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:

A Look Back

During the summer and fall of 2023, our metro area Master Gardener Program was in high gear! Master Gardeners reconnected with fellow volunteers and served their communities in many different ways. Below, we take a look back at some of the activities, continuing education opportunities, and community outreach events that Master Gardeners participated in.

June 4th: Celebrate!

On June 4th, 2024, metro area Master Gardeners enjoyed a lovely sunny afternoon as they gathered to celebrate and cultivate community at Millennium Park Plaza in Lake Oswego. The event provided an opportunity to re-connect with fellow volunteers and also to make new connections. Informational and educational displays, door prizes, food, drink, and a lovely cupcake tree made the celebration festive.

Community Outreach

Metro area Master Gardeners ventured far and wide across communities in the metro area to share solid gardening information with Oregon Gardeners. Master Gardeners could be found at area farmers markets, community resource fairs, making gardening presentations, hosting classes, and teaching in the garden.

Metro-area Master Gardeners Recognized for Their Service

Each year, the three metro area Master Gardener Association chapters nominate and designate members for special recognition through the Oregon Master Gardener Association (OMGA). This year, one group project and two metro area Master Gardeners received special statewide recognition for their exemplary service.

We extend our sincere gratitude to the following Master Gardeners and enthusiastically congratulate them for their valuable contributions! 

Statewide Awards

Clackamas County Master Gardener Association’s 10-Minute University™ team’s “Let’s Grow Together

The Clackamas County Master Gardener Association’s “10-Minute University™ Let’s Grow Together!” webinar series, has been awarded the statewide “Search for Excellence” award. The webinar series, developed and launched in 2020, delivers sound and sustainable gardening information on essential gardening topics, from fruit tree pruning to garden wilding. The team is being recognized for their high-quality programming and its positive impact on gardeners in Oregon and beyond. Recordings of the webinar series can be viewed HERE.

Marilyn Berti – Statewide Master Gardener of the Year

Marilyn Berti – Statewide Master Gardener of the Year
Photo: Marcia McIntyre

Marilyn Berti, co-recipient of the statewide “OSU Master Gardener of the Year” award, is being honored for her strong commitment to the educational outreach mission of the Program. A Master Gardener volunteer since 2009, Marilyn was instrumental in the development of the Washington County Master Gardener Association’s Learning Garden at Jenkins Estate. She has also worked on a wide variety of educational outreach programing and informational signage at the garden. Marilyn is always keenly focused on sharing sustainable gardening information with the community, whether developing educational programing, giving tours at the garden, or tabling at community events.

Dennis Brown – Statewide Growing and Belonging Award

Dennis Brown – Growing and Belonging Awardee
Photo: Marcia McIntyre

Master Gardener volunteer, Dennis Brown, is the inaugural recipient of the statewide, “Growing and Belonging” award. The award honors a Master Gardener volunteer who works collaboratively with community to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or social justice in the Master Gardener Program and in the wider community.  An OSU Master Gardener since 2017, Dennis has initiated innovative partnerships with community organizations such as developing garden curriculum for under-served communities. Most recently, Dennis has been working with individuals experiencing houselessness at the Bybee Lake Hope Center. He teaches “Gardening for Life” classes on sustainable gardening to Hope Center participants and other community members. In addition, Dennis makes dozens of gardening presentations annually to community groups, libraries, and at events including the City of Portland’s  “Fix-it Fair”. You can learn more about Dennis’ service in this OSU Extension Service article. You can also hear Dennis talk about cultivating community in his February 2024 presentation for the Washington County Master Gardener Speaker Series. Follow this link. Once there use this passcode: T+128y^J

County Association Awards

The following are the 2023 nominees from each of the three metro area Master Gardener associations:

Clackamas County Master Gardener Association

Kathy Krentz – Master Gardener of the Year

Kathy Krentz – CCMGA Master Gardener of the Year

Before she even finished her Master Gardener training in 2019, Kathy Krentz was generously volunteering to support the Master Gardener program. The Clackamas County Master Gardener Association (CCMGA) recognizes her tremendous contributions by naming her their 2023 Master Gardener of the Year. Kathy volunteers over 400 hours, annually, at the “Grow an Extra Row” garden, which grows food to donate to area food pantries. She has served as the CCMGA Board treasurer for 4 years. Her dedication extends to the “Spring Garden Fair”, where she has volunteered over 600 hours serving as the Vendor Sales Chair.

Cheryl Borden – Behind the Scenes Master Gardener

Cheryl Borden, CCMGA Behind the Scenes Master Gardener

For the past 15 years, Cheryl Borden has been working quietly behind the scenes educating Oregon gardeners from youth to adults. She is part of the 10-Minute University team and was responsible for developing and delivering three new 10-Minute U. webinars. She offers generous support to the Master Gardener Program teaching hands-on workshops and has served many years answering questions on the Helpline. In her commitment to educate youth, she has developed curriculum for Master Gardener outreach education kits and often volunteers for community events serving young gardeners.

Multnomah County Master Gardener Association

Marilyn Frankel – Master Gardener of the Year

Marilyn Frankel, MCMGA Master Gardener of the Year
Photo courtesy of John Jordan

The Multnomah County Master Gardener Association’s 2023 Master Gardener of the Year, Marilyn Frankel has dedicated hundreds of hours of her time volunteering, annually, at the MGMGA’s Demonstration Garden. Marilyn serves at the garden in every capacity, from designing to constructing, to digging and installation.

In addition, Marilyn has actively served as an OMGA representative. She has also been a generous supporter of the Master Gardener Program through assisting with training.

Mary Abplanalp – Behind the Scenes Master Gardener

Mary Anplanalp, MCMGA Behind the Scene Master Gardener of the Year
Photo courtesy of Carole Hardy

Mary Abplanalp was recognized as the Multnomah County Master Gardener Association’s (MCMGA) “Behind the Scenes” Master Gardener as she quietly made big contributions in support of the Association. Mary served as Editor for MCMGA’s eNews in 2021-2022, delivering engaging messages to their membership. She also dedicated time to the design and development of the “Naturescape” bed at the Association’s “Demonstration Garden”. Along with her daughter, Mary developed a detailed new map of the “Demonstration Garden” to guide volunteers and visitors alike.

Washington County Master Gardener Association

Leslie Ray – Behind the Scenes

Leslie Ray, WCMGA Behind the Scenes Master Gardener

For nearly 10 years, Leslie Ray may have been tirelessly volunteering behind the scenes, but her service has had a direct impact on the community. She is a dedicated Helpline volunteer, spending time answering gardener’s questions. She initiated a Washington County Master Gardener translation project which makes resources available in Spanish. She was an integral part of the WCMGA’s “Grow 1 – Give 1” project where Master Gardeners grow veggie starts to distribute to food pantries. In addition, she has served on the statewide level as the WCMGA Oregon Master Gardener Association (OMGA) representative.

Empowering Master Gardener Educators

To bolster volunteers in their role as garden educators, two skill-building
workshops were held in September and October. Speakers Guild and Educational
Outreach workshops were offered as opportunities for volunteers to train in how to give presentations and  how deliver engaging gardening curricula in youth educational settings.

Both events were fun, engaging and power our service educating gardeners.

Special thanks to Kelly Welch and Wendy Wilson for developing the curriculum for the Education Outreach training. They generously shared their professional insight, leading the training and guiding participants.

White apple blossoms, green leaves, against a blue sky.

The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.

Harriet Ann Jacobs

The arrival of spring has metro area Master Gardeners eagerly awaiting so many opportunities. The opportunity to return to active gardening once again by plunging hands into the warm soil, sowing seeds and nurturing garden dreams. It also means a return to favorite Master Gardener service activities or trying new ones. So much is in store for our Master Gardener Program this spring season.

Save the Date! Celebrate our Master Gardener Community!

Lavender paper lantern, and green crepe paper streamer.

Metro area Master Gardeners are invited to a celebratory gathering to cultivate community and seed our future! The date is Sunday, June 4th,  from 1:00pm-3:00pm at Millennium Park Plaza in Lake Oswego.

Look forward to an afternoon filled with informational and educational displays, door prizes, food, drink, and festive celebration!

We hope you will join in, and bring family and friends as we joyfully reunite and celebrate our Master Gardener Community, together.

More event details to come!

“Let’s Talk Plants” at Markets and Community Events

Two people wearing brown aprons that say 'Ask Me OSU Master Gardener'. Talk to a person wearing a tweed hat, holding up a piece of a plant with green leaves.

Our Master Gardener ‘Let’s Talk Plants’ information tabling opportunities at area Farmers Markets and community events are launching soon! Check your schedule and get ready to sign-up for your favorite market or try visiting a market new to you. 

Please look for an email notification this week announcing the opening of registration on CERVIS for most market/community events.  Continue to check CERVIS throughout the season as more opportunities are posted.

Important Note: to allow as many MGs as possible to volunteer for their favorite market, we are limiting sign up for one specific market to 2 shifts maximum, for the first two weeks that registration is open. Please honor this request so that we will not need to unregister those who sign up for more than 2 shifts.

Update Your CERVIS Profile

Sign-up for upcoming volunteer shifts at Farmers Markets and other special volunteer opportunities will be on CERVIS.  In order to be ready to sign-up, when the time comes, please visit CERVIS and update your profile, including your email address, mailing address and phone numbers.

Weston Miller, A Grateful Farewell

Weston Miller

It is bittersweet as we send a fond and grateful farewell to Weston Miller. In February Weston sent a letter to all metro area Master Gardeners sharing the news that he was moving on to a new career opportunity.

Read more as we wish Weston the best on his new venture.


Welcome Amy and Lisa!

We are pleased to welcome two new members to the metro area OSU Master Gardener Program team.

Amy Espinoza

Amy Espinoza is serving as an Education Program Assistant based in Washington County. She supports the Master Gardener volunteer program with a focus on expanding community outreach and service. 

Amy holds a bachelor’s degree with a dual major in Spanish/Arts & Letters, and a Master of Education in Library Media/K-12 classroom teaching. She brings over 20 years of professional experience working with several school districts and libraries, including teaching adult Spanish classes through Portland Community College. 

Amy has a passion for gardening, instilled in part by her mom and aunt, both accomplished gardeners. This year she is keenly focused on ensuring that her one-year-old Pix Zee peach tree will bear fruit despite our cold, wet start to spring.

Lisa Kirby

Lisa Kirby joins the Master Gardener team as an Education Program Assistant based in Multnomah County. She is enthusiastic about the OSU Master Gardener Program having served 10 years as a Master Gardener volunteer.

Lisa has a broad outreach and engagement background with non-profit organizations. Recently Lisa served as both a volunteer and staff member at the Leach Botanical Garden. Her experience with plants extends to working for a number of nurseries in the area.

Lisa is a dedicated sustainable gardener and readily speaks about the impact gardeners can have taking care of the earth and each other. Whether a gardener grows native plants to support pollinators, veggies and fruits to bring to the table, or flowers to share beauty with others.

Both Amy and Lisa bring a wealth of skills and enthusiasm to support the Master Gardener program. Welcome, Amy and Lisa! 

Dam Proud Day – One Day, Everyone Together

Person kneeling next to a raised garden bed growing with onions. Person has an onion in her hand and a black container filled with onions.

On April 26, 2023, Master Gardeners and supporters will come together to show our belief in the Master Gardener program and Oregon State University’s Dam Proud Day.

This 24-hour period is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of the Oregon State community, including supporting Master Gardeners, and stretching ourselves toward our aspirations.

The Master Gardener Program as been chosen as a featured fund on Dam Proud Day, so we have a special opportunity to raise money to support our work.

On one day, can you imagine what we could do together?

Here’s how Master Gardener volunteers, past and present, can help NOW.

1.     Follow OSU Extension Master Gardener on social media. and @mastergardenersOSU on Instagram. Share our stories and posts about Dam Proud Day with your friends and followers.

2.     Show up on April 26th and make a donation online signaling your support for the Master Gardener program. It’s all online, all on one day. Donations large and small are all appreciated. Let’s see if the Master Gardener program can solicit the most donations on Dam Proud Day!

For Oregon State University’s Dam Proud Day, the Master Gardener Program is fundraising to support the Seed to Supper Program and an update of our foundational textbook, the Sustainable Gardening Handbook. The Seed to Supper program is a introductory vegetable gardening course for beginning and low-income gardeners, that includes considerations for gardeners who don’t have easy access to land. Our Sustainable Gardening Handbook is the text used to teach new Master Gardener volunteers. We need to update this resource, to include advances in the science of sustainable gardening, as well as consideration of climate change impacts on Oregon gardeners.

Donations can be as low as $5. A symbolic gift of $50 recognizes the 50 years that the Master Gardener Program has been serving communities across the United States! Every donation helps us get closer to our goal, and unlocking the FIVE challenge grant gifts that we have set up.

On one day, we can show up for gardening and Master Gardeners in Oregon!

OSU Master Gardeners Showing their Pride

Check out the stories of OSU Master Gardeners who reached out to the statewide program team to share why they are #DamProud to be a Master Gardener. Plus see some familiar faces of your fellow metro area Master Gardeners. To read their stories visit the OSU Master Gardener Program News 

Get Ready! It’s Plant Sale Season!

We are all eager for high gardening season and with that comes the excitement of the annual fundraising plant sales of the three metro area Master Gardener Associations.  A chance to load up on wish-list plants and to sign-up for some fun volunteer opportunities

Spring Garden Fair!

May 6th and 7th the iconic Clackamas County Master Gardener Association’s Spring Garden Fair will satisfy anyone’s plant lust! Perennials, annuals, natives, ornamentals, veggie, fruit, herbs, garden art and garden supplies!  10-minute University classes, Soil pH testing, New Plant Introductions, a fabulous raffle and more! Clackamas County Event Center, Canby.

To volunteer for the Spring Garden Fair go to:


May 6th the vibrant Washington County Master Gardener Association’s Gardenfest Plant Sale guides home gardeners in creating beautiful gardens that thrive!  Perennials, shrubs, vegetables, annuals, herbs, and garden tools! Classes that support successful gardening!  Find ideas that inspire as you tour the Washington Co. Master Gardener’s Education Garden. PCC Rock Creek Campus, Portland

To volunteer for the Gardenfest contact Larina Hoffbeck:

Incredible Edibles Plant Sale!

Order TODAY! Plant orders are now open for the Multnomah County Master Gardener Association’s Incredible Edibles Plant Sale. The sale has moved to a pre-order format and is taking orders for organic veggie, fruit and herb plant starts now! Mini classes will guide gardeners in growing a bountiful harvest. Plant orders will be available for pick-up on Saturday, May 13th (NE 16th and Hancock Street).

To volunteer for the Incredible Edibles Plant Sale Set-up on May 12 go to:

To volunteer for the Incredible Edibles Plant Sale on May 13 go to:

Be sure to mark your calendars to join in the fun volunteering and/or shopping to your heart’s content!

In remembrance: Dr. Bernadine Strik

Dr. Bernadine Strik
Credit Dave King

We saddened to share that Dr. Bernadine Strik passed away on April 24.  Dr. Strik was a renowned OSU berry researcher, and educator for 34 years.  She was incredibly generous, sharing her time and vast knowledge teaching Master Gardener classes over the decades. No doubt thousands of Master Gardeners have benefited from her teachings, as she traveled across the state. We send our heartfelt sympathies to her family. Here is more about the dedicated, amazing, kind, generous, Dr. Strik.

Annual Master Gardener Requirements

Need a refresher on the annual requirements to maintain your Master Gardener certification? Visit here for all the details.

Photo of Weston MIller
Weston Miller

It is bittersweet as we send a fond and grateful farewell to Weston Miller. In February, Weston share with all metro area Master Gardeners that he was moving on to a new career opportunity.

Weston has served as our metro area Community and Urban Horticulturist and manager for our metro area Master Gardener Program for the past 15 years.  He has led the program with phenomenal vision, great passion, and modeled leadership for those of us lucky to work alongside him.  

He has taught thousands of Master Gardener volunteers and community members across the state about sustainable gardening and has been a wonderful community partner to many metro area organizations.

Weston held unwavering dedication to expanding the reach of the Master Gardener Program to an even wider audience and breaking down barriers to participation.

His vision to provide a user-friendly online resource for effective, low risk pest solutions for all Oregonians was recently realized with the launch of Solve Pest Problems.

We are grateful to Weston for being a steadfast leader and visionary for the OSU Master Gardener Program and our community.  We wish him the very best in his new journey.

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

Are Ladybugs Harmful? “A Texas A&M AgriLife Extension expert answers questions about the annual swarm of the beetles as temperatures drop.” (Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications)

Bumblebee on yellow flower
Bumble bee – Photo: Sandy Debano, OSU

Adorably, Bumblebees Enjoy Playing Ball For Fun Just Like Dogs And Dolphins- The next step is to get them to master fris-bee.” (Eleanore Higgs,

Another drainage solution that makes problems worse. (Linda Chalker-Scott,

Home Greenhouses III: Basic Structure Types. (John Porter,

Boy’s discovery reveals highly complex plant-insect interaction. “Research conducted at Penn State and SUNY Buffalo State uncovers a previously unknown insect-plant-insect interaction.” (Sara La Jeunesse, PennState University)

9,500-Year-Old Tree Found in Sweden Is the World’s Oldest Tree. (

Red apple on branch
Apple – PHoto: Jennifer Alexander, OSU

Chill out!  Winter cold and chill hours for fruit. (Pam Knox,

Potential Contaminants in Residential Rain Barrel Water (Home Garden Series). Residential gardeners often use rain barrels to collect rainwater from roofs as a supplement to summer irrigation. Rainwater is a natural and unchlorinated water source for aquatic plants and animals. However, rooftop runoff can be contaminated by chemical and biological pollutants from atmospheric deposition, bird droppings, and the roofing material itself.” (Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU)

Lady Beetles: Should We Buy Them for Our Gardens? (Home Garden Series). “Many gardeners purchase these insects online or at nurseries and garden centers for release on their property. This publication discusses the drawbacks to the use of purchased lady beetles and suggests some alternatives for attracting and retaining local species.” (Linda Chalker-Scott, Michael R. Bush, WSU)

New tomato bred to naturally resist pests and curb disease. “A Cornell researcher has completed a decades-long program to develop new varieties of tomato that naturally resist pests and limit transfer of viral disease by insects.” (Krishna Ramanujan, Cornell University)

The World’s Largest Giant Waterlily was Found for the First Time in More Than a Century (

Why Larvae of One Wasp Species Often Eat Their Siblings. While episodes of sibling rivalry among humans can sometimes be amusing, it is not so funny in the animal kingdom, where it often results in cannibalism and “siblicide.” Researchers at Japan’s Kobe College have been studying this phenomenon in the parasitoid wasp Isodontia harmandi for the past few years.” (Ed Ricciuti,

Stream of golden colored oil falling in pool of oil.
Petroleum Distillates – NPIC

Petroleum distillates.  “Petroleum distillates are separated from crude oil for many industrial uses. They can be found on a pesticide product label as active or “other/inert” ingredients. Mineral oil, naphtha, heavy fuel oil, waxes, and benzene are examples of petroleum distillates.” Learn more:

Pesticide Home Remedies. (Master Gardeners do not give out home remedies) (

Plant Stressors: 10 Ways You Unknowingly Stress Your Plants. Plants can help us overcome stress in a variety of ways, but did you realize your plant can exhibit stress symptoms as well. A stressed plant is more susceptible to insect and disease problems. Here are ten ways you may unknowingly stress your plants.”(Maxine Hunter,

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

Two people kneeling in a garden plot with hands in soil.
Photo: Oregon State University

The scientific reasons you should resolve to start gardening in 2023.  “Funded by the American Cancer Society, the first-ever, randomized, controlled trial of community gardening found that those who started gardening ate more fiber and got more physical activity—two known ways to reduce risk of cancer and chronic diseases. They also saw their levels of stress and anxiety significantly decrease.” (Lisa Marshall,

REVISED PUBLICATION: Gardening with Oregon Native Plants West of the Cascades.  Growing a garden in western Oregon is easier when you include native plants. That’s because native plants are adapted to our wet winters and dry summers. Native plants also provide benefits to native pollinators and other wildlife. Learn where to find native plants for your garden, how to care for them and which plants are best for pots and small gardens. This publication also includes an illustrated list of Pacific Northwest native plants that are easy to establish and grow.” (Linda McMahan, Heather Stoven, Erika Szonntag, OSU)

Dorsal view of Northern Giant Hornet with wings outstretched.
Northern Giant Hornet,
Oregon Department of Agriculture

REVISED PUBLICATION: Northern Giant Hornet: A Potential Threat to Honeybee Colonies in Oregon.  “The northern giant hornet was detected in British Columbia and Washington in 2019. This publication outlines the identification, life cycle, and predatory habits of the northern giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) for beekeepers. It also provides recommendations for reporting a suspected sighting in the Pacific Northwest (Ellen Topitzhofer, et al, OSU)

REVISED PUBLICATION: Growing Your OWN.  “Growing Your Own is now available as a bilingual publication in Spanish and English! It provides basic advice on a wide range of gardening topics, including composting, container gardens, fall/winter gardens, fertilizing, insect pests, plant diseases, planting guidelines, raised beds, site selection, slugs, soil improvement, tilling, warm-season crops, watering, and weeds. Includes regional tips for various parts of Oregon.” (Gail Langellotto, OSU)

Vaccine protects honeybees. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a conditional license for a vaccine that protects honeybees against American Foulbrood disease. (Simrin Singh,

Companion plants, they are not what you think!  Companion plants! Great, what a good idea. When you first hear the term and think about the concept it sounds great, but there is a lot to not to like about it. The term “companion plants” implies that these plants are partners and they “enjoy” each other’s company.  The term is an anthropomorphism or overlaying human qualities on non-human organisms.  A more appropriate term may be plant associates or plant associations, a term taken from plant ecology which more basis for its use.” (Jim Downer,

Goodbye to 2022 and hello, 2023!  A review of “…the weather and climate of the past year, both the average conditions and some of the extremes we saw.” (Pam Knox,

Pest Profile: Spotted Lanternfly. Be on the lookout! The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, is a 1-inch long planthopper native to China, and has since spread to Japan, South Korea, and the United States.” (Abi Saeed,

So you think you want a home greenhouse, do you?  “… home greenhouses have been a “thing” for a long, long while – from well-to-do folks with conservatories on their estates to the more common and basic home greenhouse in the last few decades.  But shifting interests, and more/cheaper options have made home greenhouses more accessible to the masses.” (John Porter,

Field of sunflowers in bloom.
Photo: Harry Olson

Sunflowers Linked to Reduced Varroa Mite Infestations in Honeybees.  “A new study indicates a benefit to honeybees of local sunflower cropland.  Even low levels of sunflower acreage nearby correlate with reduced Varroa mite infestation in managed colonies, researchers found, and supplemental sunflower pollen helps ward off the mites as well.” (Paige Embry,

HIRING AN ARBORIST– MGs sometimes can’t identify a tree problem via a phone call or email.  Our diagnostic skills are limited in that we can’t go to the site to see the tree in person.  Photos and the plant’s history can provide a wealth of information, but sometimes seeing the tree on site may be necessary to give a correct diagnosis.  In such cases, clients should be advised to hire a Certified Arborist.

Here are a few suggestions on hiring a ‘Certified Arborist’:

  • As representatives of OSU, Master Gardeners don’t endorse a specific business or
  • Many commercial companies employ Certified Arborists–This means that they have passed tests recommended for their industry and have taken part in continuing education to further their knowledge.
  • Suggest client search on the internet, ‘Tree’ or ‘Trees’ or ‘Tree Service’ in their area.
  • Then look for statement or logo stating Certified Arborist.
  • Some companies may charge a fee for an on-site inspection.
  • Check to see if licensed and bonded.
  • Encourage client to get at least 3 estimates before selecting a company to do any work. 
  • The International Society of Arboriculture certifies arborists and has list of their certified arborists (more info below.)

Clients can be referred to ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) for information on Certified Arborists: “ISA exists so that professionals, allied professionals, public officials, and consumers worldwide recognize the economic, environmental, and societal benefits and values of trees and their care at a cost that demonstrates the wise stewardship of resources.”   Go to: (click on the link ‘Find an Arborist’). 

This takes you to the site: ‘Trees Are Good’ ( ). “The International Society of Arboriculture manages ‘’ …an educational website that provides the public with quality tree care information…helps increase awareness of the benefits of trees and provides homeowners and other tree owners with access to resources to help sustain trees in an urban environment. Examples of a few resources you’ll find on include: