Photo: Pixabay

It was a lovely afternoon—such an afternoon as only September can produce when summer has stolen back for one more day of dream and glamour.

L.M. Montgomery

The waning days of summer usually involve Master Gardeners compiling all their volunteer service hours for submission. Yet, we realize that the ongoing pandemic has brought an array of challenges to so many of our volunteers and it has also severely limited our volunteer service opportunities. Therefore, we have waived all annual volunteer service and continuing education hour requirements for Perennial Master Gardeners for 2021. We have also extended the time period for 2020 Master Gardener trainees to complete their training volunteer service requirement, until September 30, 2022.

Yet it is still important to document all hours that metro Master Gardeners were able to serve since October 1, of 2020, and the many hours of continuing education that you logged via our online offerings. We want to celebrate and share your contributions with OSU. We will be sending you a brief survey in the next week for you to submit your volunteer service and continuing education hours. You do not need to submit a log sheet. Simply answer the survey questions and click submit. We hope you will take a few minutes to complete the survey and show the contributions of service made during such challenging times.

Master Gardener Photography Contest

Join in the OSU Master Gardener Volunteer Photography Contest!

OSU Extension Master Gardeners are invited to participate in a statewide photography challenge and contest.

• How can you capture in photos what you love about the Master Gardener program?
• How would you show others what you see about being a Master Gardener?

Submit your photos by September 30, to the Master Gardener photography contest!  

FUN! There are prizes for the winners!

First-place winners in each of the three categories will receive signed, autographed copies of the books Trees to Know, and Shrubs to Know, plus an OSU Foods of Oregon reusable tote.  

All second-place winners in each of the three categories will receive signed, autographed copies of the book Trees to Know, and an OSU Foods of Oregon reusable tote.  

Make sure you are taking your photos for the categories! They need to be either people, places, or program priority photos. Here are some examples: 

Gardener holding handle of a wagon which is overflowing with weeds.

Many potted plants and nursery flats of plant starts.

Landscape photo of path leading to a field of lavender, with a garden arch flanked by a white picket fence and two yellow rose plants.

You can get all of the details, including a guide to taking great photos on the program news blog here

Metro-area Master Gardeners Recognized and Thanked for Service

Each year the three metro area supporting county associations nominate and designate members for special recognition, either through an Oregon Master Gardener Association (OMGA) nomination or by heralding their praise and appreciation.

This year is no different and we would like to extend our hearty congratulations and thanks to the following individuals who are being recognized for their extensive contributions as OSU Master Gardeners!  Congrats and utmost gratitude to all!

Two Metro Area Master Gardeners Honored with State Awards!

We are thrilled to share the news that two metro area Master Gardeners were recently designated as the Statewide awardees!  Susan Albright as Statewide Master Gardener of the Year and Sue Ryburn as Statewide Behind-the-Scenes Master Gardener of the Year.  Susan and Sue’s dedicated service has greatly benefited the Washington County Master Gardener Association (WCMGA), the metro area and statewide OSU MG program, and the community as a whole.  We are thrilled they have been honored and are grateful for their tremendous contributions to the Master Gardener program!

2021 Statewide Master Gardener of the Year

Susan Albright, Washington County: Over the past decade, Susan Albright’s dedication and impact for gardeners in Washington County has been profound. She’s held so many leadership and co-leadership positions they’re too many to list, and her background as an educator has been brought to the forefront of her work as a master gardener volunteer. She’s designed and planted areas of demonstration gardens, provided leadership in establishing educational outreach goals, and developed educational materials for adults and children. She has presented at the statewide level, and is an active citizen scientist, combining forces with Xerces and Oregon Bee Atlas. She has led the Washington County Master Gardener Association through changes and adjustments, all with incredible communication and teamwork. – LeAnn Locher

2021 Statewide Behind-the-Scenes Master Gardener of the Year

Sue Ryburn, Washington County: Sue Ryburn may be a tremendous leader, but she’s also a significant doer, working behind the scenes on multiple projects at a time. Whether it’s securing tens of thousands of dollars in grants, establishing multiple education gardens, or developing Washington County’s “In the Garden Series” as a deliverable to gardeners at home during COVID-19, she consistently looks beyond boundaries of the association to establish community partnerships and work collaboratively with program leadership. This commitment to collaboration can be seen in her formation of the Community Collaborators group, made up of organizations with like-minded missions to that of the Washington County Master Gardeners Association. This network and support are invaluable, innovative and exciting work, true to the spirit of everything she takes on. – LeAnn Locher

Clackamas County Master Gardener Association

Special Recognition for Three Dedicated Clackamas County Master Gardener Association Members
The Clackamas County Master Gardener Association (CCMGA) is giving special thanks and recognition to three members who have worked above and beyond for their very successful programs during this pandemic year.  CCMGA President John Wilbur writes…”We would like to recognize and thank, Nancy Muir and Eve Freeman for Grow an Extra Row (GAER) and Sherry Sheng for the webinars. Both programs were highly successful and made an important impact on the community during these difficult times.  We also acknowledge the support and participation of the additional chapter members who assisted in these programs.  Thank you all for your efforts.”

Multnomah County Master Gardener Association

Multnomah Co. Master Gardener Association – Master Gardener of the Year
As Multnomah County Master Gardener Demonstration Garden Director, Linda Goldser has helped guide both the Master Gardeners who volunteer in the garden, but also the garden’s future. With vision and planning for post-pandemic work in the garden, she’s moving the chapter forward and ensuring a strong and vital demonstration garden.  –LeAnn Locher

Woman holding a certificate in a garden with blooming cosmos flowers in the background.
Linda Goldser – MCMGA Master Gardener of the Year
Photo: John Jordan

Multnomah County Master Gardener Association – Behind-the-Scenes Master Gardeners of the Year

Thanks to the publicity skills of Susanne Cavicchi, the Incredible Edible’s sale is wildly popular and is the Multnomah County Master Gardener Association’s major fundraiser. She edits the newsletter and chairs the communications committee.  – LeAnn Locher

Elaine O’Keefe brings significant experience and insight into organizational structure and serves as representative to the OMGA, and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.  – LeAnn Locher

During the pandemic, Cynthia Chase and her communication skills kept the board moving forward. Her personal fundraising skills have helped raise money for the demonstration garden and she serves as the chapter’s Facebook editor.  –LeAnn Locher

Multnomah Master Gardener Association – Special Projects Award

Bob Shaw was given a Special Projects Award for his work in the Demonstration Garden.  Specifically, for his work in the North Hedgerow area of the garden where he documented the work.

Man holding certificate, in a garden.
Bob Shaw – MCMGA Special Projects Award Recipient
Photo: John Jordan

Washington County Master Gardener Association

Washington Co. Master Gardener Association – Master Gardener of the Year
Karen Graham
has led the Washington County Master Gardener Association through times like no other, with calm and resolve. With the many challenges that arose through the past several months the association needed to make quick and nimble adjustments. Karen adeptly handled each challenge. She quickly adapted and learned how to keep communication lines open with association membership and members of the public, taking the WCMGA’s Speaker Series and meetings online.  The WCMGA has greatly benefited from Karen’s positive, calm, and encouraging leadership.

Washington Co. Master Gardener Association – Behind-the-Scenes Master Gardener of the Year
In a mere three years, Fran Beebe has wasted no time making significant contributions as an OSU Master Gardener and Washington County Master Gardener Association member.  Fran has been instrumental with the WCMGA’s GardenFest fundraiser, potting 100+ houseplants, creating nearly as many terrariums and 30 hanging Kokedams for the sale and was a key contributor to the Propagation Team producing nearly 2000 vegetables and flowering plants. When Gardenfest 2020 was cancelled, Fran helped maintain the propagated plant stock, and, when it was mandated the greenhouses be closed, helped with distribution, donation and foster care for the plants.  Fran serves on the Speakers Committee and is a dedicated OSU Master Gardener Helpline volunteer.

Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up SeriesAutumn 2021

Join the Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series on Tuesday, September 14, 3PM, as Dr. Gail Langellotto, presents, Gardening with Native Plants for Pollinators.

Native plant gardening has been ranked as one of the top three landscape and garden trends over the past few years, in part because of the benefits that it offers to pollinators. However, native plants are not widely planted by home gardeners, and only limited selections can be found at many retail nurseries. This talk will share research conducted by the OSU Garden Ecology Lab for the past four years, and will address questions such as:

  • Which Willamette Valley native plants are most attractive to pollinators?
  • Why aren’t native plants more broadly available for purchase?
  • What native plants are most attractive (according to Oregon gardeners), and which native plant traits gave gardeners concern?
  • Are native cultivars a good approach to some of the problems associated with the production and sale of native plants?
  • Do pollinators visit native cultivars as much as they do native plants?

Finally, we will end with our recommendations for native plants that western Oregon gardeners should plant, if they want to support Oregon’s pollinators.

Register here.

Coming up in October and November…

Adapting Your Garden and Landscape for Climate Change, Tuesday, October 13, 3PM
Join in as Weston Miller shares strategies to adapt gardens and landscapes to the new extreme weather conditions we are now experiencing in the Pacific Northwest.

Healthy Soils for Healthy People, Tuesday, November 9, 3PM
Research has suggested that healthy soils can benefit human health, via transfer of beneficial microbes from the soil to the skin. Dr. Gail Langellotto will provide an overview of what is known as the ‘hygiene hypothesis’, and how this relates to healthy garden soils.

Register for the upcoming webinars or view recordings of past webinars here.

The Culture of Gardening

The OSU Master Gardener Program’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Taskforce has launched a new storytelling initiative called ‘The Culture of Gardening’. This initiative explores and shares the voices of gardeners growing plants to connect with their heritage, culture, and identity. While it’s a project of the OSU Extension Master Gardener program, the stories transcend us, weaving through our communities and identities and include farming, self care, family celebration, recipes, tools, and more.

Tyler and his dog

Gardens and gardening connect us in many ways: to where we’ve been and to who we are. To grow a plant that is inherent to our identity is a joyful and self-affirming art, whether it’s a food to eat or a flower to use in tradition and celebration. Stories are being collected of people all around us, past and present, who do just that: the voices of gardeners growing plants to connect with their heritage, culture and identity.

Explore these inspiring stories and celebrate the different ways we all come to the garden. Meet Ann, Athen, Charlie, Farah, and Tyler. Check back as more gardeners generously share their voices and their connection to their heritage, culture, and identity through gardening.

If you have a story you’d like to share, or know of a gardener who connects with their culture and identity through gardening (they don’t have to be a Master Gardener!, but they should have a connection to Oregon), please contact: LeAnn Locher

SAVE THE DATE! Gather: Film screening and discussion
A film screening and discussion about Native American Food Sovereignty
Wednesday, November 10, 7PM

The film “Gather” is an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide. Watch the trailer for Gather

Following the film screening, stay for a panel discussing Native American resilience, plants, and the renaissance of Native food systems.

About this online event:

This screening of the film Gather is hosted by The Culture of Gardening, an initiative of the Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Taskforce of the OSU Master Gardener™ program.

The film has closed captioning available in Spanish and in English.

Tickets are free but require registration:

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

Rooting around- the differences between taproots and mature roots. (Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU via

Is your Landscape Sustainable? (Jim Downer,

Water, water, everywhere.  Learn an easy trick to determine soil moisture. (Sylvia Thompson-Hacker,

Container pots with vegetables and herbs, growing on a patio.
Container garden. Photo from Flickr by Wendy Cutler

Contain Yourself: Vegetable gardening in containers and small spaces. (John Porter,

How do we know which invasive plant pests will be the next big threats? (Rosyln Noar, et al,

Signs and symptoms of plant disease: Is it fungal, viral or bacterial? (Jim Isleib, Michigan State University Extension

Diagnosing Sick Plants. (Sarah D. William, et al, Ohio State U)

20 Questions on Plant Diagnosis. (Joy Bogg, et al, Ohio State U)

Wasps are valuable for ecosystems, economy and human health (just like bees.) (UCL)

Bumble bee on purple clover blossom.
Bumble bee on clover blossom. Photo: Lynn Ketchum, Oregon State University

Bumble bees damage plant leaves and accelerate flower production when pollen is scarce. (Foteini G. Pashalidou et al, via

Ancient Wollemi Pines Resurgent.   “Ten years after its discovery, a vanishingly rare tree from the Cretaceous Period is a scientific darling and may soon become a commercial success too.” (Stephen McLoughlin & Viva Vajda,

Plants Grown in Containers Course: Online (FREE and at your own pace course.) (NCSU)

The DNA of lettuce unraveled: in 6000 years from weed to beloved vegetable. (Wageningen Plant Research)