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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Greetings From TerraBirds

Ponderosa High School Greenhouses/Garden
Terra Birds Hone

Terra BIRDS wishes to thank and recognize the partners and supporters who help us in our mission.

Since 2012, Terra BIRDS grew from a part-time staff of two and just a few school garden projects, to a staff of five and a rotating crew of paid youth interns, with thousands of youth and community members in garden and stewardship projects all over Flagstaff.  The goal of these projects is to promote health and wellness, work and life skills, and hands-on education for young people; to create and sustain beautiful, ecologically healthy, accessible natural environments in our urban setting; and to collaborate in Northern Arizona's community-wide vision of sustainability (environmental, economic, and social).  Please read through the following Partners and Supporters list, and know that there is a story connected to each of these names.  Special acknowledgement goes out to the Coconino County Accommodation School District, providing Terra BIRDS with a home at Ponderosa High School.  Please seek information about these entities, support them, and know that they are partners in improving lives and making Flagstaff a better community.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Seed Plant and Tool Catalogs 2016

Each year I update the list of Seed Plant & Tool Catalogs. I finished it during this slow week between holidays. The changes are minor. but it has become six pages long if you are interested in printing. Some of the changes are phone numbers, a few companies have dropped out, and two merged.  I am including a LINK with this article but after January it will appear on the blog under References and Resources in the right hand column called Pages . Please take a look at the list and send me any additions or changes you are aware of. I will revise by Jan. 15 but you can send new information at any time.

Here are two that I found interesting that you might not be aware of:
1.   Lily Garden - some of the most beautiful lilies I have seen are in their new catalog. I love lilies! They are so easy to care for. I grew some Asiatic lilies at Olivia Whtie Hospice in one of our sensory pots (aroma). They came back year after year and were so admired by residents and staff (smell and beauty). You can find them on the list under Bulb, Tuber and Rhizomes.
2.   Grononics - they have some of the most clever containers I have seen. They are a bit pricy, but you may get some ideas about making your own from just looking at them. They can be found under Tool Resources.

Don't forget you can ignore this list completely, save your own seeds, or come to the Grow Flagstaff Seed Library at the Coconino County Extension. At the seed library you can get free seeds and next year bring back some of your own. The best part is that each packet has the growers story and they are local. Thanks go to master gardener Jackee Alston and other volunteers for making this happen in Flagstaff. Check out several articles on the blog for more details, including a link to an article that appeared in the AZ Daily Sun. If you are interested in helping you can volunteer each month (4th Thur.) beginning in January. At the extension from 10am-2pm you can help stuff seed packets.

Email me with any questions or comments (

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Volunteering Saguaro National Park

Subject: Saguaro NP events!

From Dorothy Lamm, Native Plant Society
I have a couple events happening at Saguaro National Park this spring that I thought you all would be interested in:  
January 16, from 10am-1pm we will be giving away our mule manure to anyone who would like it for their gardens! Help us keep this manure out of landfills and reduce our environmental footprint. Contact Bella Furr for more information at (Flyer attached). 
We are partnering up with REI to host three saguaro surveys that will be open to everyone! There will be 15-20 slots for each survey and the surveys will be on February 6(east district), March 19(west district), and April 16(west district). Open to anyone with any hiking experience and a love for saguaros and the sonoran desert. Please RSVP either on the REI website when the schedule is posted or sending an email to me, 
Looking forward to working with your organization and all of the lovely native plant enthusiasts. 
Have a festive week!
Carolyn Harper 
Next Generation Ranger
Saguaro National Park 
3693 S. Old Spanish Trail 
Tucson, AZ 85730

Monday, December 14, 2015

AZ Native Plant Society Planning Meeting

Greetings, All on this lovely, snowy day!!
Please join us for the first AZNPS (Flagstaff Chapter) get-together and planning meeting of 2016!!
Which speakers would you like to hear at our monthly meetings?
Where would you like to go on our monthly hikes?
The planning group will meet Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 6:30pm. Please join us.
Contact Sue Holiday at for all the details, including the location. 

Posted for the
Planning Group
by D. Lamm

Sunday, December 13, 2015

CMGA Officers for 2016

The annual election of officers was presided over by Cry Wells at the November 7th meeting. She presented a slate of officers that was developed in committee. There were no new additions to the slate and those elected include:

Jim Mast, President
Ed Skiba, Vice President
Sue Madden, Treasurer
Jackie Clark , Secretary

Committee chairs will be surveyed in December to see who needs to be replaced.

What is Healthy Soil?

Want to test your knowledge about soils? Check out this online site that Joe Harte sent.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

7th Annual CMGA Christmas Party

The 7th Annual CMGA Christmas Party is being held on Thursday, December 10th, at 630pm. It will be at the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church - 1601 N. San Francisco. See LINK for detail for the party which is a pot luck and white elephant gift exchange.

We have much to be thankful for this holiday season with a great gardening year and growth of our association. Come join us to celebrate!

Loni Shapiro
Education Chair, CMGA

Friday, November 13, 2015

November CMGA Lecture

Our November CMGA meeting provided some new learning for many of us lovers of seeds. Linda Guarino presented facts the many of the misconceptions about GMO foods. Below was the list she work from in her first slide. The talk was so well received that we are encouraging her to repeat it possibly for a lecture at the Flagstaff Home and Garden Show in April.
Common misconceptions 
    I try to avoid GMO foods because…..
      • I prefer to eat natural foods
      • I worry they aren’t safe for human consumption
      • I’ve heard they cause food allergies
      • I think they are bad for the environment
      • I’ve heard that they are responsible for declines in bee and butterfly populations
      • I don’t like the fact that seed companies use the terminator gene (sterile seed)  to
        prevent seed saving
Particularly interesting to me were the historical developments of corn and bananas through cross breeding (natural but not GMO). Check out how much they have changed over many hundreds of years.
There was also a handout provided by the Extension office from Penn State titled "The Science of GMOs" ( My only suggestion to all who have questions about this topic is to learn about it - not in magazines or on Twitter but look at science journals or research.

Linda's resume:
Linda got her PhD in Microbiology from the University of Colorado and did postdoctoral research at the U. of Wisconsin. Then she was a Professor at Texas A&M University for 25 years where she specialized in Virology and Biotechnology. She has been a Master Gardener since she retired and moved to Flagstaff in 2006. She helps coordinate the gardens at Olivia White Hospice, is a great cook and jewelry maker.

Loni Shapiro
Education Chair, CMGA

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Grow Flagstaff

Check out the new Seed Library at the Coconino County Extension office.
The official opening was on Saturday, Nov. 7th at the extension. Thanks to Jackee Alston who headed up this big project. She has been working on it since last spring with the help of Hattie Braun, Nicole Gregory, and Regan Emmons. A crowd of interested gardeners, enjoyed lectures, food, and festivities. Come in and bring seeds, pick up some seeds, or just see what is available any time the extension is open.  Starting in January you can volunteer to help pack seeds, on the 4th Thursday of each month, from 10am-2pm.

Check out the AZ Daily Sun article on the seed library opening -

Friday, November 6, 2015

MG Meeting Agenda 11-12-15

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 11/12/15
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco

6:30pm – 6:40pm             Welcome – Jim Mast
Announcements             Meeting Raffle – $1 each or 6 for $5 - Must be present to win

6:40pm – 6:45pm             Introduction of speaker Loni Shapiro

6:45pm- 7:45pm               EducationScience of GMO Food – Linda Guarino

15 minute break
7:45pm-8:00pm Raffle Prize Drawing

Refreshments provided by Christine Orr and Susan Thompson
8:00pm - 8:25pm              Business Meeting – Jim Mast

Friday, October 30, 2015

Sunshine Rescue Mission MG Project

Dorsey Manor Garden lettuce 2015
The garden at Dorsey Manor was very productive this past year.  We harvested 139 pounds of vegetables.  This was a record harvest!  The harvest went to the S.R.M. kitchen for meals for the community.  I am planning on facilitating the garden next year.  Thanks to all who helped this year; Tim, Morrinda, Ernie, Cameron, Gary, James and others.  And thanks to the cooks who tolerated me interrupting their meal preparations on Friday evenings when I hauled in bags of vegetables.  We received major funding this year with a $175 grant from the Coconino Master Gardener Association.  Thanks to the officers of the Association for awarding the grant.  I also still have some funds left over on a gift card from Warner's Nursery.  I used this once early in the year.

Here is the harvest break down:
Radish - 2 lbs.
Lettuce - 29 lbs.
Onion - 15 lbs.
Collared Greens - 3 lbs.
Beans - 12 lbs.
Carrots - 6 lbs.
Squash - 12 lbs.
Tomato - 58 lbs.       (From 8 plants)
Cucumbers - 2 lbs.

Total - 139 pounds
The good man upstairs was kind to the garden this year.

I entered the Sunshine Rescue Mission garden into the Coconino County Fair this year for horticulture.  The mission received the following ribbons:
Bush Beans  -  Blue Ribbon
Squash  -  Red Ribbon
Green Tomatoes  -  Blue Ribbon
I presented the ribbons to Tim Miller.

I have pulled all vegetables from the 2 gardens.  I turned the soil in the large garden and covered it with straw.  We will start again in March.

I shot a video of the growing season at the Sunshine Rescue Mission.  It is available on YouTube.  Here is the link.

Jeff Best
Master Gardener
Coconino Master Gardener Association

Monday, October 26, 2015

2015 Annual Master Gardener Recognition Picnic

On Sunday, October 11, our Annual MG Recognition Picnic was held at the Arboretum at Flagstaff.
It began at 11 am with a walk on the nature path lead by Jan Busco. Jan gave a brief history of her time at the Arboretum and talked about Frances McCallister the founder's mission. On the walk she identified many of the fall grasses and plants that are found with them in the fields that used to be part of the working ranch.

A delicious potluck lunch was follow by presentations of this years new master gardener badges and certificates by Hattie Braun.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Great American Seed-up

The Great American Seed Up!

An incredible Hands On Seed Saving Experience

Saturday, October 31, 20159:00 AM – Noon

Held at Uptown Farmers Market &North Phoenix Baptist Church 5757 N Central, 85012$5 admission (children under 14 are free) to reserve your spot – the education is free!

Get Your Tickets For:9am – Noon SOLD OUT1pm – 3pm Click HERE

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fall Garden Clean-up Winners!

From Debi Stalvey,
Thank you all for buying and selling raffle tickets.  The winners are Margaret Barlow and Jennifer Shafer.  Ms Barlow has elected to give her "clean up" to a family she knows can use it.  I will be in touch with the members of the clean up committee shortly.  
We sold approximately 361 tickets and made approximately $1630 before expenses.  This is down a bit from last year of $2090, but will still benefit our philanthropic gardening endeavors.   
I appreciate everyone's help.
Debi Stalvey 699-3504
Debi is in need of a couple of people to help with clean-up day. This will give you volunteer master gardener hours. the dates are Oct. 17 (or 24th if weather delay). Contact Debi if you can help.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Ideas for Seeds and Seed Saving

From Kitchen Gardens International
Pelleted Seed
Have you ever planted carrots. It is always hard to separate the seed so that you don't need to thin later. I have always had difficulty with carrots because I don't thin enough I get a poor crop. Pelletted seeds mitght be the answer and they might also be great for those with arthritis or other conditions that limit hand dexterity. Here is an article about pelleted seed on the Kitchen Garden site. Check it out.
I found carrot and lettuce seeds available in High Mowing (all organic) catalogs. Johnny's seed has lettuce, carrots, beets, celery, onion basil, parsnip and chard. They also have some flower - digitalis, lisienthu, danthus, dusty miller.There are probably more sources.

Saving Tomato Seed
As you are harvesting the last of those vegetables and spent flowers keep in mind that on November 7 the new Seed Library will begin at the Coconino County Extension. I have attached U-Tube video from the Seed Saver Exchange on saving tomato seeds. I looked at many of these videos in preparation for our July lecture this year. This is the best of many that I looked at. It makes tomato seed saving easy. Take a look -

U-tube has many other videos about saving other seeds. If you have any questions about the Seed Library or saving seeds contact Jackee Alston ( Watch the blog for more details about the Nov. 7 events.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Volunteer Weed Pull Frances Short Pond

Betsy Emery, Open Space Specialist in the City of Flagstaff Sustainability Program, is looking for help on removing invasive weeds in and around Frances Short Pond. We are looking for a group of Master Gardeners to identify and properly remove invasive weeds.

Master Gardener Patti van Tuyl has already volunteered to help and will bring gloves and shovels from the extension office.

Please let us know if you can assist.  Keep in mind that once your pull 10,000 of any one weed, you will become a master of that weed!
Saturday, Oct. 24
Frances Short Pond

Betsy Emery | Open Space Specialist
City of Flagstaff Sustainability Program

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Deaver Herbarium Mounting in October

Deaver Herbarium mounting session to resume in October

We are looking for dedicated volunteers to help mount pressed specimens for the permanent collection.  No experience necessary, training will be provided. No reply needed, just show up and join a fun group.

Work sessions will take place every first and third Thursday of the month at 1:30 to 3:30pm in the Deaver herbarium in the Biological Sciences Bldg on 617 S, Beaver Street. The herbarium is located in room 314 on the south side of the third floor.
Parking near the NAU campus is very difficult, but the Mountain Line #10 bus stops right in front of the building.

For more information visit the Deaver website or contact session organizers Gisela Kluwin ( or Vera Markgraf (

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Flagstaff Ranger District

The NPS/USFS Ranger Partnership is wrapping up another excellent summer season. Thank you to everyone who participated in our programs and helped to make our 25th Year a memorable one! This will be our final update until the 2016 season kicks back up Memorial Day Weekend in May, but we still have some great programs throughout the remainder of the month. Join us in celebrating National Public Lands Day (Sept. 26) and look for us at special events during the Festival of Science ( for program details). Don’t forget to come visit us at the top of the Arizona Snowbowl Scenic Chairlift Ride and view the fall colors through the mid/end of October! Scroll below or view the attached flyer for event details.

Take care,
Chelsea Schroeder

Chelsea Schroeder
Interpretive Ranger
Forest Service
Flagstaff Ranger District
5075 N. Hwy. 89
Flagstaff, AZ 86004 TwitterFacebook
Caring for the land and serving people
If you would like to unsubscribe from this weekly e-mail, please reply with “UNSUBSCRIBE” in the subject line.

Ranger Walks & Talks Event Calendar

Remainder of 2015 Season

NPS/USFS Ranger Partnership

Arizona Snowbowl

· Friday through Monday until the mid/end of October
10:00 am-4:00 pm. Enjoy Ranger Talks Atop the Scenic Chairlift Ride every Friday through Monday until the mid/end of October. The grandest view in the Southwest at 11,500 feet! Join a ranger at the top to learn about geology, flora and fauna, and local history. Call 928-779-1951 for further details on operating hours and pricing, or visit
· Sunday, September 27
10:00 am-4:00 pm. Snowbowl Celebrates the Festival of Science. Soar above the forest on Agassiz chairlift to the Alpine Tundra at 11,500 feet. Interpretive rangers will meet you at the top to share the volcanic history, geography and ecology of the area.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

2015 Master Gardener Recognition Picnic

Hi MGs and MGs to be - Please join me at the 8th Annual Master Gardener Recognition Picnic.  Things are a little different this year as we will meet at the Arboretum for a picnic potluck lunch.  The invitation is linked  I hope I see everyone there.

And if you can let me know if you are a member of the Arboretum when you RSVP, that will help.


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

Phone: (928)774-1868 ext. 170
Fax: (928)774-1860

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Fall Garden Teaching Tour in Sedona

From Gardens for Humanity:

Keep Sedona Beautiful Lecture Series

Preserving the Wonder™
Speaker Series
Nicole Branton
Nicole Branton 
Wednesday September 9, 2015
5:30 pm, KSB Pushmataha Building
360 Brewer Rd., Sedona  
Join us on Wednesday, September 9th for the first preserntation in this season's speaker line-up featuring Nicole Branton, Red Rock District Ranger of the Coconino National Forest.  The title of her presentation is "Mudslides, Waterfalls, and Sustainable Recreation:  The Year in Good Work and Tough Problems on the Red Rock Ranger District."

Fossil BridgeThe Red Rock Ranger District averages 2 million visitors per year and is located in a landscape populated with numerous threatened and endangered species, archaeological sites, and fragile soils.  It is also home to the largest volunteer program in the National Forest System.

Nicole will discuss the challenges the Forest Service faces in dealing with all of these tough problems.

Please note that the Forest Service does not have an opinion on the proposal for the Red Rock National Monument and that this subject will not be discussed.
The evening includes complimentary appetizers donated by El Rincon Restaurante Mexicano and refreshments provided by Keep Sedona Beautiful (KSB).   

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Arboretum Volunteering

Master Gardeners – The Arboretum at Flagstaff has several garden work days coming up so.  This is a great way to get in some hours especially if you would like to get your badge at our Oct. 11 recognition event. They also have a couple of other events that they can use help with.  Read on…
garden work opportunities
Please RSVP to Christi Sorrell @ at least 2 days before each event so she can plan for the group size. (events will be cancelled if their is no interest):
  1. Thursday, Sep 3, 2015. 10am to 2pm: Volunteer with Christi in the Gardens. Invasive Weed Warrior Day!
  2. Thursday, Sep 10, 2015 10am to 2pm: Volunteer with Christi in the Gardens. Invasive Weed Removal followed by native plant installation if we meet our weed removal goals.
  3. Thursday, Oct 1, 2015. 10am to 2pm: Volunteer with Christi in the Gardens. Milkweed & associated species plantings in the north end of the pollinator garden. Followed by invasive weed removal.
  4. Thursday, Oct 8, 2015 10am to 2pm: Volunteer with Christi in the Gardens. Herb Garden and Ethnobotany Garden. Deadheading, pruning, invasive species removal, fall/winter preparation. Similar work to be done around the pond if time allows.
  5. Thursday, Oct 15, 2015 10am to 2pm: Volunteer with Christi in the Gardens. Invasive weed removal in the future wildflower meadow and around the Ramada area. Native plant installation if time allows.
special event opportunities
Anyone planning to attend, please RSVP to our Volunteer Coordinator @ at least 2 days before the event and Rikki will coordinate with interested folks directly to instruct them with relevant details (a limited number of volunteers are recruited for special events, and those interested will be invited on a first come, first serve basis) :
  1. Sunday, Sep 13, 2015: Wine in the Woods event from 1 to 5 pm. Volunteers may be needed to assist with setup before 1pm and cleanup after 5pm in addition to tasks during the event. to learn more about Wine in the Woods-
  1. Friday, Sep 11 & Saturday Sep 12: Shakespeare on the Stage 3pm to as late as 10pm: Volunteers may be needed to assist with setup before 3pm and cleanup after the plays end in addition to tasks during the event. to learn more about Shakespeare at the Arb-
Christi Sorrell
Director of Horticulture
The Arboretum at Flagstaff
4001 S Woody Mountain Rd.
Flagstaff, AZ   86005

Monday, August 31, 2015

AZNPS Monthly Talk/Walk

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 15, 2015.  7:00 PM

Students for Sustainable Living Garden (SSLUG) at Northern Arizona University - Jan Busco,
The SSLUG garden was founded by NAU graduate students in the Sustainability Program in 2007 to create community and share teachings about how to best garden sustainably and organically. Over the years, the garden has grown to include 1/2 acre of cultivated edible, native and other beautiful and useful plants grown with a variety of sustainable techniques. A large collection of milkweeds for monarchs was added this year to the pollinator garden. Jan Busco, Coordinator, is an environmental horticulturist, consultant and author of Native Plants for High-Elevation Western Gardens and Co-Author of First Gardens: How to get Started In Southwestern Gardening. She received her BS in Horticulture from Cal Poly Pomona and her MS in Forestry from NAU in 2005 with a concentration in ecological restoration. 

Join Jan on a walking tour of SSLUG Garden. Meet at the Arizona State Credit Union, corner of Butler Avenue and South Beaver at 8:30 AM to car-pool to the SSLUG Garden on the south end of the NAU campus. You'll visit the Pollinator Garden, the Joel Olson outdoor classroom, and diverse planting beds containing native and useful plants cared for with a variety of sustainable landscaping techniques.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

16th Annual AZ Highlands Garden Conference

16th Arizona Highlands Garden Conference will be held on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at the du Bois Center at NAU.
This day long conference will feature two inspiring keynote speakers.  Clara Coleman, a second-generation organic farmer, consultant, and writer will talk about sustainable four-season farming. She is the daughter of renowned farming pioneer Eliot Coleman. Joining us from Albuquerque, Judith Phillips, landscape designer and garden writer, will present a new talk on strategies for coping with climate change in southwestern gardens.  Other topics include composting, roses for the high country, rainwater harvesting, Monarch "waystations', gardening and food safety, composting, geraniums, school gardens, organic pest control, community gardens and more. There will also be pre-conference tours on September 18.
For more information about the conference and to find the registration form, visit our website AHGC2015 website.
Sat, 09/19/2015 -
8:45am to 5:00pm
$75 for those registering by Aug. 28; $100 AFTER Aug. 28


du Bois Center at Northern Arizona University
306 E. Pine Knoll Dr.
Flagstaff AZ
Registration Required: 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Fall Yard Clean-up Raffle


Tickets are now being distributed and sold for this year’s Fall yard clean-up raffle.  A maximum of 600 tickets are available for two winners to be drawn at the AZ Highlands Garden Conference Sept 19.   Winners will be notified by phone and receive 3 hours of yard work by 5 master gardeners along with a dozen daffodil bulbs planted for them.  Work will be done on Saturday, October 17 with a bad weather date of October 24, from 9am-noon.  Workers will clean yards and gardens by raking pine needles or removing spent vegetables or cutting back flowers or pruning shrubs,  along with several other services. 

This raffle provides funding for grants distributed by the association to applicants around the city for garden development, maintenance, and beautification.

Tickets cost $5 each or 5 tickets for $20.  If you can sell tickets, buy tickets, or need information, call 928-774-1868, ext 110.

Thanks you for supporting this fundraiser.
Molly Larsen and Debi Stalvey

CMGA Summer Garden Tours

Garden tours start at 10am on the following Saturdays.  Hope to see you there.

Debi 938-699-3504
August 29-Anne and Greg McGuffey
Our yard is a beautiful example of native plants in the Doney Park area, with most of the plants being native to the Colorado Plateau. The yard focuses on a natural-looking landscape, with malpais rock features and sandstone pathways highlighting the native landscaping. Rainwater is harvested in 13 rain barrels, which is used on trees and new plants. Our yard also features several patios and a view of the Peaks. 
9908 Legacy Lane
From the east side of town, take Hwy 89 past the mall about 4 miles and turn right at the traffic signal at Silver Saddle. Immediately past Cromer Elementary School, turn left on Skeet. The road curves to the right, then turn left on Pioneer Valley (entrance to Pioneer Valley neighborhood). Take second left on Tradition Rd, then first right on Legacy Lane. House is third on left with colorful mailbox. Please park on the street. 

Grass Presentations 8/13

The CMGA would like to thank Kirstin Phillips and Susan Lamb Bean for their wonderful presentations on grasses at our monthly meeting. They were very timely. At this time of year the grasses are so plentiful in our yards and on our walks . Flagstaff gardeners are lucky to have such talent with an interest in grasses. They are difficult for all of us to identify. The more we hear the better. Kirstin talked about the botany of grasses and reviewed grasses of the pinyon juniper forests. Susan reviewed the grasses of the ponderosa pine forest and the  many reasons they are important as well as their beauty.  We thank Kirstin for making the botany and identification more understandable for us, and Susan for the usual beautiful words/descriptions/comparisons along with Tom's extraordinary photos. 

The handout from Susan's talk is 18 pages including the photos/drawings of the ponderosa grasses. If you would like a copy email and it is here. The handout for Kirstin's grasses of the Pinyon Juniper forest is 15 pages and can be accessed here.
Sincere thanks,
Loni Shapiro
CMGA Education Chair

Friday, August 21, 2015

Farmer+Chef Connection

Company Logo
The 6th Annual Arizona Farmer+Chef Connection will convene a statewide network of local food producers and buyers interested in expanding their local food offerings.
Farmer+Chef is the state’s only event of its kind, aimed at building food supply chains at the local level. For the first time, the event, which brings together food businesses from across Arizona, will be hosted in Tucson, AZ.

Weed Identification

Upcoming Program; Bring Your Weeds to Willow Bend! 
Do you have a mystery plant growing in your yard? Is it taking over?

Come to Willow Bend Environmental Education Center for help!

Stop by Willow Bend anytime between 10 am and 2 pm on:

-July 19th
-August 16th
-September 20th

Bring in your "suspect" plant (or pictures of it) and a representative of the San Francisco Peaks Weed Managment Area will identify it for you. If it's a "bad guy" we will give you tips on how to manage it.

We'll also have information about local weed groups in your area that are working on restoration projects and improving their neighborhood environment.

Willow Bend is located at: 703 East Sawmill Rd. Please call us at 928-779-1745 with any questions.

Monday, August 17, 2015

From the Saturday Garden Tour at Linda Giesecke's

From Linda:
Seed Trust now in Sedona, AZ has the Siberian tomato seeds collection and other nice heirlooms that you can save seeds from. is their site.
Pinetree Garden Seeds is the source that I use to by seeds; they send small quantity packets and have many short season options.   H-19 Little Leaf Cucumber is their variety that does well in pots.  Bush Delicata Squash is the winter squash that can be grown in pots.
Johnny's Seeds from Vermont no longer has the Bluahilde pole bean.  Sad!   They do have a sale on Agro Row Cover right now, the 19 is what works best for extending season.  Do check Peaceful Valley Farm Supply for Agro 19 also (and many other row covers) prices also - they are out of California so sometimes that really helps shipping costs.
Find zucchini Bread recipe on the blog under recipes.
From Debi Stalvey:
Our tour of Linda and Mark Giesecke's yesterday was wonderful.  I am sure Linda needed a nap after fielding all the questions. Below are some of the answers to your questions, including the recipe for the yummy zucchini bread.  She states that she used the yellow variety of zucchini which she prefers.  Also other answers to questions.... the amaranth looking plant near the patio is actually red switch grass.  Irish Spring soap was in the mesh bags to ward off deer.  The anise hyssop was by the back patio door (tall plant with purple flowers)  She uses the flowers in her salads.  The samples in the basket were Egyptian onions aka walking onions.  You plant the bulbs and next year you can eat the early stems or later pull up the bulbs  and use like onions.  As they age the plants bends over and sows the bulbs formed at the top.  That is why they are called walking onions.  

Look for the next tour on Saturday (another article)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Landscape for Life

Over the months of July and August the Coconino County Extension hosted a Landscape for Life class for more than 20 master gardeners. It was a great class that covered many aspects of developing a plan for making your home and property more sustainable. Guest speakers included an extension soil expert, landscaper, employee from the city storm water management, a landscaper/nursery owner, and a master gardener.  Hattie rounded out the last of the speakers and Sarah Posner the extension extern assisted. The last class was a practical experience of creating a water garden at the extension office. Many contributed their time, plants, and food for lunch. Below are a couple of pictures of the process and the final product. A gutter will be added to the shed in the backdrop of the photo to provide extra water when it rains.
It was a great class! Watch for future classes available from the extension.

         Removing rocks to create a bed                   Digging to create contours in the bed to catch water
Added rocks to surround the bed and planted
Final Rain Garden
Photos by Sarah Posner 

Verde Valley Seed Library

A Seed Library is Coming to the Verde Valley!
Last May, the first International Seed Library Forum was held in Tucson. Many states and eight foreign countries were represented at the three-day event. Richard Sidy, president of Gardens for Humanity, and Janice Montgomery, of the  Verde Thumbs Garden Club attended and came back excited about starting a program here. 
Seed Library Forum Poster

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Mushroom Festival

Arboretum at Flagstaff
Mushroom Festival August 21-22

Enjoy wild mushroom appetizers prepared by Criollo Latin Kitchen followed by a slide show with mushroom experts from 5:30-8 pm on Friday August 21st. On Saturday August 22nd a Guided Mushroom Foray from 9am - noon. Tickets are $42 for members and $50 for non-members.

Contact the Arboretum to register -

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Flagstaff Tour of Artful Gardens.

Community Thanks: Tour yields funds for Master Gardener projects

To the editor:
The garden tour July 25 was a fun day and an amazing success.
The Coconino Master Gardeners want to thank Viola's Flower Garden for sponsoring the event. The money raised will allow to association to continue their community projects in gardening beautification, education, and sustainability.
Thanks to Loni Shapiro for creating the map, and much help in the planning and execution of the tour. The wristbands donated by Sun Sounds of Arizona were greatly appreciated.
Thanks go out to all the volunteers who helped at the gardens or with publicity: April Smith, Debi Stalvey, Molly Larsen, Arleta Cantrell, Darrin Palean, Jennifer Quarterman, Gillie Thomas, Lori Tamblingson, Marilyn Schwind, Barbie Carlyle, Doug and Cindy Moreau, Nancy Nahstoll, Pat Foster, JoAnn Alercon, Diane Flook, Deb and Tom James, Betty Marcus, Bobby Craven, and Linda Guarino.
And many special thanks to the following generous hosts who shared their lovely gardens: Joan Abbott, Jack and Vivian Delaporte, Martha Brady and Judy O'Dea, Lori and Trent Hare, Carol and Bill Rackley, Loni and Dick Shapiro, and the Olivia White Hospice Home.

Rooftop Gardens

A fun story about:
Worlds Largest Rooftop Greenhouse Coming to Chicago
From Jeff Best

A few years ago I went to a garden conference outside of Chicago. As part of the conference we toured some of the city gardens. Two of them were on top of tall buildings downtown, and at the Chicago Botanic Garden they had a large rooftop garden on their research center. One of the gardens atop a building downtown even had a small stream going around it. We can thank the last Mayor Daly, because his wife was a master gardener and encouraged gardens of all kinds in the downtown area. Photos were take in October.

Schwab Rehab Center Rooftop Garden
A river runs through it!

Chicago Botanic Garden
Research Building
Rooftop Garden
Loni Shapiro