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, August 28, 2013

Master Gardener Meeting Minutes 8/8/2013

Continuing Education
Todd Cislo – Extremes of Growing in Flagstaff

Todd Cislo has been gardening in Flagstaff for more than 20 years, dealing with extreme cold, high intensity sun, poor soil, lack of moisture, hail, and wind. Because our soils lack organic matter, he emphasized that you should not be afraid to amend your soil – add a lot of organic matter and keep adding it. Also, because our soils are very alkaline do not be afraid to add pine needles.  They take a long time to decompose so they are best used as mulch to shade the soil but do not worry if you mix some into your soil.

Todd gardens all year in Flagstaff.  He does have a greenhouse, but he mainly uses home-built hoop houses to garden.  His beds are raised beds - either native rock or cinder block.  The rock and cinder block hold heat. For the hoop houses, he uses ½ inch PVC pipe set about 12 inches into the ground for the frame and heavier frost cloth for the covering.  He uses sandbags or rocks at most of the corners to secure the cloth. His beds are generally about 20 feet long and about 3 feet wide so that they are easy to reach into from either side.  To vent the hoop houses, he attaches a length of PVC pipe to the frost cloth, rolls the pipe up the side of the hoops and fastens it to a hoop.  When it gets really cold, he places a second layer of frost cloth on small hoops inside the larger hoops.  The small hoops are closer to the plants and the two layers keep the plants warm enough. The hoop houses are very flexible so they survive high winds by leaning over and springing back up. When it snows, he just brushes the snow off.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Emeritus Assisted Living

Jacki Hainsworth, Mary Lou Parliman, Marie Pickle and Carol Daily

On Friday I attended the Annual Garden Party held at Emeritus Assisted Living. I was invited because I was one of the original master gardeners who began creating a garden there. Mary Lou Parliman, Carol Daily, and Jacki Hainsworth have all continued there for more than 10 years, with help from many other master gardeners including Marie Pickle who is the activities director there. Carol and Jacki's husbands were also a big part of creating the hardscape there. While I was there I worked with Marcia Lamkin and Nancy Nashtall, but others followed such as Karen Cooper. I am mentioning this because the crew is retiring after this season. They have done a great job of providing a garden that resident's can work in or just enjoy. There are many amenities for those who have physical or cognitive limitations. They have several raised beds and large pots that can be accessed from wheelchairs or walkers. There is a circular walk that is useful for those with memory problems. Over the years with Marie's help they have developed a program for residents to participate in weekly. Part of the program includes an indoor light fixture for growing seeds and cuttings and they often prepare food that is grown in the garden. Many people have contributed to the garden (a grant was given from the CMGA last year), but the bulk of the cost in creating the gardens there was from the three gardeners who helped start it. All three of them have greenhouses and grew many of the plants for the garden each year.

The garden is well established but will need the care of new gardeners. It is a great place to learn what Horticultural Therapy is all about. You can learn how much gardening means to almost everyone, how it lifts the spirit, engages the brain, activates the senses, and helps with mobility. If your interested in helping next year to continue this special garden project, contact Marie Pickle at Emeritus (779-7045).

Loni Shapiro

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Riordan Workdays: August 16th, 30th, and 31st

Hi all,

There are two major projects that we need to finish this summer. The Fairy Ring and the inner court yard. 

We will start at 9:30 and continue until 1:00 or so. If Dave and I are not there right at 9:30 it is because we were held up getting supplies even though we try to get started on getting supplies by 8:30 so don't think we won't be there. We have most of the supplies need for both jobs already on the property. 
So, this Friday, the 16th is another work day and we need an much help as we can get to finish the project. Our goal is to try and complete leveling the stones in the Fairy Ring and to move the nice mulched topsoil to the vege garden that covered much of the lower ring under the trees for many years. Please bring knee pads and hand trowel for this job. If too many come we will also start the courtyard.
On Friday and Saturday August 30 and 31 we want to get to the court yard and focus on getting the 4X4X10's in place for the tiers and get the roots removed and the top soil in where it will need leveling. If we get enough people we can get most of the work done which will help remove the rain water and snow melt away from the porch and basement windows. Please try to come on one or both of those work days. An hour or all 4 hours would be appreciated. We will take what ever you can give.
Again, On the courtyard days we will need as many helping hands as we can get to get the job done. Again, bring knee pads, a shovel, hand trowel and large clippers to cut roots. I will bring the water so just bring your containers.
ThanksCharlotte 890-9216 and Dave 699-3331 

Weed Warrior Event - volunteers needed

Flagstaff Weed Warriors
Volunteers Needed!

There will be one last Fort Valley Weed Warrior event for this year! You can look forward to taking down both kochia and thistles.
When:  Friday, August 23rd from 9 am to 12:00 noon
Where:  Meet at the American Conservation Experience (ACE) Office, 2900 N. Fort Valley Road

Questions or to Sign up: Contact Connie Cowan or 928-774-5211, ext. 216.  See the attached flyer for more details.

Medicinal Herb Walk in the SSLUG Garden

Jonah Hill will be giving a medicinal herb walk in the SSLUG Garden this Saturday, 10-11:30am. (No registration required)

See the attached flyer for more information.

Volunteers wanted to help move the Bonito St. Community Garden to its new location

Last week the Arizona Daily Sun ran a story about the Southside Community Garden and their need to move to a new location, on O'Leary St. and Lone Tree. Here is a link to the article:

Foodlink has offered to help in the process of moving items to the new location and we are asking for volunteers. Southside Gardeners are having a workday on Saturday, August 24th (see below). It will involve moving soil, rock, and helping dig out elm trees on the new location.

If you are interested in volunteering on August 24th, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., please email me so we can get a head count and know how many people to expect. If you have gloves and/or tools, that would be great if you can bring them, too. We could use access to two or three trucks that day, so if you have a truck and are willing to help, that would be great.

Any questions, please email me and I will try and answer them!

Thanks so much,
Liz Krug
Flagstaff Foodlink
Community Agriculture Project

Flowers and Butterflies All Year Round: Flagstaff Flower and Garden Club August Meeting

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Master Gardener Association Meeting Agenda 8/8/2013

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 8/8/2013
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco

6:30pm-6:40pm                  Welcome – Agenda – Debi Stalvey
                                                      Brief review of agenda for the evening

6:40pm-6:45pm                  Introduction of speaker – Jim Mast                 

6:45pm-7:45pm                  Continuing Education
Todd Cislo – How to Avoid the Destruction of Your Garden

7:45pm-8:00pm                  Refreshments –  Andrea and Galen Guerrette

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

Re-cap of Arboretum Plant Sale, Native Plant & Seed Table
Call for nominations

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

                                        Continuing Education – Jim Mast
                                        Community Markets – Sherline Alexander
MG Projects – Alison Coates/Loni Shapiro                                                     
Volunteer Support – Crys Wells
8:25pm – 8:30pm                  Gardening Questions?

Next meeting:                                     Recognition Picnic, September 8, 4-6 p.m., Ft. Tuthill

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Southside Community Garden Moving

The southside community garden will be moving due to a sale of the land. They are in need of materials and help by getting it done by Sept. 3. The AZ Daily Sun has an article about it. Link Those interested in helping the Southside gardeners move to their new location can contact Lorena Caballero at (928) 310-2482.

Loni Shapiro

Monday, August 5, 2013

Garden Club Visits

What: Visit to the garden of Dana Prom Smith and Gretchen Smith
When: August 10, 10 a.m.
Where: 397 West Cattle Drive Trail. 
Description: Dana writes:  I designed the front yard after admiring a hillside on a trail near our house.  The side yard is our vegetable garden.  Our backyard was designed as a haven.
Driving Directions:  Go south of Lake Mary through the Interstate 17 underpass.  Turn right on High Country Trail.  Turn left at second junction which is Cattle Drive Trail.  Go up over a hill, and on the down slope just past Marble Canyon, the house is the second the right.

PLEASE WATCH FOR UPDATES TO THIS SCHEDULE!!  And remember that 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 Jean Hockman,

What: Visit Olive White Hospice Garden, led by Loni Shapiro
When: August 17 10 a.m. – 752 Switzer Canyon Drive
Description:  Enjoy the garden includes some new areas such as the Michael Moore Native Medicinal Garden in the shed/trellis area,  the changes in the Native Garden, the new FUTS Trail that surrounds the property, and a new pathway on the corner constructed by  local Boy Scouts. The gardening team will have refreshments grown the garden, some giveaways (seeds/potpourri), and their usual fund raising sale items (jewelry/cards).
Parking  Directions: Parking is not available at the home. Park at the 1st Congregational Church on Turquoise just past Switzer Canyon Drive.. From there it is just a short walk to the main garden..

What:: Visit the garden of Charlotte Dodgson
When: August 24, 10 a.m.
Where: 2940 W Darleen Dr in Cheshire
Details: Charlotte writes: I purchased my home in 2005 and the previous owner described the yard as being "dog ready", meaning that nothing was growing anywhere around the property. It took me five years to remove lots of gravel, dying trees, put in flower beds, and fix a massive water problem that flooded the front yard every time it rained and the water from the street and runoff from the roof brought water onto the front porch and almost into the house. Driving Directions: 180 to Freemont, Left.  When Freemont becomes two lanes instead of 4 lanes Darleen is on the Left. The house is the second on the right. White with black trim and yellow shutters. Three can park in the drive way if they park as far to the left and right as possible then someone can park in the middle, or anywhere on the street.

What: Visit garden of Ann Eagan
When: Sept. 7, 10 a.m.
Where: 3499 S. Walkup Dr., Flagstaff
Description: Ann writes, “Starting in 2009 we began to transform the front yard from a blue grass lawn into a largely native plant garden full of wild geraniums, Mexican Hat, asters, Hooker’s evening primrose and more. This year we planted tomatoes in a new bed next to the front porch and the tomatoes love it. We also store about 1800 gallons of rain water.”
Driving directions: Take Beulah Ave. to University Heights Drive North, turn right on University Heights Dr. North. Turn left on Walkup Dr. (third street on the left). 3499 is the last house on the right.  It is the house with the solar panels.
The house is on the corner of University Heights Dr. South and Walkup Dr. It is best to park on Walkup Dr. or in either of our driveways (one on Walkup and one on University Heights Dr.)

PLEASE WATCH FOR UPDATES TO THIS SCHEDULE!!   And remember that 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  Jean Hockman, .  If you are not already on the list to receive updates to this notice and would like to receive notices, email Hattie Braun

What: Visit garden of Claire Wendt
When: September 14, 10 a.m.
Driving Directions:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Artwalk - Flagstaff Native Plant and Seed

Flagstaff Native Plant and Seed will host ArtWalk again for August!
First Friday Artwalk, August 2 from 5pm to 9pm
Flagstaff Native Plant and Seed Nursery
400 E. Butler Ave.
(928) 773-9406

The Arboretum at Flagstaff, Friends of the Rio de Flag, Flagstaff Foodlink, Willow Bend, the Arizona Native Plant Society, and Master Gardeners plus a variety of artists will be there so stop by.
Hope to see you there - Hattie

6th Annual Master Gardener Recognition Picnic

The 6th Annual Master Gardener Recognition Picnic will be held SundaySeptember 8 from 4pm to 6pm at Fort Tuthill.  All Master Gardeners and their families are welcome to attend even if you haven’t finished those hours yet.

With volunteers hours in mind, now is a great time to report your volunteer hours.  All newly certified Master Gardeners will be recognized.  And if you are still looking for that perfect project, come join us and talk to Master Gardeners about their projects and volunteer hours.

Go to and click on Link To Reporting to enter your hours.


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