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, February 25, 2013

2013 AFGC Convention: "High Desert Celebration"

2013 AFGC Convention, "High Desert Celebration"

The convention will be held April 1-3, 2013, at the Poco Diablo Resort in Sedona.  Great things are planned for the event, including seminars, field trips, a boutique, a baskets raffle, great food and great people to meet and re-meet.  

See here for more information, including the registration form.

Summer Dreaming - In March!!

Flagstaff Flower & Garden Club host Summer Dreaming - In March!

March 4th, 6-8pm
Flagstaff Public Library, Community Room
300 W. Aspen, Flagstaff

Topic:  Summer Dreaming - Making plans for a new flower or vegetable bed

This will be a hands-on session, led by an expert from Warner's Nursery.  Bring the measurements of a garden bed that you would like to plant this year. We'll have graph paper and pencils, so you can draw out your ideas and take home your concept drawing.  We'll talk about plants that can be planted together, those that should be planted separately, and what works in Flagstaff.

AZNPS Botany Conference

You are invited to attend the Tenth Arizona Botany Meeting, hosted by the Desert Botanical Garden (DBG) and the Arizona Native Plant Society. This year’s theme is “Habitat and Rare Plant Conservation”. 

The main meeting will be held at DBG in Dorrance Hall on Saturday, March 30 th, 2013, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. 

Our continuing goal is to foster a spirit of cooperation for the sharing of ideas among and facilitating collaboration between individuals from academic institutions, local, state, and federal government agencies, and non-governmental organizations from across the state of Arizona, and to provide a forum to meet others who share an interest in the flora of Arizona and surrounding areas within the Southwest.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Coconino Master Gardener Association Minutes 2/14/13

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 2/14/2013
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco

Continuing Education, Freddi Steele, The Bees Around Us

Freddi Steele, a retired National Park Service naturalist, gave a lively and informative talk about bees.  She described the differences between bees and related species, led the audience through a bee identification exercise and outlined issues facing bees. Some recommended resources on bees include: ( a great source of photographs, information and identification help), the Xerces Society,, the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America (the easiest guide to use), and the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders. Also on the blog is a link to her Arizona Daily Sun article, “The Bees Around Us”.

Regan Emmons – Arboretum Docent Training

Regan Emmons, the education coordinator for the Arboretum at Flagstaff explained the docent training program and the Garden Starts Community Supported Agriculture program.  She encouraged master gardeners to become docents and join the Garden Starts CSA. For more information and to apply for docent training, go to To join the Garden Starts CSA, contact for the contract and seedling list.

Thanks for the Refreshments: Andrea and Galen Guerrette, Loni Shapiro, Debi Stalvey

Business Meeting – Debi Stalvey                 

We still need volunteers for Community Programs and MG Projects.  Ali Coates, the blog editor, is willing to also do one of these.

The Master Gardener Association executive committee has decided the Association will do at least two fundraising activities this year.  One fundraiser will continue the calendar. A coordinator for the calendar is needed.  A second fundraising activity planned is a plant and used garden tool sale.  It will take place in May or June at the Allstate office on Cedar Avenue.  An additional fundraising activity will be discussed next month.

The Association executive committee has decided to staff a booth at the Earth Day celebration at City Hall on April 20.  Volunteers are needed to staff the booth. One idea for the booth is to demonstrate the difference between normal Flagstaff soil and good garden soil.

Debi mentioned the benefits of membership, including 10 % discounts at Flagstaff Native Plant & Seed, Viola’s Flower Garden and Warner’s Nursery & Garden Center.  Details on the discounts are on the back of the membership card.  Show your card at the nurseries for your discount.  You may also pay for your membership using Pay Pal.  The link to it is on the right side near the top of the first blog entry.

Debi introduced Tammy Valdovino as the new historian for the Association.

Coconino County Parks and Recreation Seed Swap at Fort Tuthill County Park

Coconino County Parks and Recreation is hosting a Garden Seed Swap.  It will take place on Saturday, March 2 from 10 am – 11:30 am at Fort Tuthill County Park in the Mess Hall.  The cost is only $5.00 and for that you will be able to network and swap seeds with other gardeners from around the area.  Willa McAuliffe (Canning Vegetables/Preserves) will be on hand to answer some basic questions and to facilitate the whole program.  See our flyer for more details.

Registration is required and can be done so by clicking here.  

For more information, contact:
Ricky Conway
Coconino County Parks and Recreation
Recreation Coordinator
W (928) 679 8028 | C (928) 607 7096 | F (928) 913 0750
2446 Fort Tuthill Loop
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Master Gardener Association Meeting 2/14/13

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 2/14/2013
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco

6:30pm-6:35pm                  Welcome – Agenda - Debi Stalvey
                                                      Brief review of agenda for the evening

6:35pm-6:40pm                  Regan Emmons – Arboretum Docent Training
6:40pm-6:45pm                  Introduction of speaker – Jim Mast

6:45pm-7:45pm                  Continuing Education
                                                      Freddi Steele
7:45pm-8:00pm                  Refreshments
Andrea and Galen Guerrette

8:00pm - 8:25pm                  Business Meeting – Debi Stalvey                 

Still need volunteers for: Community Programs, MG Projects
Fundraising ideas
Plant & Garden Sale
Earth Day Volunteers
Knapweed Pull
Benefits of membership
                  Nursery discounts
Pay Pal payment for membership

                                                      Financial report – Linda Guarino/Crys Wells
                                                      MG Program Happenings (class/home show) – Hattie Braun
                  Committee Reports:

                                                      Continuing Education – Jim Mast                                   
Volunteer Support – Crys Wells
8:25pm – 8:30pm                  Gardening Questions?

Next meeting:                                     March 14, 2013
Connie Cowan                                   
Herbarium Project - MNA

Future meetings:                  April 11, 2013
                                                      Susan Nyoka
                                                      NAU SSlug garden

Flagstaff Seed Exchange - March 9th

Flagstaff Foodlink and SSLUG are partnering together to organize a seed exchange on March 9th, from 4 to 6 pm at the Murdoch Center!

Come one and all, and bring your seeds! If you don't have seeds to share, come anyway, there will be enough for everyone!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

VWRC needs volunteers to help inventory/map and treat invasive plants on Prescott NF lands

The Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition (VWRC) is planning to Inventory/Map and treat invasive plants on Prescott NF lands on the Upper Verde River from Hells Canyon down to the confluence with Sycamore Creek.  We plan to accomplish these 16 miles with the help of volunteers, VWRC Stakeholders and agency personnel.

The work will entail hiking along the river in the riparian corridor where we will map the following plants:  Tamarisk, russian olive, arundo and paradise tree.  We will also be looking for other secondary weed infestations.  Plants that are found will be cut down using hand saws and loppers and herbicide will be applied to the cut stump of the plant.  The work requires the ability to walk on uneven rocky terrain through sometimes dense vegetation and possibly getting wet due to river crossings.  We will need folks to help with the following activities: mapping (collecting GPS points and infestation data), cutting plants with loppers and hand saws and hauling debris out of the high water zone.

Monday, February 11, 2013

February Master Gardener Association Meeting: BEES!

Don't forget!

This Thursday, Feb. 14 at 6:30pm Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church - 1601 N. San Francisco St.

Learn about bees in the garden with Master Gardener Freddi Steele. Stay after the talk for refreshments and for the Master Gardener Association meeting. Non-members welcome.

Gardens for Humanity 5th Annual Spring Planting Festival March 16-24, 2013 "Growing Healthy Communities"

Gardens for Humanity is hosting their 5th Annual Spring Planting Festival - a week of gardening related activities, workshops, speakers and concerts throughout the Verde Valley and Sedona.  Mark your calendars... this week is chock full of fun and learning!

A full calendar of events can be found here.

Volunteers are needed, too!  Sign up here.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Docent Training at the Arboretum

2013 Docent Training Begins March 5th! Call (928) 774-1442, ext. 110 to register today!
2013 Docent Training Dates:
Tuesday; March 5- Introduction
Thursday; March 7- Natural History and Ecology
Tuesday; March 12- Get to Know the Plants At The Arboretum
Thursday; March 14-Native and Invasive Plants
Tuesday; March 26- Threatened Plants and Endangered Animals in the Colorado Plateau. Speakers: Research Botanist, Sheila Murray and Arboretum Director, Lynne Nemeth
Thursday; March 28- Greenhouse Tour and Propagation Demo

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Spring Native Plant Workshop Sedona

We open our program this year with The Slow Water Team of Marianna Hartsong and Ryan Matson. Their topic, PLANTING RAIN, explains their vision of planting small Green Infrastructures all over town to slow, plant and spread water, truly transforming our ecosystem, returning it to a hydrating rather than a dehydrating system.
Our second keynote speaker, Agriculture and Natural Resources and County Extension Director for the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Jeff Schalau will close our program with BALANCING OUR GOALS: NATIVE PLANTS, WILDLIFE, FUNCTIONAL ECOSYSTEMS AND YOUR LANDSCAPE. Trying to be the best stewards of our beautiful area, this talk deals with some of these conflicting goals as we work to create functioning native landscapes in the real world.
Seven hour-long workshops are being offered with participants choosing two from this selection:
1. Carol Chambers: Nocturnal Neighbors--Bats in Your Backyard
2. Loni Shapiro: Successful Container Gardening for Veggies, Flowers, and Herbs
3. Dena Greenwood: Attracting Birds to Your Backyard
4. Hattie Braun: Native Plants 101
5. Jeffrey Adams: Watershed Regeneration from the Ground Up (demonstration limited to 20 per session)
6. Feather Jones: Native Plants of the High Desert, Their Medicinal and Cultural Uses
7. Tom DeGomez: Bugs and Crud on Native Trees