Spring Garden Fair

Events Calendar

For our Members
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We hold free lectures on the 2nd Monday of each month (except July and August) at the Milwaukie Center (5540 SE Kellogg Creek Drive in Milwaukie).  

Lectures are open to the public and start at 7 p.m.  Each lecture features an expert presentation about an interesting gardening topic. If you have a physical disability that requires special considerations in order for you to attend the event/activity, please notify the metro Master Gardener program at 503-655-8631 or jean.bremer@oregonstate.edu

Scroll to the bottom of the page for info on past lectures.




December 8, 2014

Designing & Equipping the Home Greenhouse, Rick Warner, Sturdi-built Greenhouse Mfg, Portland, Or


Rick Warner will give an overview of considerations to be made when planning a home greenhouse, including location, materials, heating, cooling, lighting and ventilation.


Rick Warner is the owner and manager of Sturdi-built Greenhouse Mfg. in Portland.  Sturdi-built is a small, family business and one of the first builders of residential greenhouse kits in the Pacific Northwest. 


2015 Lectures

January 12, 2015

"Birdening", What's That? Come Find Out! , Linda Beutler

Linda Beutler is a fearless gardener who grows a great number of plants on a simple, flat 50' x 100' city lot in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. She was a professional florist for over 20 years, and her first love in her own garden was growing flowers and foliage for cutting. Linda has been an instructor of horticulture at Clackamas Community College for 16 years. Her classes include Herbaceous Perennials (summer term) and The Flower Arranger's Garden I & II (autumn and spring terms). Linda is the author of two books, Gardening with Clematis (Timber Press 2004) and Garden to Vase (Timber Press 2007), both now sadly out-of-print.


Linda's other concurrent career is as curator of the Rogerson Clematis Collection, a position she has held since 2007. Starting in June 2013, Linda is the first American, and first woman, to hold the position of President of the International Clematis Society, of which she has long been an active member. Linda continues to speak nationally on numerous gardening topics including clematis selection and cultivation, growing cutting gardens, selection and cultivation of "old garden roses," and "birdening," selecting plants that attract birds to the garden.



February 9, 2015

Rain Gardens, Scott Buley


Scott will show us why rain gardens optimally use locally available plants, and the trade-off with adapted plants.  He also will discuss considerations in engineering rain garden beds for different soils, topography and plants.  We will understand what rain gardens can do for the landscape:  roadside basins, permeable and pervious surfacing, and how they are better for the environment.


Scott Buley owns Rain Garden Nursery which grows Pacific Northwest native nursery stock and other plants for naturalized gardens and shade tree plantings.  Scott, an OSU graduate, has extensive training in turf renovation and landscape restoration.  His extensive landscape projects include the Oregon Garden, Oregon City Rose Farm Museum and the Westerly Stud Thoroughbred Horse Ranch.  And, best of all, Scott transformed the garden of Clackamas County Master Gardener Dee Linde.



March 9, 2015

Iris Demystified, Chad Harris, Mt Pleasant Iris Farm


Chad Harris of Mt Pleasant Iris Farm has been growing many different species of irises in southwest Washington for over 30 years. He is respected in the iris world as a Master Judge with the American Iris Society and for his work with Iris ensata of which several of his introductions hold National Awards. He also enjoys working with the Asian water species Iris laevigata.

He also writes articles and gives presentations on Japanese iris judging and culture.

All plants do better in an environment that suits their needs. Irises are no different. Bearded irises tend to be less demanding in their requirements, but different classes and varieties can need distinct care. Beardless iris, like Siberian and Japanese iris, can vary widely in their growing needs, with Japanese iris being the most demanding.

Specializing in wet-land-loving iris of Asia, Mt. Pleasant Iris Farm also grows other iris species and garden test many newer bearded iris that require less water. Currently he and a handful of hybridizers worldwide are usingIris ensatato create a new iris hybrid that is longer blooming and more tolerant of cultural needs.

Chad will bring his vast knowledge of irises to us and show us how irises can be standouts in any garden setting.



April 13, 2015

The Challenge of Weeds, Chip Bubl, OSU Extension Agent


Chip has been an agricultural Extension agent with Oregon State University for over 30 years. His areas of interest include horticultural crops/landscape and invasive weed management, vegetable production, and vertebrate pest management.  He has taught in the MG program since the mid 1980’s.

This weed presentation will cover identification and management of some of the more challenging garden and home landscape weeds; a look at the effectiveness of organic herbicides; and a brief  discussion of ornamental plants that wander too easily.



May 11, 2015

Hardy Fuchias, Ann Detweiler, Fry Road Nursery


When Ron and Deb Monnier closed their nursery, Monnier’s Country Gardens, in 2009, their hardy fuchsia collection was purchased by Fry’s Road Nursery in Albany.  Ann Detweiler and Mark Leichty founded this nursery in 1987 and offer a large array of plants including hardy fuchsias and tropical plants.

Ann Detweiler will present information on the care, culture, and varieties of hardy fuchsias.  Not to be confused with their tender hanging basket relatives, hardy fuchsias are able to withstand our winters, and become  permanent, substantial  contributors to the outdoor landscape.



June 8, 2015

Perennial Combinations, Tom Fischer, Timber Press


Every gardener wants to create breathtaking designs with color, form and texture.  But perennial combinations present challenges:  How do I know all plants will bloom at the same time?  How do I pick plants that have interest in each season?  Most perplexing – which plants look good together in the first place?


Tom Fischer will shed light on this topic, drawing ideas from his book, Perennial Companions, and local gardens. In addition, Tom will highlight outstanding plants that are good "mixers".

New gardeners will learn how to create simple pairings with two plants, and gardeners with a bit more experience will find complex arrangements with four or more plants.  Whether you want to create a small-scale sanctuary, a welcoming path, or a bewitching border, you’ll find an abundance of inspiration in this talk.

Tom is an editor of a publishing company of horticultural and other books.  His talks are always delightful, with great information, and illustrated with vivid images.

Every gardener wants to create breathtaking designs with color, form and texture.  But perennial combinations present challenges:  How do I know all plants will bloom at the same time?  How do I pick plants that have interest in each season?  Most perplexing – which plants look good together in the first place?



September 14, 2015

The Mystery of Terroir in Oregon – the Relationship of Geology, Soils, and Climate to Wine,

Dr. Scott Burns

Professor Emeritus of Geology and Past-Chair of the Dept. of Geology at Portland State University.


Dr. Burns has been teaching for 44 years, with past positions in Switzerland, New Zealand, Washington, Colorado and Louisiana.  Scott  specializes  in environmental and engineering geology, geomorphology, soils, terroir and Quaternary geology. 

Wines differ from each other based on seven different factors: the type of grape; the bedrock geology and resulting soils; the climate; the soil hydrology; the physiography of the site; the winemaker; and the vineyard management techniques. 

The first five of these factors make up what the French call terroir, “the taste of the place”.  Bedrocks weather into soils which then liberate chemical nutrients to the grape vines.  Twelve of the sixteen essential elements for wine grapes come from the soil.  All around the world the geology and soils make up an important component of the terroir of the wine.


Using examples from the Willamette Valley of Oregon, terroir of the region will be discussed because it is strongly influenced by the bedrock geology and soils. 


October 12, 2015

Creating Wildlife Habitat in Your Backyard, Gaylen Beatty, Columbia Land Trust

There are many reasons to garden for wildlife and recent research shows urban/suburban gardens can play an important role in the preservation of wildlife.  In fact, 2,100 residents of the Portland metropolitan area are doing their parts through the Backyard Habitat Certification Program.

Gaylen Beatty will make creating a wildlife habitat in your home garden easy. She will share proven techniques such as meadowscaping and native hedgerows. These practical ideas will add food and shelter for area wildlife.



November 9, 2015

Cool Plants and New Trends, Dave Doolittle, Petal Heads Nursery


Dave spent 14 years of his career working for 2 of the nation's premier breeders and propagators specializing in annuals, perennials, succulents, flowering shrubs, and ornamental grasses. During this time he was able to travel the world in search of cultivars that are not typically found in garden centers, and befriended a network of breeders that hybridize the finest genetics in the horticulture industry. Annilese has collected plants since her adolescence, has a degree in horticulture from the university of Illinois, and has worked in the industry for several years. She has a keen eye for cool plants and enjoys predicting trends and profitable plant ventures.

Dave and Annilese Doolittle launched Petal Heads™ in the summer of 2008 with the vision of offering unique plants, both annual and perennial, to other plant enthusiasts. They wanted to create a nursery that was a destination for some of the most sought after plants, as well as a location where fellow Petal Heads™ could experience the intimacy of hearing the "story behind the plants."  To this day Dave and Annilese still share this eagerness to have their customers go home with plants they can connect with.



December 14, 2015

"Walks on the Wild Side" with Grant McOmie

Grant McOmie, is the reporter and producer of the outdoor series, “Grant’s Getaways” that air weekly on KGW News Channel 8.  A native Oregonian, he is a journalist, author, and teacher who writes and produces special programs about environmental issues, people, places, and outdoor activities in the Pacific Northwest.

Grant McOmie will be sharing some of the many wildlife adventures featured in his, 2015 book, “Walks on the Wild Side.”



January 13, 2014

Looking Up – The Benefits of our Oldest Trees, Brian French


Story in the Pamplin Clackamas Review Newspaper


The oldest trees in our communities have value and benefits for people , wildlife and our landscape.  Brian will also show his video “Ascending the Giants” about “treeversing” in the Oregon City area.

Brian French is a certified arborist/tree risk assessor who has worked with top researchers in the United States and abroad.  During Brian’s travels, he has worked with urban forests in many cities and has a unique perspective of historic, old-growth and veteran trees.  He is the Oregon State Coordinator for the Champion Tree Registry.


February 10, 2014

This program was cancelled because of illness but was substituted by a great presentation by Master Gardener, Ken Lister, talking about his work and travel experiences in the Gardens of Scotland. Thank you Ken.

Espalier – An Artistry of Plant Training and Mastery , Mary Van Agtmael

To espalier is when we attempt to control the nature of a plant by structuring its growth pattern with the use of rigid form.  It works better than training our children, spouses or pets, according to Mary.

After being raised on a farm and then gardening on her own property, Mary took the MG course in Linn/Benton Counties in 2007. She realized she really didn’t know plants and gardening techniques. Later, Mary discovered espaliering in growing grapes. Now she teaches people how to espalier so that anyone can grow a tree fruit.



March 10, 2014

Companion Planting and Rotation for the Vegetable Garden, Darrin Morgan of Shonnard's Nursery


Improve yields with less work.  Inter-planting and companion planting use the natural aspects of some plants to repel insects and diseases, balance nutrient use, and otherwise encourage other plants to grow.  Crop rotation differs from companion planting in some respects, but uses many of the same principles to produce higher crop yields with few pests and disease problems and nutrient inputs.

Darren grew up gardening and farming in the northern Willamette Valley.  He has worked at Shonnard’s, in both landscape and nursery divisions, for 24 years.  He enjoys drawing, writing and backpacking, as well as gardening.



April 14, 2014

How to Build a Living Wreath (and/or Vertical Panel), Becky Sell of Sedum Chicks


Becky will do a live demonstration on the creation of living wreaths while chatting to us about sedums and sempervivums.  It is no longer just the “Hens and Chicks” that are available to the gardener.  Sedums have grown leaps and bounds with wonderful colors and varieties. 


Becky Sell co-proprietor of Sedum Chicks Nursery, a local company that has been specializing in sedums and sempervivums since 1999.  They are known for their whimsical and elegant sedum plantings.  Sedum Chicks has been a vendor in our Spring Garden Fair for many years.


She will bring plants and tools that she uses for us to buy.


May 12, 2014

Making the Most of Small Gardens, Master Gardener Jolly Butler

Small spaces offer big opportunities for creating lively, colorful gardens.  Master Gardener, Jolly Butler, will guide us through the special design considerations, consideration of scale, soil needs and the many plant options available for creating a delightful small space garden.


Jolly Butler became familiar to gardeners throughout the Portland area through her “Gardening 101” column in Garden Showcase  magazine.  Many gardeners learned their gardening basics in her classes at Portland Community College.



June 9, 2014
Impact of Urban Trees, Geoffrey Donovan, US Forestry

Trees provide a broad range of benefits to urban residents. These benefits range from the intuitive – lower summertime cooling costs, for example – to more surprising benefits such as crime reduction and improved public health. This talk provides an overview of Geoffrey Donovan’s research that measures these benefits. Drawing from research findings, Dr. Donovan will offer practical advice for gardeners on the most beneficial ways to use trees in your home landscape.

Geoffrey Donovan of US Forestry
Dr. Donovan has a bachelor’s degree from Sheffield University in biochemistry and a doctorate in forest economics from Colorado State University. He works as a research forester for the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station (since 2001). His two main research areas are the economics of wildfire and quantifying the benefits of urban trees.

September 8, 2014

Wildlife Viewing Opportunities on the National Wildlife Refuges along the Oregon Coast

Roy W. Lowe, Project Leader for the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

Six National Wildlife Refuges span 320 miles of the Oregon coast. These refuges harbor a variety of coastal and marine habitats that support diverse and abundant wildlife. From sea stars to shorebirds, puffins to falcons, sea lions to seabirds, wildlife can be seen year round. Learn when and where to find the wildlife spectacles.

Roy has been employed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more than 37 years. He previously worked in Alabama and San Francisco Bay Area. He has been stationed in Newport, Oregon since 1985



October 13, 2014

The Art of Bonsai, Scott Elser

The art of bonsai is in training the trees in containers to represent ancient trees found in nature. Bonsai trees can live to be hundreds of years old. Scott will talk about bonsai and the breadth of styles, sizes and species that it encompasses with live examples. He will also show us how to make and maintain bonsai specimens.


Scott is a national award winning bonsai enthusiast whose broad collection of trees includes native, conifer, deciduous, fruiting, and flowering bonsai that he shares regularly at local and national shows



November 10, 2014

Weather and Gardening, Rod Hill, KGW Meteorogist



Rod will speak to us about how the changing weather patterns will affect us and our gardens.  Why is the weather changing?  What can we expect in the future? 


Rod Hill’s forecasting career has spanned more than 20 years, taking him from the hurricanes of South Texas to the lake effect snows of Michigan, the tornadoes of the Ohio valley and the hard to predict weather of the Pacific Northwest.


Rod grew up in Missouri and graduated from Mizzou. He later earned his certificate of broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State. Soon after, Rod earned the seal of approval from the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association. His forecasting achievements include two Emmy awards for best meteorologist and three Associated Press awards for best weathercast in Oregon.



Details and program notes from our 2011, 2012 and 2013 lectures.

Master Gardeners™ are trained volunteers, educated through OSU Extension Service to offer the local community Reliable, Relevant and Reachable gardening information and education opportunities.


Reliable: our gardening advice and education is science-based.
Relevant: customized information for your gardening situation.
Reachable: Call us on the phone, email us a question, or visit with us at markets or gardens in your community.


Click here for more information on becoming a Master Gardener: What does it take to be a Master Gardener Volunteer?

Oregon State University Extension Service offers educational programs, activities, and materials without discrimination based on age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran's status. Oregon State University Extension Service is an Equal Opportunity Employer.



last updated on November 23, 2014