Coconino Master Gardener Association

Currently, warblers of several species are migrating through Flagstaff towards Canada and beyond. The Yellow Warblers, like this little guy are often an exception. They frequently choose to remain in Flagstaff throughout the summer. All of the warblers are busily searching the innermost branches of shrubs and trees for insects.
Photo by Cindy Murray.

Welcome to the Coconino County Master Gardeners' Association Blog. The mission of the Coconino Master Gardener Program is to support the University of Arizona by providing researched-based information on environmentally responsible gardening and landscaping to the public. The program creates a corps of well-informed volunteers, and delivers quality horticultural education programs adapted to our regional high elevation environment. The mission of the association is to provide support for those volunteers and Master Gardener graduates, continuing education, and opportunities to participate in community programs that increase the visibility and participation in the Master Gardener Program.
On this site you will find gardening news, links, a calendar for local events, volunteer opportunities, book reviews, agenda/minutes for our association monthly meetings, and association documents and contacts.
The Coconino County Master Gardener Association was founded in 2009 by a small group of master gardeners with the help of Hattie Braun the Director of the MG Program. After several small meetings it was opened to all master gardeners on May 21st, 2009. Meetings are held monthly on the 2rd Thursday of each month from 6:30pm - 8:30pm. We meet at the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church (1601 N. San Francisco). The agenda usually includes continuing education and a short business meeting. Watch this blog for the agenda and minutes for all meetings. Contacts for the association (officers and committee chairs) are listed at the bottom of this blog.

Reporting Master Gardener Hours

All master gardener trainees and certified master gardeners need to report their hours.
Beginning in 2010 certified master gardeners need to have 6 Education hours and 12 Volunteer hours in order to maintain certification.The on line reporting system allows you to report Education or Volunteer hours.
If you have any questions or concerns about the new reporting system, please contact Crys Wells or Hattie Braun. Their contacts are listed at the bottom of the blog under
Link to reporting

Ideas for hours------
--Attend monthly meetings
--Work on an association committee
--Work at an informational booth for the Master Gardeners
--Be a speaker about gardening topics at a variety of venues

--Host a garden tour
--Work at the home show
--Work at a MG site (Olivia White Hospice, the Arboretum, Riordan Mansion, or school gardens (many others)). Check out the Assoc. Doc. & Forms under Volunteer Sites.
--Work in the Extension office
--Write an article for the newspaper column -Gardening Excetera
-Volunteer with the Seed Library
Be creative! There are many ways to fulfill your hours. Just remember for volunteering it needs to be a non-profit endeavor or an approved for profit site.

Change in Contact Information

Have you moved or changed your e-mail address, but would still like to be contacted about high elevation gardening information from the Extension? The Coconino County Extension Master Gardener Program has a site that will let you change your information on-line.

Click here to change your contact information!

Event Calendar

Monday, May 30, 2011

Compost Material

Looking for some material for composting? Catherine Sullivan from NAU Sustainability has coffee grounds for free from NAU Campus Dining. She is located at 1050 S. Knoles Drive, Bldg 30, room 235. She can be reached at 928-523-5620.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Looking for a Home for Koi Fish

Subject: pond koi need a home

I have 7 beautiful koi/goldfish ranging from 10" to 4" in an indoor freshwater pond. I must find a home for them as I am moving 6/6/11. The Arboretum, Willow Bend and Hospice can't accommodate them. I haven't asked Warner's yet. I am hoping you know a MG that might want and love them. I have had them for 5 years, they are very healthy.

Thank you, Ellie 928 774 0907

AERA Walks 2011

Arizona Ethnobotanical Research Association

Sunday Morning Walks: Meet at 8:00 am
May 22 Montezuma Well
June 5 Tuzigoot
July 31 Walnut Canyon
August 7 Sunset Crater
August 28 Wupatki
Sept 11 Montezuma Castle

Wednesday Evening Walks: Meet at 5 pm
June 15 Elden Pueblo
August 17 Old Caves Crater

Easy-Moderate Hiking. All ages and levels welcome.
Plan on 4 hours/ $20 donation for Sunday walks & 2 hours/ $10 donation for Wednesday walks. Park fees will also be required for some locations.
Bring clothes for the weather, water, snacks/lunch. Carpool.
Meeting place announced with registration.
To register or for more info, call Winter Sun at 774-2884 or email

Daily Sun Gardening Etcetera 5/28/11

Tam Ngyuen
While my husband, Sam, and I were walking along Clear Creek in Camp Verde, to my surprise I saw a plantago major L (common plantain.) It was a dead ringer for what Vietnamese call ripple grass. For me, the leaves look like a soup spoon. Americans treat it as a weed, but in Vietnam it is herbal medicine.

My Dad used it as a treatment for urinary tract infection for me. He pulled all the plant from the ground, cleaned off the dirt, cut it small pieces, and then boiled it in water adding a little salt, making as a soup. I ate the soup for a week and then my urinary tract infection was over. It was cured.

The people in village mashed the leaves and use the viscous liquid to apply on burns from flames. In the hospital, they made an ointment from the leaves to apply on smaller burns. There are different uses for another treatment, too. The plant is processed inside a laboratory and turned into a good product for hemorrhoids used topically.

It has many uses for health. It depends on how the laboratories compound it for using.

We can cut enough fresh leaves into small, thin pieces to fill a small pot and put glycerine on it to cover the leaves. Mix the leaves together and stir until finished. Sift the solution and keep in a dark jar. This ointment works calming the itching skin rash.

With me, I like plantagino major L because I can eat it as soup. This plant growth begins at spring and grows fast in summer. The good time to collect leaves is around May to July, but for the seeds it will be later one more month.

It was surprise me when I saw them here in the desert. I was so happy to see this kind of plants again. It reminded me a wonderful time with my Dad, talking about interesting plants, spending time to watching them, and, also, stories about climates, weather, soils, all the necessary conditions for plant grow up. It seems my home town here. It just looked exactly like the plants which my Dad used for me. And it was also the plant my Dad and I have been talking about it. It was a kind of weed that has many cures for health, but it still has secrets for me because this kind of weeds grow many different places on the world.

This plant still is a grass on the forest. I did some researching around for plantago major L. There are several experimental programs using plantago major L. It was proof for me about my Dad. He was not just a farmer in the highlands of Vietnam, using folklore to help me cure about urinary tract infection. And he also had been using the plant for hypertension and blood sugar control. He told me about the miracle of the plant because it can be used as treatment for the symptoms of asthma. This is important for me because Sam has suffered from asthma for most of his life. The plantago major L permeates the bronchial passages and brings relief. The folklore will maybe become the truth, but it also has a long story of us as an alternative medicine dating back to ancient time.

The plants are still out on the creek. It just make me feel good about the wild weeds. It can turn out for good purpose if we can domesticate it for herbal medicine or just simple as a green house vegetable.

The leaves of plantago major L in the salad are a rich source of vitamin C. In the early spring, it becomes used especially for extra vitamin C when people want fresh vegetables. It is so nice for culinary uses and can be used in a vegetable soup. It is simple to make a bowl of soup. Just cut the leaves in small pieces as you want and cook with shrimp or chicken broth, maybe even though with only the water. It is so delicious. It helps for intestine. Just put a little medicine in the soup bowl.

Tam Ngyuen, a Master Gardener, is a student at The Literacy Center and NAU. Dana Prom Smith edits Gardening Etcetera, blogs at, and his email is

Friday, May 20, 2011

Daily Sun Gardening Etcetera 5/21/11

Dana Prom Smith

Bob Feller, the legendary high-kicking, pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, once said, “Trying to sneak a fast-ball by Ted Williams was like trying to sneak a sunbeam by a rooster in the morning.” Bob Feller came straight off an Iowa farm at 17 into the major leagues so he knew something about both fast-balls and roosters. His father built a “field of dreams” for him down by the barn and named it Oak View Park. He credited his arm strength and ball speed with milking cows, picking corn, and baling hay, not steroids. He was reliable.

At one time, his fast-ball was measured at 107.6 miles per hour. In his entire career of 18 years at Cleveland, he pitched 266 victories and 162 losses with 2,581 strike outs. A few days after Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Navy and eventually became a chief petty officer as a gun captain firing the famed Bofors on the U.S.S. Alabama.

When it comes to gardening in Flagstaff, reliability is important. Our climate doesn’t tolerate poop-out vegetables, and the best non-poop-outers are root vegetables, such as beets. Root vegetables don’t have the same panache as does a mesclun of arugula, frisée, chervil, and radicchio thrown with balsamic vinegar, goat cheese, dried cranberries, and pine nuts and served with a fine chardonnay accompanied by a string quartet, but like “Bullet Bob,” beets pack a lot more punch.

Beets are incredibly nutritious. They’re not only jammed with antioxidants, they’re also anti-inflammatory and foster detoxification, especially heavy and radio-active metals. Those alone would make them wunderbar, but there’s more: iron, copper, zinc, manganese, iodine, fiber, starch, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins A, B, B5, B6, C, E, and folic acid. My mother told me carrots were brain food. So are beets, and all of us need a little help there.

In addition to all that, they’re easy to grow. Any damned fool can grow them. I know because I do. Beet seeds look a little like Grapenuts but are actually small bundles of seeds. As with nearly everything else in the garden, they require a nutritious, friable soil, compost-loaded soil.
Fertilizer should be low in nitrogen for the sake of the root. The seeds are best planted one inch apart in rows 12-18 inches apart with successive sowings every three weeks for a continuous crop. When plants are a few inches high, it’s best to thin them to 3-4 inches apart so the roots will have growing space. Also, they need regular watering and weed picking.

The only problem with beets is cooking them because they stain. Surgical gloves keep the stain off the hands, and lemon juice removes beet stains from the skin. Beets shouldn’t be cooked too long for fear of adversely affecting their nutritive value and color, 25 minutes for steaming and nothing over an hour for roasting. Leave an inch or so of the tail and the leaves to prevent staining. The skin can easily be slipped off after steaming or roasting.

They can also be pickled, but that’s a “whole ‘nother story.” Olga Johnson has a great recipe for borsch at (

Happily, God has blessed us with many varieties. Several of the favorites are bull’s blood, Burpee’s golden, Detroit dark red, and di Chiogga. The last one has concentric circles of light and dark and is favored for salads. They are sweet, tangy, and a delight to the eye as well as the tongue.

In addition to the root, beet leaves are also a desideratum and can well be added to a mesclun to give it a little fire-power. Beets are often denigrated to the accordion-beer-and-brats category, but, nowadays, they’re actually dernier cri (the latest in fashion) served with a fine pinot noir. Some are tempted to slight them because they’re a root, but no less a person than the food critic for The New York Times considers them “the new spinach,” so full are they of nutrients and flavor.

Bob Feller said, “I just reared back and let them go,” and go they did. Beets are a 107.6 mph worth of goodness and taste. Go beets! Go!
Copyright © Dana Prom Smith 2011
Dana Prom Smith edits GARDENING ETCETERA. His email address is His blog is

Monday, May 16, 2011

Daily Sun Gardening Etcetera 5/14/11

Ann Marie Zeller
Our garden in Foxglen is at the bottom of a slope in a good area for gardening, at least as far as Flagstaff gardening goes. Every year in May and June the garden dries out and the fires come. Often giant planes and helicopters fly overhead dropping slurry and water. Our forests are thick and ready to burn so my husband and I decided to get out and have a look at the forest. We took a wilding trip.
A wilding permit allows people to go out onto the National Forest and dig up trees. The permits are available in the fall and spring while the trees are dormant and the ground is not frozen. They may be purchased at the Peaks Ranger Station just past the mall on Marketplace, 5075 Highway 89. The wrong office is located on Thompson, next to the Arizona Daily Sun. It’s an interesting place but still the wrong office.
The office at the Peaks Ranger Station was full of flyers, books, displays and all kinds of information. Wilding permits are $1.00 per tree foot with a minimum purchase of $20.00 or 20 feet of trees. This year Douglas fir, White fir, Ponderosa pine, Pinion pine, juniper, oak, and locust could be dug up. Aspens haven’t been available for four years because they’re having difficulty surviving. Aspens are hard to grow in town anyway.

We checked the permit maps and cross-referenced them with a forest service map. There are several wilding areas. We decided to look at the wilding area near the Arizona Snowbowl. The rules are simple: no digging up trees on private land, stay 100 feet from the main road, fill in your holes, and hand tools only.

The process is more difficult, especially when we wanted to insure every tree’s survival. When we got into the forest, we realized how dense and unhealthy it is. We could have dug up 10,000 small trees and still made no impact. The secret to digging up the trees is to think small. Small trees are easier to dig, plant, and put in the truck. A small fir tree will double in size in four years, quadruple in eight and be quite large in sixteen. We brought two pointed shovels, a large plastic pot, our permit, the forest service map, and the wilding permit information and maps.
We picked a four foot fir on a slope in the rocks. It took us nearly an hour to dig up the little tree. Next, two trees two feet high in a flat area without rocks was much better. We loaded the trees into a large plastic pot and head home.
When planting the trees think big, such as what the trees will look like full size. Calculate the fences. Dig big holes. Place the tree in the middle of the hole and use the soil mark on the trunk as a guide about the depth. Transplants should not have their trunks deeply covered with soil or mulch. With the soil dug from the planting hole, mix one part peat moss for every two parts of soil. This will help the plant retain moisture and keep the soil from compacting too much, allowing the tree’s roots to grow more easily. Finish filling the hole with the soil and peat moss mixture. Periodically tamp the soil with your foot and add water to remove air pockets and pack the soil firmly around the roots. Create a 'saucer' around the edge of the planting by building up a two inch high ridge to prevent water from escaping before it soaks into the ground. Water the new plant well. Allow the water to soak into the ground and ensure that the soil around the planting stays moist. Adequate water supply is essential for the survival of the tree. New trees need water almost every day for the first month or so and then twice a week for the rest of the year. Once established they will survive without being watered.
For a few dollars and a lot of work, we can help the forest thrive and beautify our yards.
Ann Marie Zeller was a winner of the 2010 Garden Competition. Dana Prom Smith, editor of GARDENING ETCETERA, can be reached at and blogs at

Monday, May 9, 2011

Daily Sun Gardening Etcetera 5/7/11

Dana Prom Smith

In the morning damp, Gretchen found a hummingbird lying on the cold stones of our front patio. At first, we thought it dead, but when I picked it up, it quivered, its long peak twitching, thirsting for nectar. For a moment I didn’t know what to do, but then I remembered that God kept his eye on the sparrow.

The hummingbird was beautiful with a bright bronze breast, a miniature Roman centurion. I took it off the cold stone and placed it in the sun on our deck in the backyard. It ruffled its wings and flew off. We were jubilant. Shortly, Gretchen saw it lying on the ground below the deck. I brought it back to the deck to warm in the sun, and Gretchen gave it a cap full of nectar. There was no movement. The bird was dead, and I buried it in our garden amidst the peonies, a butterfly bush, and larkspur with enough nectar for the flight into the next world.

We wondered why we were so moved at the death of a bird. It brought to mind our helplessness at the death of our mothers. We began Sigmund Freud’s “free association” and William James’ “stream of consciousness.” Gretchen first mentioned the death of her mother and that brought to mind the death of my mother.

Gretchen’s mother died just short of her 96th birthday after she had eaten breakfast and had decided the time had come to finish her journey on earth. She wanted to die alone, having made it clear to Gretchen that she did not want nurses hovering around her bed or Gretchen making a special trip for her parting. Alfred North Whitehead’s said that religion is what individuals do with their solitariness. She wanted to die in God’s presence in her solitariness.

My mother died, riddled cancer, near Thanksgiving at age 67. As she lay dying, I held her hand, talking with her of our lives together. Each time she would slip away, I would raise my voice to call her back, but then finally I could call her back no more. I kept talking past the nurse’s futile attempts to usher me from the room. With a few gasps she had gone deep within herself on that silent journey into eternity. A life-long gardener, she, too, was buried in a garden, her faith carrying her on her journey. The great Hebrew poet of the 6th century, B.C., Deutero-Isaiah, said it best: “The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever (40:6).”

Then began a flood of associations, the death of my father of leukemia at 58, my grandfather of gangrene at 85, my brothers of cancer at 65 and Altzheimer’s at 95, and then a long line of parishioners with whom I had kept vigil at their deaths, children, adolescents, adults in their prime, and the old. The overwhelming sense was a dumbfounding helplessness. Whitehead was right. A solitary journey into a Void, the Void of God, it’s a silent journey of faith.

What remains for the living is grief, the immense sadness of loss, an experience for which there are no words, as Saint Paul said, “with sighs too deep for words.” Grief is an experience which, too, is ultimately solitary and a journey of faith into that Void.

I’m baffled about what people mean when they say “closure.” I think they mean nothing at all, except that having spent their life denying the Void and the helplessness of their own grief, they fill their emptiness with chatter. There is no closure. If there were, we would be nothing more than machines with interchangeable parts, automatons without heart and soul.

The death of those who bore us, nurtured us, and abided with us is far more than the death of someone out there disconnected from us. Our lives are intertwined. More than a being, we are a becoming, and for that there are no closures, only openings.

It doesn’t take much to find openings to the depths. All it takes is the death of a bird.
Copyright © 2011 Dana Prom Smith
Dana Prom Smith ( edits GARDENING ETCETERA and can be reached at

Minutes for Meeting 5/12/11

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 5/12/11
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church

Attending: Faith Brittain, Dana Smith, Ed Skiba, Bob Cooper, Molly Larsen, Deb Crisp,, Kay Clark, Art Babbott, Julie Holmes, Linda Moriarty, Tess Wymore, Crys Wells, Susan Thompson, Jim Mast, Ann Eagan, Irene Mathews, Marnie Vail, Steve Dix, Hattie Braun, Leslie Pennick, Carly Trotta, Galen & Andrea Guerrette, Valerie Bryant, Sandy Bayes, Bea Cooley, Loni Shapiro

6:30pm-6:40pm Welcome – Agenda Jim Mast
Brief review of agenda for the evening
Introduction of speaker
Art is the founder of the Community Markets and a current member of the Flagstaff City Council.

6:40pm-7:30pm Continuing Education
Speaker: Art Babbott
Expanding Local Agriculture in Northern Arizona

Art reviewed the history of the market, current plans, and some changes in city zoning laws due to more people wanting to do commercial growing. He also talked about markets in general, economics (food prices & farm subsidies), organic vs. non and certified naturally grown.

The mission has not changed since it's inception in 2000 and it still works well.
"The Flagstaff Community Market (FCM) is a regional producers market that operates for growers and producers of agricultural and related products. The primary purpose of the Market is to support small and medium sized independent growers and producers by providing citizens with a local alternative to corporate and globalized food production.
It is our intent to connect growers and consumers and encourage people, both urban and rural, in growing more of their own food. A secondary purpose is to provide an outlet for small-scale producers of value added food products, local artisans, and community and sustainable agricultural groups.
Additionally, it is the purpose of the Community Farmers Market to provide a Community gathering space for residents and visitors to Flagstaff to mix in a relaxed, educational, and fun environment."

The has been very successful and continues to grow with interest in commercial growing increasing around the US. The first year there were 4 market days and the market grossed $4000. Last year there were 35 markets and the gross was $625,000. 90% of that goes to the growers and the other 10% is salary for Art for running the markets. The only other cost to the grower is $35 for the season or $1 per market. They limit the markets to only 2 artisans per week. All others are producers. The market does farm inspections for quality controls. They have added opportunites for those who are on WIC and food stamps to participate in the market in the last 2 years. They continue to survey patrons to see why they participate and what their needs are. The three main reasons for participation include: quality, safety and the money stays local.
Art also wanted to thank the MG's, Foodlink, Slow Foods, and local restaurants for making what they do successful by supporting them.

7:30pm-7:45pm Refreshments
Thank you to Faith Brittain

7:45pm - 8:30pm Business Meeting – Jim Mast
7:45pm – 8:00pm Overview of recent Executive Meeting – Jim Mast
– Voting this evening on photo from 3 gardens and pictures available for those already selected. We could use 2 more photos. Art Babbott asked if he could supply one from the market and Foodlink was e-mailed to see if they have a school garden for the calendar. The order will go in at the end of May for an August printing. Numbers are yet to be decided. Native Plant Society provided several photos of contest garden and will help us sell the calendar along with Flagstaff’s CSA.

Banking will be free at the National Bank of Arizona, projected income/expenses for 2011 (calendars ($500)/memberships($100) -fee for facility ($250)/calendar ($500)/Arboretum newsletter sponsorship($250)/$200 for project (deadline June 9th this year). Watch for e-mail on details for funding projects. Other possible expenses – aprons for 2012 and material for historian. Ann Eagan has agreed to check out aprons and printing. Valerie has no expense as yet.

Data from the blog and meetings for 2011. We now have about 3500
hits on the blog from all over the world. We are averaging about 85 per week. The meetings are averaging 26 visitors, with 60% members, 18% trainees, and 22% visitors.

Bea Cooley
Bea brought nolo bait for grasshopper control. She is selling it for $10 a bag. She also shared information about happenings at Picture Canyon this spring and summer. Details are on the Blog.

8:00pm – 8:20pm Committee Reports:
Continuing Education – Dana Prom Smith (see schedule for future meetings)
Hattie Braun – upcoming extension programs Check out the blog for opportunities happening this summer on weather and gardening, as well a farming workshop, and weed pull at the Pioneer Museum.

Community Programs – Molly Larsen & Julie Holmes
Community Markets
Our market participation will continue in 2011. We will be at the first 3 Sunday market and Molly has volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering this summer contact Molly Larsen or Julie Holmes (bottom of blog for contact info). We are also looking at covering the 1st and 3rd Wed. Markets beginning July 6 at St. Pius Church.

Coordination of MG Projects – Linda Guarino
Loni Shapiro – Grand Canyon Projects
There is a training for volunteering to work at the canyon on June 4. Details will follow on the blog whenJan Busco contacts Loni.

Volunteer Support/Social – Hattie Braun/Crys Wells
Crys asked permission to send name tags to new members. Approved by officers.

8:20pm – 8:30pm Garden questions?
Question about thinning bulbs. Hattie suggested in the fall, but at least wait until leaves dry up.
Jim asked about planting tomatoes and suggested waiting a couple of weeks but depends on size of plant and using season extenders. It is OK to plant root crops now and seed peas and beans but hold off on transplanting squashes which have tender leaves.

Next meeting: June 9, 2011
Shepherd of the Hills Church
1601 N. San Francisco
Photographing and Painting Your Garden – Debbie Shepard

Future meetings:
July 14 Friends of the Northern Arizona Forests
August 11 Panel on Coconino County Fair Entries
September 8 Recognition Picnic
October 13 Pollinators and Honey Bees – Joel Kefuss

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Evening Garden Club Seedling Exchange


Garden visits are continuing beginning in May and they depend on invitations from gardeners to visit their garden. They should call Jean Hockman at 526 5813 or or

Jacki Hainsworth will once again host the annual seedling exchange at her house on Saturday May 21st from 10 a.m.-12 noon rain or shine. Bring along your favorite flower or vegetable seedlings (nursery plants okay) to exchange or seeds that you’ve harvested, or perennials/bulbs that you may need to divide in your own yard. Come and celebrate the beginning of another gardening season in Flagstaff. Everyone is welcome. This is a very informal gathering and a great way to meet other local gardeners and share gardening information too.



TIME: 10 A.M.-12 NOON



Garden Club Garden Visit

Garden Visit:

Date: May 7, 2011
Place: Garden of Dave Brimhall and John McGregor, 2402 N. Talkington, Coconino Estates
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Directions: North on Humphreys St. to Fort Valley Rd., continue on Fort Valley past Sechrist School and take the first left, Louise Way, into Coconino Estates, turn right on Talkington. Dave and John's home is the third house on the right.

Thanks to Janice Skaggs for arranging this garden visit.

Dave and John have been in their home at 2402 North Talkington Drive for seventeen years. During that time they have completely re-landscaped the entire yard, removing grass and aspen trees, putting in raised beds of malapais (lava rock) and walkways of sandstone and brick pavers. They have been inspired by walking around the neighborhood, seeing what thrives and then putting those plants into their garden--" a constant labor of love and satisfaction."

Arboretum at Flagstaff May Events

Beginning Saturday morning birdwalks, May 7, 730am
Join a member of Northern Arizona Audubon for an early morning walk to identify migratory species visiting the gardens. 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM

May 7, Gardening Classes
2011 Spring Gardening Classes

Half-day classes include time in the gardens with a hands-on project, as well as classroom lessons. Participants leave with a new skill and reference materials. To register, call (928) 774-1442, ext. 123, or e-mail us.

Maximum participants: 12 per class
Dates: Saturdays; see class descriptions below
Cost: $25 members / $30 nonmembers
Save 10 percent by registering for all four classes!

Installing Hardscape
Time: 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM | Instructor: Mark Jarecki

Learn the basic guidelines for designing and installing residential hardscapes to increase functionality and beauty of your own outdoor space. Director of Horticulture Mark Jarecki will focus on proper patio/walkway design and construction through classroom lecture and hands-on activities.

Creating an Edible Garden
Time: 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM | Instructor: Jennifer Temkin

Jennifer Temkin of Flagstaff Native Plant & Seed will lead this program that focuses on native plants that are ideal for our climate and geography...and that are edible too! Find out about herbs, flowers, and shrubs that you can easily grow at home and harvest for tea, seasoning, etc.

May 8, Mother's Day Celebration
Celebrate Mother's Day with a chocolate tasting and a commemorative photo.
Time: 10 AM- 4 PM
Cost: Free admission for mothers! Regular admission for accompanying family members ($7 adults, $6 seniors, $3 for youth)
Families are invited to participate in activities in celebration of Mother’s Day. Enjoy a chocolate tasting, provided by Brookside Chocolates. Take a tour of the gardens to learn about the emerging plants of spring. Attend a Wildlife Program that focuses on how native species of animals raise their young. Children can decorate a flower pot for mom at the craft station and families can have a commemorative photo taken at the photography area.

We are grateful for the generous support from Brookside Chocolates in downtown Flagstaff and Warner's Nursery & Landscaping.

May 21, Gardening Classes
Collecting and Propagating Plants
Time: 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM | Instructor: Whitney Rooney

Find out how and where you can collect native plants and seeds from the wild to propagate at home. Horticulturist Whitney Rooney will share information about obtaining permits and recommend methods for collecting. Class members will make plant presses and learn specific techniques for growing local species from seed and/or cuttings.

Successful Container Gardening for Flowers, Veggies & Herbs
Time: 1:30 PM– 4:30 PM | Instructor: Loni Shapiro

Master Gardener extraordinaire Loni Shapiro will discuss the pros & cons of a variety of containers, soil, fertilizer, water, and how to make the work easier. The class will plant natives, herbs, and veggies in different types of posts (self-watering tomato, stacking herbs, shade basket, etc.)

May 21, Creatures of the Night
Visit the gardens in the evening and learn about nocturnal animals.

Date: Saturday, May 21, 2011
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Cost: Regular admission ($7 adults, $6 seniors, $3 youth)
Arizona Game & Fish Department rehabilitators from the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center will have a selection of birds, mammals, and reptiles on display. Learn about the habitats where you can find these creatures as well as the role they play in a balanced ecosystem.

Bat researchers from Northern Arizona University will give a presentation featuring recent studies on our local population of bats. Find out about work that is being done in the forests to protect bat roosts.

Bring your flashlight for an evening walk through the gardens.

To learn more, call (928) 774-1442, ext. 110.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Arizona Lavender Festival

Where: Red Rock Ranch & Farms
Concho, AZ 85924

Thursday June 23, 2011
Friday June 24, 2011
Saturday June 25, 2011
Sunday June 26, 2011
Thursday June 30, 2011
Friday July 1, 2011
Saturday July 2, 2011
Sunday July 3, 2011

~ 9:00 am to 3:00 pm ~

Dear Lavender Friend,

You're invited to our 8th Annual Lavender Festival in the White Mountains of Arizona.

Each year when the lavender is in bloom, the farm is open to the public during the annual lavender festival so people can enjoy tthe beautiful colors and scent of the lavender.

Festival Activities

Tours of the lavender fields
U-cut lavender
Cooking demonstrations
Lavender plant sale
Products for sale
Entry Fee: $5 per person
Festival Lunch Packages and Entry: $20.00

928-337-2289 or for festival details, order box lunches, & travel directions.

No Reservations Required for Attending the Event
***Festival Lunch Packages must be pre-paid in advance. Please click on the link below to order.***

Please contact us if you have any questions about the event or how to order the box lunches.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you at the
2011 Lavender Festival.


Christine Teeple
Red Rock Lavender

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Grand Canyon Ranger Lecture Series Presents


Recovering Grand Canyon's Brightest Botanical Jewel
Jan Busco, Horticulturist
Thursday, May 5, 2011 7:00 pm at the Cline Library

Tiny sentry milk-vetch (Astragalus cremnophylax var. cremnophylax), is considered the most endangered plant species in Arizona. This bright botanical jewel occurs only in distinctive soils on limestone outcrops on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
Horticulturist Jan Busco, who received her master of science in Forestry from Northern Arizona University in 2001, will share the story of this delightful plant, the dedicated people who have worked over the years to preserve and study it and recent actions by park scientists to put this species back on the road to recovery.

Conversations on the Edge lectures are sponsored by Grand Canyon Association, Grand Canyon National Park, and Cline Library NAU,

All Lectures Are Free and Open to the Public
Flagstaff lectures will be held at Cline Library, at the intersection of Knoles Drive and McCreary Road on the NAU campus. Parking is available to the west of the library (Lot P13 on Riordan Road).

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Daily Sun Gardening Etcetera 4/30/11

Cindy Murray

As summer approaches, many of us who live in the environs northeast of Flagstaff turn an anxious eye to the charred slopes of the San Francisco Peaks and ask ourselves, “What does the monsoon have in store for us this summer?” Will a massive cloudburst send a forty-five minute deluge onto the burned slopes resulting in a mud and debris flow into neighborhoods for miles around, as occurred one afternoon last July? Will a series of El Nino storms bombard the region throughout the summer causing even more flooding, as they did last summer? Or will it be a mild monsoon with sporadic and gentle rains?
Of course, not even the experts have answers to all of these questions. We must be remain vigilant and not get complacent. On the other hand, we don’t want the threat of flooding to rule our lives. Some of us would like to relandscape.
As I’ve driven through the flood zone over the past several weeks, I’ve noticed that many residents are not only landscaping, they’re adding a measure of flood prevention in the process. Several of my neighbors in Hutchison Acres are putting up walls to hold back future floodwaters. I must admit that when I first heard about this, I envisioned unsightly cinderblock walls such as the ones that stretch for miles in suburbia. But, to my delight, the walls being built in my neighborhood are both attractive and designed to complement the architecture and color scheme of the homes.
Nadine Barlow hired Warners (a local nursery and landscaping business) to erect a gray serpentine Rockwood retaining wall. It’s constructed of one-square-foot modular masonry units that are stacked four units high (one of the units is underground, serving as a footing). Several malpais boulders are tastefully interspersed within the wall to give it a rustic charm. A swale (shallow trough) will catch the diverted water and carry it to the rear of the property. It’s illegal to direct water onto someone else’s property.
Frank and Berni Koenen built a gracefully arcing wall along the front and sides of their corner property. Its brick red color pairs nicely with the trim on the home. Bernie explains that the wall is comprised of interlocking gravity blocks, which they purchased from Borders Construction. Since each hollow block weighs ninety pounds, the sheer weight of the wall should be all that’s needed to hold back floodwaters.
Don and Jeanne Crawford consulted a hydrologist before hiring Mario’s Creations to build a handsome pair of low retaining walls composed of gray and burnt umber malpais rock. Trudy Sanchez, of Mario’s, says the backfill areas will eventually be planted with various perennials and shrubs such as gaillardia, Shasta daisies, lilacs, and junipers.
Many residents are mounting berms, but it is vital that they are stabilized with vegetation. Jennifer Temkin, a botanist at Flagstaff Native Plant and Seed advises, “Start with native grasses. They grow fast and have lots of roots that hold the soil together. Switchgrass is a great soil stabilizer because it spreads by rhizomes and can take some flooding. Western and Nebraska sedge, which are related to grass, tolerate soggy soil and drought.” Little bluestem, and sideoats grama also work well for revegetation. Native shrubs and vines that withstand wet and dry cycles include: currant, blue elderberry, chokecherry, western virgin bower, hops, redtwig dogwood, and wild grape.
Not everyone, however, has the desire or means to build walls or berms. My husband and I are leaving our sandbags in place for now, but I’ll conceal them by planting moderately tall native perennials such as skyrocket, globemallow, goldenrod, yarrow, and Arizona penstemon. Additionally, we’ll stabilize our recently widened ditches with western sedge, asters, fleabane, gaillardia, and sunflowers. These will also serve to slow down potential floodwaters. We’ll remove invasive species including cheatgrass, diffuse knapweed, and Dalmation toadflax.
The Greek philosopher, Plato, stated that necessity is the mother of invention. I hope this article will encourage members of my community to use their mettle and ingenuity to design and implement landscaping that will not only be appealing, but will also afford peace of mind.
Cindy Murray, a biologist and substitute elementary teacher, is a Master Gardener. Dana Prom Smith (, editor of GARDENING ETCETERA, can be reached at