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

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Master Gardener Association 7/11/2013 Meeting Minutes

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 7/11/2013
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco

Volunteers needed for the Flagstaff Community Market on Wednesday, July 24 and volunteers for Master Gardener Association refreshments for August and November.  Several people did volunteer so the Community Market is staffed for July 24 and the August meeting.

Thanks to Deb Banta and Sue Madden for the refreshments.

Hattie awarded badges and certificates to three new Master Gardeners – Sue Madden, Deb Banta and Sherry Markel.

Debi reminded everyone that we will have a table at the Arboretum Plant Sale on Saturday.

Entering Your Vegetables and Flowers in the County Fair                 
Ron Hiebert, Carol Burris and Nick Lipinski

It is easy to enter your vegetables, flowers, canned goods, crafts and more into the Coconino County Fair. To enter, get the Fair Book at the Extension Office and other locations or go online to Fill out the appropriate entry form and send it in.  Entries are due by August 9.  Enter what you think might be ripe by August 28 but don’t worry if what is ready is different from what you originally entered. Changes can be easily made as long as you have an exhibitor number. When filling out the entry form, pay attention to the stated rules.  If the description asks for a particular number of something – provide only that number. For example: 043100 Potatoes, Russet, 5 potatoes. If the item is to have a stem, it must have a stem.  Example: 05180 Tomato, Red, ripe, 5 tomatoes. Items are judged on Market standard size, uniformity and presentation. Choose not necessarily the biggest potatoes but the best, cleanest, without blemish potatoes of the same size.

Enter flowers in the same manner.  The difference for flowers is  that the receiving date is August 29. Pay attention to the rules.  Example: Yarrow 03680 3 stems, 1 color.  The stems below the water in the vase must be visible – no leaves obscuring the stems.  There are some good tips on how to choose and prepare your flowers for presentation in the Fair Book.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Riordan Mansion Workdays

Both Friday and Saturday are work days at the Riordan. Time is 9:30 until 1p.m. or so. Come for the whole time or only an hour or two. Dave is working on the Fairy Ring and I am going to be starting to work in the court yard area. 
Dave and I are going to pick up supplies on Friday morning and should be there by 9:30. However, we may be a few minutes late if checkout is slow or something happens while shopping but don't worry, we are coming. If you get there before us the lilac bushes outside the wall by the court yard gate and to the left - across from the butterfly garden are growing up again. You can start removing the short ones around the tall cluster. When I get there we will start inside the courtyard.
Note of interest: We have another dwarf apple and two dwarf peach trees that will be planted in the orchard. Warners is coming to do the planting as we hit hardpan about 8 inches below the surface and that it about 2' thick. They have equipment to dig quickly where it takes us about 3 hours to get a large enough hole dug per tree. 
We appreciate all the help we get for all of you. Thank you in advance.
Charlotte 890-9216 and Dave 699-3331. We'll have our cell phones with us both mornings.
 Charlotte Dodgson

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fall Master Gardener Class

The 2013 fall Master Gardener class will be on Wednesday evenings starting Sept. 4 and will run for twelve weeks.  Times are 6-9pm and the class will be held at NAU in the Forestry Bldg.  Price is $200.  If you know of anyone that is interested in signing up, have them contact me ASAP.  Follow this link to the brochure.

And if you have time to take a few flyers or brochures around town, please stop by the office to pick them up.

Thanks – Hattie

Hattie Braun
University of Arizona
Master Gardener Program Coordinator
Coconino County Cooperative Extension
2304 N. 3rd St.
Flagstaff, AZ  86004

Phone:  928-774-1868  x 170
FAX:  928-774-1860

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

14th Annual Highlands Garden Conference dates announced!

The 14th Annual Highlands Garden Conference will be held at the Bullion Plaza in Miami, AZ on October 12th, 2013. Early registration has begun, so reserve your space!  For the conference agenda, Friday tour information, lodging info. and the registration form, go to
Update 7/23/13
Hello Master Gardeners from around the state of Arizona!

     My name is Tara Celentano, and I am thrilled to be working as an Americorps VISTA this year in Gila County, serving the Master Gardeners’ Assocation as well as the Farmers’ Market, and some new projects we’ve got up our sleeves. First off, I want to say thank you for your amazing contributions to the communities where you live and serve. There is something to be said for garden alchemists, who transform bare plots of land into beautiful sources of vital energy and lush landscapes.

    I figured your community would need to know about the 14th Annual Highlands Garden Conference we are hosting at the Bullion Plaza Museum in Miami, AZ this year. It’s a full day conference on Saturday, October 12th, and we’re pulling in speakers from around the state and the Southwest to inform, engage and enlighten attendees on how to improve and make sustainable their backyard gardening practices. Our keynote speakers include the head of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Jeffrey Silvertooth, who will be speaking on GMOs, and Kim Howell-Costion, founder of Ashokala Gardens, who will be speaking on how to nurture a living soil. For the $90 cost of registration, you will receive welcome bags, catered breakfast and lunch. Also available are organized, themed Friday Tours throughout the Globe-Miami area, including: Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Freeport McMoRan, Besh-ba-Gowah, and Bullion Plaza. 

To access our registration brochure, visit our website (see above) 

On the extension website we have a link to our facebook page. Please "like"
our page to read news concerning our conference!

Thank you for your time, and we look forward to seeing you in the Globe-Miami area in the fall! 


          Tara Celentano

Bokaski Composting Free Class

Saturday, July 20th, 10am-11am or so
Flagstaff Native Plant & Seed Nursery
400 E. Butler Ave.
(you may want to park on Elden St. as our lot gets packed for these talks!)

FREE CLASS this Saturday!! Learn all about Bokashi Composting - fermenting your compost!
Cut your landfill waste in half and create a gift for your garden! Learn this easy,cheap,ODORLESS way to convert your food waste into rich black gold using microbes. Whether you want to construct a large scale outdoor compost ring or a system sized for your apartment,you can utilize micro-organisms to help you create incredible soil. Bring your notebook and your fantastic self...let the composting begin!

After this class,you will:
1. Understand Bokashi (origin and application) as well as the importance of micro-organisms for soil health

2. Be able to ferment food waste without odor indoors (perfect for apartment dwellers)

3. Efficiently construct large outdoor Bokashi compost rings to break down large amounts of waste within 30-50 days

Morgan Coffinger was actively engaged in the organic movement,school gardening,and permaculture in Maui, HI and learned various sustainable farming techniques she is excited to share! Morgan moved back home to Arizona this past year to start Bokashi Evolution,which now provides Arizona with locally crafted Bokashi and beneficial micro-organism technology education as a remedy for our bulging landfill waste.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Arizona Native Plant Society

Dear Arizona Native Plant Society members and cooperating organizations,

A new issue of Plant Press is ready for you to enjoy to the sounds of monsoon storms building outside.  Please follow the link below (or copy and paste it into your address bar) to read about recent floras throughout the Madrean Archipelago, a new assessment of conservation priority setting, outstanding regular features, and even changes to the Plant Press itself.
You may also download the pdf to more easily view or print it. 
Anna Van Devender
Administrative Assistant
Arizona Native Plant Society

Monday, July 8, 2013

Growing Community Summer Workshop Series

The Flagstaff Sustainability Program and Flagstaff Foodlink are happy to announce the free 2013 Growing Community Summer Workshop series, featuring topics such as composting, rainwater harvesting, and seed saving! This is a great opportunity for new gardeners who want to learn the basics and well-seasoned gardeners who are looking for new tricks for growing in Flagstaff.

To register for this workshop, go to  This is so that all will have handouts. You may also want to wear a hat, sunscreen, and bring a chair.

Flagstaff Flower and Garden Club: Raised beds

How'd They Do That? 

Viola's Raised Beds Raised beds can be the best way to garden in Flagstaff, especially in areas where the soil is mainly clay ... or rock.

Viola's staff has a bright green thumb when it comes to growing veggies and flowers in raised beds, and we'll be tapping their expertise this month during an after-hours session at the nursery. Check out their new garden layout and, perhaps, take home some fresh-off-the-plant produce.

Who: Flagstaff Flower & Garden Club

What: July meeting

When: 6:15-8 p.m. Monday, July 8

Where: Viola's Flower Garden, 2654 Route 66, Flagstaff

Cost: members free; guests $2

More information:

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Warner's 10% Day for Olivia White Hospice Garden

Crabapple Spring 2012

Warner's is holding their 11th Annual 10% Day for Olivia White Gardens. Since the Master Gardeners began gardening at Olivia White Hospice Home Warner's has supported the gardens with an annual 10% of proceeds day at the nursery. They have also give us a discount on plant materials, and donated a tree on Arbor Day. Without their support the garden would not be as beautiful as they are. Come and shop for plants and material on Saturday, anytime between 9am-6pm to support the gardens. Representatives from the garden and Northland Hospice will be available if you have questions throughout the day. Photo cards, watercolor cards, and jewelry made from seeds grown in the garden will also be available.

Loni Shapiro
Master Gardener
Volunteer Coordinator of the Garden

Native Plant Society Monthly Talk and Walk

Tuesday, July 16Kirstin Olmon "Vascular Plant Flora of the Upper Basin, Kaibab National Forest and Long-term Understory Response to Chaining and Burning"   7:00pm, Shepherd of the Hill Lutheran Church, 1601 N. San Francisco Street.  
Kirstin Olmon recently graduated with her master's degree in biology from Northern Arizona University.  She will present on the vascular plant flora of the Upper Basin in the Tusayan Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest.  She will also discuss the long-term effects of historical meadow enhancement treatments on the understory vegetation.
Saturday, July 20, 2013:  "Plant Walk in the Upper Basin with Kirstin Olmon"  8am to 5pm.
Kirstin Olmon will lead a day-long trip to the Upper Basin of the Tusayan Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest.  We will be driving north via Hwy. 89 almost to Cameron and Hwy. 64 west to the ponderosa forest area near the Grandview Lookout Tower near Grand Canyon National Park. The drive each way will take about 1 1/2 hours.  We will be on dirt roads for only about 1 mile, and we won't be walking far, but the terrain will be rocky and uneven.  It is not expected that a park pass will be needed, but if you have one, please bring it just in case.  

We will meet at the Arizona State Credit Union Parking lot, southwest corner of Butler and Beaver at 8:00am.  Come prepared with the following: 
  • rain protection
  • sun protection
  • lots of water
  • snacks
  • lunch 
  • small notebook to make personal plant list
  • car or gas money for carpooling
 For more information email Barbara Phillips at or call her at 928-779-4208

Garden Club Visits

The gardening season seems to have had a slow start, but the Monsoon arrived with a vengeance this week, and as I write I’m enjoying a pleasant breeze and light clouds.   I’m also looking forward  to our 12th year of visiting gardens.  It’s fun to share our successes and worry together about the challenges of gardening at 7,000 feet.

We would love to visit your garden. To invite us or to organize a visit to the garden of a friend or neighbor, please email  me, Jean Hockman, . 

In June, Jackie Hainsworth hosted a plant exchange in her garden and also organized a field trip to the Lavender Festival in Concho.

We currently have invitations to visit four gardens in July and August .  They are: July 20, August 3, August 17, and August 24.  PLEASE WATCH FOR UPDATES TO THIS SCHEDULE!!

Here are the details:
When: July 20, 10 a.m.
What: Visit garden of Cindy and Chuck Roth
Where: 3101 W. Cooper  in Cheshire
Description: The front yard is an assortment of hostas with an array of other plants intermingled. The backyard is an Abundance, with a capital A, of lush colored blooms, all thoughtfully placed over the entire backyard.
Driving Directions:  Go north on Hwy 180. Turn left on Fremont and then right on Cooper.  (Fremont is at the stop light and FALA is on the southwest corner of 180).
What: Visit garden of Julie and John Holmes  
When: July 27 10 a.m.
Where: 1440 N. Fox Hill Road in Country Club
Description: Julie says that the garden is “a work in progress and looks pretty good this summer.  We have a greenhouse that the tomatoes really like and we are experimenting with various veggies in the vegetable garden.”
Driving Directions: Go down East Butler almost to the end, turn left on Fox Hill Road to the third house on the right. If you reach the end of Butler, you've gone one street too far.

What:  Visit to Riordan Mansion Gardens led by Charlotte Dodgson
When:  August 3 10 a.m.
Where:  Riordan Mansion State Historical Park, 409 Riordan Road, Flagstaff AZ 86001 779-4395
Description:  A group of Master Gardeners has been in the process of restoring and enhancing the grounds and gardens at this Flagstaff historical location for the past three years. Come and see the ongoing work of restoration and hear about the future plans. The Riordan Mansion is open to the public for tours. If you would like to take a tour of the homes following the garden visit please call the Riordan Visitors Center to make a reservation and for details about the price.

What: Visit Hospice Garden, led by Loni Shapiro
When: August 17 10 a.m. – details to follow

Monday, July 1, 2013

July Happenings at the Arboretum at Flagstaff

Back by Popular Demand...Raptors Return to The Arboretum! FREE with Admission

hhawkflyingRaptors return to The Arboretum at Flagstaff on July 5 at noon, with Airborne Raptors wild birds of prey show.  Visitors will come face-to-face with hawks, owls, falcons, and other birds with “free flight” demonstrations. Shows take place at noon, Wednesdays through Sundays, through September 29.

Airborne Raptors is dedicated to promoting awareness, protection and appreciation of raptors and their environments through unique educational experiences with live animal ambassadors.

30th Annual Plant Sale and Penstemon Festival July 12-13
--featuring wildflower walks, live music, and a beer garden! 

 penstemon 2

Monsoon season is the best time to plant! Come and find the perfect
native plants at our 30th Annual Plant Sale. Choose from a huge
variety of native plants from The Arboretum, Flagstaff Native Plant
and Seed, and Warner's Nursery. FREE for members.

This year's event features wildflower walks, live local musical performers,
food vendors and a beer garden. The event will showcase presentations and information booths with regional specialists.

 Visit for more information!