Spring Garden Fair

Events Calendar

For our Members
return home

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.





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.



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. 


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




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 October 15, 2014