The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.

Gertrude S. Wister

Welcome Srijana!
Our metro area OSU Master Gardener™ Program leader

Srijana Shrestha

We are so very pleased to share the news that Srijana Shrestha, Assistant Professor of Practice, has started her position leading our OSU Extension Service metro area Master Gardener Program. Srijana’s position serves the whole metro region, which includes Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties.

Learn more about Srijana, her horticulture passions and her excitement about leading the Master Gardener Program.


Welcome to, and from, our new Statewide Master Gardener Manager, Dr. Leslie Madsen

Dr. Leslie Madsen, holding two pink Dahlia flowers.
Dr. Leslie Madsen

After a national search, Dr. Leslie Madsen (she/her) has joined OSU Extension as the Statewide Master Gardener Manager, beginning December 29th, 2023. She most recently was the Associate Director for Educational Development in the Center for Teaching and Learning at Boise State University. The OSU Extension metro area Master Gardener Program extends a hearty welcome to Dr. Madsen!

Learn more about Dr. Madsen and read her note to all Oregon Master Gardeners HERE.

Master Gardeners Impact Community

Master Gardener with two children planting seeds in small cloth planting bags.
Master Gardener, Mariella teaching at Head Start event. Photo: Amy Espinoza, OSU

As we begin a new year, we look back with gratitude on the tremendous impact and contributions that metro area OSU Master Gardeners had in the community in 2023. Master Gardeners reached over 59,000 community members and answered over 12,000 gardening questions!

You served at resource fairs, farmers markets, libraries, schools, gardens, and a wide variety of community outreach events. Learn all the details in our OSU Extension metro area Master Gardener “2023 Impact Report”, click the download button below. Kudos to all, for your dedicated service educating Oregonians about successful and sustainable gardening practices!

Be sure to check out the 2023 Summer and Fall Recap highlighting how Master Gardeners gathered, learned and served. In addition, we congratulate the 2023 Master Gardener award winners.

Thank you and best wishes Lisa!

Lisa Kirby. Photo courtesy of Eddie Rosen

We extend our best wishes and sincere thanks to Lisa Kirby, Education Program Assistant, who is setting her sights on new endeavors and has moved on from OSU. Over the past year, Lisa has enthusiastically supported the OSU Extension metro area Master Gardener Program and volunteers. Lisa has been integral in event planning, delivering curriculum, and supporting community educational outreach. We are grateful for her dedicated service.

Community Outreach Events Commence

Two Master Gardeners talking to a person visiting the information table, they are looking at a brochure that the person visiting is holding.
Photo: Marcia McIntyre

As we see signs of spring emerging in the garden, our Master Gardener community outreach events also start to bloom this time of year. Be sure to check CERVIS, periodically, so you can sign up for some fun, engaging opportunities as they are continually posted.

2024 Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up Series

Video: Plate with a small pile of soil has a green sprout furling open two leaves.

One in five people face hunger in Oregon. The cost of food keeps climbing and the pandemic showed us the fragility of our supply system. Growing our own food – for ourselves, for our families, for our neighbors – is an action gardeners can take to strengthen food security in their local communities. This year’s “Growing Oregon Gardeners: Level Up series” is aimed at helping gardeners take a bite out of hunger.

Nine, free, closed-captioned webinars will be broadcast via Zoom and streamed on our Facebook page. You can view them on the second Tuesday of the month, at noon, from February through October 2024. Experts in their field from OSU and beyond, will present on topics such as how to get the most yield from cool season veggies, growing produce to donate to food banks, and how to grow culinary mushrooms.

The series is open to all, and each webinar will be recorded. “Growing Oregon Gardeners” webinars count for one hour of designated Master Gardener continuing education.

2024 OSU Master Gardener Training

Master Gardener students studying papers with insect drawings.
Master Gardener Training. Photo courtesy of Sherry Sheng

We are eagerly looking forward to and busily preparing for our 2024 OSU Extension metro area Master Gardener Training. The training will launch this spring in all three counties. If you know anyone who loves learning about gardening and has a desire to share their knowledge with the community as a garden educator, please direct them to our home page. Those who sign up on our interest list will be notified when we start accepting applications.

Annual Master Gardener Requirements

It is not too early to start keeping track of your Volunteer Service and Continuing Education hours for 2025 recertification. Please follow the link below for a refresher on the annual requirements to maintain your Master Gardener certification.

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

Elizabeth Licata: No Mow May?  No thank you.  While not about our region, it has a regional expert (Linda Chalker-Scott) giving advice on how you can keep a lawn and still help pollinators. (Elizabeth Licata:

Who Has Seen the Wind?  Learn about different types of ‘wind’ and how they can affect your garden.(Pam Knox,

You can have your trees and save water, too! (Linda Chalker-Scott,

Hot Competition: Climate Change, Invasive Fly Displace a Native Blueberry Pest.  A group of researchers from Rutgers University have investigated how climate change might affect the competition between these two major blueberry pests.” (Timothy Schwanitz,

International Cooperation Boosts Prep for Invasive Insects Before They Arrive. (Carolyn Bernhardt,

Informative videos from NPIC answering common pesticide related questions. Some include:

  • Did you know disinfectants are pesticides?
  • What does it mean when food is organic?
  • Can slug and snail bait hurt my pets?
  • How can I remove pesticides from fruit and vegetables?
  • Should I use food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) to kill bugs?
  • Why do I have cockroaches in my home?
  • Are spot-on flea and tick products safe around my pets?
  • Is it safe to use rat baits around children and pets?

Plus, many more…

PUBLICATIONS:  Some new/revised research-based gardening publications that you can download for free…

Grow Your Own Peppers.  “Peppers come in a great variety of sizes, shapes, colors and tastes. They produce a large yield in a small amount of space. Learn the secrets to growing great peppers in Oregon.” (Brooke Edmunds, James Myers, Ed Peachey, OSU, revised May 2023)

Getting to Know Oregon Bats. “Learn about the 15 species of bats in Oregon, their habitat needs, the significant ecological roles they play in our environment, the threats they face and how we can support our furry flying friends.” (Rowan Fay & Dana Sanchez, OSU, March 2023)

Shrubs and Trees for Bees.Habitat loss is a factor in the decline of native bees. Planting key plants in yards and gardens may be one way to improve habitat and help these species recover. Learn how to increase the number and diversity of flowering plants that support bees with a look at this list of native trees and shrubs.” (Scott Mitchell, Sandra J. DeBano & Andony Melathopoulos, WSU, March 2023)

Praying Mantids: Defenders of the Home Landscape? (Home Garden Series).  “Initially introduced from Europe to control garden pests, the praying mantid certainly looks distinct. This pub explores their history, life cycle, and efficacy in the home garden.” (Michael R. Bush, Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU, May 2023)

Manage Water by Adjusting Lawn Sprinkler Run Time- Instructions for the Columbia Basin of Washington State.   “Seasonal adjustments with an automatic controller will save money on water bills, maintain your lawn, and conserve water. Easy-to-follow steps are included here!” (Andy McGuire, WSU, March 2022)

A Home Gardener’s Guide to Soils and Fertilizers (Home Garden Series). “From novice to advanced, all home gardeners should get to know their soil: the nuts and bolts of soil, and how to make it better, included here.” (Craig Cogger, WSU, revised 2020)

Assessing Tree Health.  “Healthy trees are beneficial to our environment and our property values – but how do we determine if a tree is healthy? This publication briefly discusses common tree health problems…” (Kevin Kobrist, WSU 2011)

Voles (Meadow Mice).  Learn about their biology, damage and management strategies. (R.A. Baldwin, UC Davis, revised April 2023)

Srijana Shrestha, looking at the leaves of a tea plant in a greenhouse.

We are so very pleased to share the news that Srijana Shrestha, Assistant Professor of Practice, has started her position leading our OSU Extension Service metro area Master Gardener Program. Srijana’s postion serves the whole metro region, which includes Clackamas, Multnomah and Wasington counties. Her office will be based in Washington County.  

Srijana comes to us from Washington State University with a master’s degree in horticulture and a Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in horticulture from Washington State University. 

Srijana has a broad range of experience in nursery production, vegetable crop production, plant propagation, diversity-equity-inclusion work, and volunteer management. Additionally, Srijana has knowledge and experience in berry production, weed science, irrigation and nutrient management, climate change, integrated pest management and soil-biodegradable plastic mulches. 

Srijana recently shared about her interest in horticulture and her excitement about leading the metro area OSU Master Gardener program. Read her comments below:

When did you first become interested in horticulture?

Growing up in the hills of Nepal, I was surrounded by beautiful nature including diverse flora and fauna. My mom loves gardening, it’s amazing how she gets a lot out of our small kitchen garden. Seeing and working with her ignited a spark of horticultural interest when I was still in my school. My dream to turn this interest into a profession landed me in the United States to pursue my higher degree. I did my master’s degree in horticulture from Washington State University (WSU) focusing on the new crops and production techniques for the Pacific Northwest. Currently, I am also a Ph.D. student at WSU working on the tea plant propagation project, another emerging specialty crop in the United States.

What excites you about leading the metro area Master Gardener Program?

I perceive Master Gardeners as selfless people who are dedicated to giving something back to the community. They are a great asset to the community. I take my position as a great opportunity to work closely with this wonderful group of people from diverse backgrounds. We need more such people in today’s world.

Do you have a particular gardening interest?

It makes me excited to see how plants grow from seeds and seedlings. I enjoy propagating plants by grafting and cuttings. I grafted melon seedlings and studied the plant growth and fruit yield as one of my master’s projects. I have been collecting tea cuttings of different varieties for my Ph.D. project. Moreover, I am interested in testing new alternative crops for a region.

Do you have a favorite plant that you like to grow?

I love growing indoor plants and vegetables, and recently, growing sweet potato has been my favorite one.

In the coming spring and summer, there will be opportunities to meet Srijana. She is looking forward to attending events to meet Master Gardeners and learn about the remarkable service you provide representing the OSU Master Gardener program in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties.

Stay tuned for details about a metro area wide meet and greet to officially welcome Srijana this spring!

Srijana’s email is: