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, 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

Saturday, August 1, 2015

MNA - Botany Workshop

Plants of Northern Arizona
Session 1: Aug 1 and; 2, 9am-5pm 
OR Session 2: Aug 8 and; 9, 9am-5pm 

Did you know? Arizona is the fourth most floristically diverse state in the United States. Learn all about the plants of the Colorado Plateau and be the envy of your friends on your next high altitude hike! This course will provide an introduction to basic botanical terms, plant collecting techniques, basic plant taxonomy and identification of common native and invasive plants found in northern Arizona.

$180 members / $225 non-members
Includes lunch & transportation

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 8/13/15

Master Gardener Meeting Agenda 8/13/15
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               Education - Native Grasses of Northern Arizona - Susan Lamb Bean & Kirstin Olman-Phillips

 15 minute break
7:45pm-8:00pm           Raffle Prize Drawing
Refreshments provided by Loni Shapiro and Betty Marcus
8:00pm - 8:25pm              Business Meeting – Jim Mast

Arizona Native Plant Society UPDATE

Here is a message from Doug Ripley, President of the AZNPS chapter, I highlighted the two announcements that may be of interest to you. 
Posted by
D. Lamm  
Hello Everyone,
I hope you are enjoying a nice summer.  I want to update you on a few AZNPS items.
1.  Chiricahua Mountains Workshop.  The Tucson and Cochise Chapters are again sponsoring a workshop in the Chiricahua Mountains on 5-7 September 2015. See attachments for details.   
2. The Plant Press:  Unfortunately, we ran into a production delay on getting the next issue of the Plant Press out but it should be available in the next two weeks.
3.  Happenings:  Sue Carnahan has done a wonderful job editing Happenings for the past two years but she  would like to retire from that position.  Is there a Flagstaff member willing to take over that job.

Many thanks for all your support to the AZPS!


Attachment(s) from Dorothy Lamm | View attachments on the web