wearing garden gloves.
Photo: Elaine Casap, on Unsplash

Thank you to all who participated in the state-wide ‘Elevated Skills’ Master Gardener training earlier in the year.  We have received lots of positive feedback from MGs who appreciated the opportunity to focus on skills that can be used in their roles as a garden educator; whether it was learning more about ‘Community Science’, how to ‘Superpower Your Education Garden’, ‘Recipes for a Collaborative Community’, ‘Garden Woody Plant ID with the OSU Landscape Plant Database’ or the other ‘Elevated Skills’ class offerings. 

Did you miss the training?  Don’t despair ‘Elevated Skills’ training is still open for your learning adventure!  Although in-person sessions of the training have passed, you can still take part and dig deep into a subject of interest.

For Perennial Master Gardeners this training counts as ‘Continuing Education’ hours.

2020 Master Gardeners Trainees, the Elevate training can be counted towards your service hours to meet the requirements to complete the Master Gardener training.

See the entire Elevate course line-up, and register HERE.

Note: The metro area MG program is using a different online tool for our MG Helpline clinic and is not using the ECCO tool being highlighted in the “Learning How to Use the Extension Client Contact Online (ECCO) Tool in Plant Clinic” course.


Metro Master Gardener Media Channel

Would you like to review a presentation from our Metro Master Gardener Webinar Series? Or perhaps catch a Chaper Lecture or Speaker Series that you missed? You can access our catalog of inspiring webinars via the area Master Gardener Media Channel.


In addition, you can view a great series of mini-videos produced by fellow Master Gardener, Dennis Brown. Dennis created the videos to incorporate into his speaking presentations for the metro MG program. The videos cover: DIY seed tape, DIY seed starting containers, cutting back a cover crop, how to prune a blueberry bush, setting-up seed starting indoors and how to collect a soil sample. Thank you Dennis for creating and sharing these informative videos!


Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series

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The state-wide Level Up series continues with a wealth of timely gardening topics.  After a month that set a record for the lowest rain fall in over 60 years – water conservation is in the forefront of many gardener’s minds. May’s Level Up presentation, ‘Waterwise Gardening‘, with Erika Szonntag, OSU Extension, will cover xeriscape principals and tips for conserving water, while maintaining a beautiful landscape. The webinar will be broadcast on Tuesday, May 11, 3pm

Registration opens on a rolling basis for upcoming webinars throughout the year.

If you find that registration has filled for a class, please check out the presentation live streamed on the OSU Master Gardener Facebook page or look for a recording of the presentation to be posted on the Level Up Series website a few days following.

Preview and register for the Level Up Series classes, and view recordings of past presentations HERE.


Oregon Master Gardener Mini College – Goes Virtual!

Registration is now open for 2021 Oregon Master Gardener Mini College.  This virtual conference will be held online, July 16 & 17.  With an outstanding slate of horticulture experts presenting, Mini College is a great continuing education opportunity. 

Bumblebee on sedum.
Photo: Pixabay

Robert Michael Pyle, author, educator and scientist will kick-off the event as the keynote speaker.  In addition, there will be a great array of interactive classes and workshops from leading horticulture experts and educators. Cost for the two-day event is $49 and is open to Master Gardeners and the public.  So grab a friend, and join-in an enriching garden education opportunity.

OMGA 2021 Mini College (mastergardenerminicollege.org)


More virtual opportunities with the International Master Gardener Conference!

Every two years Master Gardeners have the opportunity to participate in the International Master Gardeners Conference, which is hosted by a rotation of Extension Master Gardener Programs.  This year the event is being sponsored by Virginia Cooperative Extension and you have the opportunity to participate from the comfort of your own home!  The Conference is going virtual for 2021!

This educational confluence of horticultural experts and Master Gardeners from the US, Canada and South Korea is taking place September 12 – 17, 2021. Virginia Cooperative Extension is planning “a unique and creative virtual conference that will offer not only the chance to attend live webinars and workshops, but also opportunities to socialize with and learn from EMGs from around the nation, to learn about gardening in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and to participate in interactive activities such as virtual tours of Virginia and small group sessions.” 

Learn more about this exciting educational opportunity and register NOW!


Washington County Community Garden Survey

Woman on her knees, harvesting in a vegetable garden.
Photo: Pixaby

Portland Community College is creating a map of current community gardens for Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District (within Washington County), and then creating a site analysis for possible future gardens.

Their working definition of a community garden is a place where “multiple
families can grow food for the table, not for sale.” Developments that
restrict to their residents or a business that have plots or planters for
their employees all would count (CSAs will not).

If you know of community gardens that meet this definition in Washington County, please complete this survey by May 20: https://forms.gle/gXGvC7sFMBHvUuzf


By Margaret Bayne, OSU Extension Service Staff-retired, OSU Master

Revised publication: How to Control Slugs in Your Garden.  Practical tips on how to deal with slugs in your garden, given in both English and Spanish. (EM 9155-Neil Bell, Amy J. Dreves, OSU) https://bit.ly/3t32tfr

“Can we just quit with the vinegar-epsom salts weed-killer nonsense?  It doesn’t matter how safe it sounds if it doesn’t work.”n(Ohio State University Extension) https://bit.ly/3dbXuUp

Soil bacteria could improve crop yields, via fungi (Michael J. Hass, Cornell University) https://bit.ly/3uFaTtN

Rose leaves with viruses. Leaves are speckled with pale yellow spots.
Rose virus. Photo: Jay Pscheidt, OSU

NEW SECTION IN THE PNW HANDBOOK: Plant Viruses: Dead or Alive? (Jay Pschdeidt, OSU) https://bit.ly/2PKMnsF

Dirty Dozen? Not so fast… Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) issues a list of foods – the so-called ‘Dirty Dozen’ – which it considers to have the highest pesticide residues.  (Cornell University) https://bit.ly/3tc7qCH

This robot uses AI to pollinate greenhouse tomatoes. (Agrotectire.com) https://bit.ly/3mCGBVZ

Handful of soil.
Soil. Photo: OSU

My soil is crap. Or is it? (Jim Downer, Garden Professors.com) https://bit.ly/3g1MYk3

Bizarre ‘worm tornado’ in New Jersey has scientists baffled. (Mindy Weisberger, livescience.com) https://bit.ly/3wOksJ0

The AAS (All-America Selections) judges pick their favorite plants. (All-America selections.org_ https://bit.ly/3g6xb3P

To mulch or not to mulch? It shouldn’t even be a question. (Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU) https://bit.ly/3t7r0A9

Understanding mysteries of plant diseases: Diagnosis and Detection (Part 2 of 3 in this blog series)- Something is wrong? (Jim Dower, Garden Professors.com) https://bit.ly/3t7TucX

Strawberry plant with ripe strawberries.
Strawberries. Photo: Bernadine Strik, OSU

Watch the Video! -The Uncommon Berry Patch.  A presentation that covers some less-commonly grown berries for the home garden as well as some native fruits found in western Oregon. (Neil Bell, Dr. Bernadine Strik, OSU) https://bit.ly/3fZCNwH