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

Friday, August 26, 2016

Flagstaff Native Plant Society Meetings & Walks

Monthly walks are usually on the 4th Sunday of each month and are announced via e-mail and in the newspaper. Unless otherwise announced, meet at the Arizona State Credit Union parking lot, southwest corner of Beaver and Butler at 8:30 a.m.

Come prepared with sun protection and/or rain protection, water, snacks, lunch, and a car or gas money for carpooling. For more information, email Barbara Phillips or call her at 928.853. 3355.

Tuesday, September 20The Wild Orchids of Arizona and New Mexico
Ron Coleman, Author and Orchid Researcher, will present his talk “The Wild Orchids of Arizona and New Mexico,” which is based on his 2002 book of the same name. Ron will discuss the orchid species that grow wild in Arizona and New Mexico,
covering blooming season, habitat, and distribution. Within the United States, several of these orchids are found only in Arizona and New Mexico.
Walk: To be determined.

Ron is a student of the native orchids of the United States, specializing in the wild orchids of the Southwest. He is the author of over 40 orchid articles that have appeared in the Orchids, The Orchid Digest, Fremontia, Selbyana, and Madrano. Two wild orchid species are named after him, and he has described two new taxa. Ron is the author of The Wild Orchids of California, published in 1995 and The Wild Orchids of Arizona and New Mexico, published in 2002. He co-authored the orchid treatment in Arizona Rare Plant Field Guide prepared by the Arizona Rare Plant Committee, and was co-author of two orchid genus treatments in the Flora of North America, Vol 2, published in 2002. Ron wrote major portions of the orchid treatment for the new Jepson Manual Flora of California published in 2012.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Roses in Flagstaff/Olivia White Home Hospice Garden

Roses in Flagstaff
The Olivia White Hospice Rose Garden
by Carol Chicci

Nestled around the gracious wooden gazebo of the Olivia White Hospice Home is the rose garden. Forty-five varieties and 70 rose bushes total bloom among perennials and small trees. The garden was developed by master gardeners, NAU, and members of the community in 2003. Many roses were donated from grateful families. It is cared for by master gardeners, and is one of a half-dozen public gardens in Flagstaff.
The following is a chart of the roses in the hospice garden and their primary characteristics. When buying a rose be sure it is cold hardy to 5 and that it is disease resistant—check the tag on the rose and websites of that rose. Enjoy these roses and your own in Flagstaff!  LINK
Carol Chicci is a master gardener with the Coconino Master Gardener Association. She cares for the roses in the OWH rose garden. She is a member of the Denver Rose Society and the American Rose Society.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Sunday Wild Edible Plant Walk

From left to right, Melissa Amberson, Mr. and Mrs. Steve Grayson, Pat Forester,
Katarina Karjala, Christine Orr, Sheila Murray, and Amy Caldwell
On Sunday, Sheila Murray, who is a research botanist from the Arboretum let a walk from Willow Bend to the Rio de Flag to review wild edible natives in the Flagstaff area. This was a follow-up to last weeks CMGA talk on the topic. We found many plants on our short walk. A variety of sumac, pines, cheeseweed, lamb's quarters, amaranth, dandelion, purslane, wax current, juniper, Oregon grape, curley dock, roses, oaks, monarda, to name a few that have edible properties.  It was amazing to see how many wild and native plants are in a place so close to downtown Flagstaff. We didn't have time but a walk around Willow Bend's building is also fun. If you do a walk be sure you watch for poison ivy - we saw many large plants.

Here are a couple of resources mentioned on the walk. Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West by Michael Moore (I bought my copy at the Arboretum but I think MNA also has it.) Laura Davis has also established a Michael Moore Native Medicinal garden at the gardens at Olivia White Hospice. It runs along Switzer just past the corner at Turquoise. Many plants are marked. It is done in sections depending on regions. You should see this before it is moved. The city is putting in a circle next year and most of the garden will have to be moved to NAU near the forestry building,  Sheila also mentioned a new book from John Slattery

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Weekly Ranger Programs, Walks and Talks

Ranger Walks & Talks Calendar

September 1-5, 2016
NPS/USFS Roving Rangers
Thursday, September 1st
· Guided Nature Walk in Beautiful Bonito Meadow, Thursday, September 1 0-11:30am. Bonito Meadow Walk. Come discover Bonito Meadow on an easy 2 mile, off-trail ramble. This hike is approximately 1.5 hours and takes place off-trail through uneven and brushy terrain. It’recommended to wear long pants and sturdy shoes. Head North on Hwy 89 and turn right onto the Sunset Crater Road. Drive 0.8 miles and meet at the gravel parking lot on the right side of road.  
Friday, September 2nd
· Evening Program at Bonito Campground, Friday, September 2 7:30pm-8:15pm. Grand Tours. Come discover the Grand Circle! Join a ranger to hear about the National Park Service sites of northern Arizona and southern Utah. Undoubtedly you get some great ideas for your own adventure! Meet ranger Floy Healer at the campground amphitheater to learn more. 
Saturday, September 3rd
· Guided Hike to Walnut Canyon Overlook via the AZT: Hidden Gem, Saturday, September 3. 8:30-11:30am. Join USFS interpretive rangers Steve and Lois Hirst for an informative 5-mile walk to Walnut Canyon overlook along the Arizona Horse Bypass Trail. Crosses a deep Walnut Canyon tributary to yield a variety of plants and wildflowers. Hear about Walnut Canyon’s long and continuing significance for life around the Peaks. Meet at the Arizona Trailhead parking lot. Take I-40 east from Flagstaff to Walnut Canyon NM turnoff. Follow Walnut Canyon entrance road to FR 303 (before the monument entrance) and turn right. Parking area is about two miles down the dirt road. Difficulty: moderate.· Guided Nature Walk at Dairy Springs Campground, Saturday, September 3 3-3:45 pm. Seldom Seen. Join a ranger for an easy 1/3 mile stroll along the Dairy Springs Loop Trail and uncover the mysterious things that are difficult to see and often overlooked. No dogs please. Meet at the Amphitheater. 
· Evening Program at Bonito Campground, Saturday, September 3
7:30-8:15pm. Hug-A-Tree and Survive! This fun program teaches children from ages 7-12 how to survive in the woods and mountains should they become lost. Bob Pauls, who coordinates the Preventative Search and Rescue (SAR) program at the Humphreys Peak trail, and serves on the Coconino County SAR team, will be presenting. Meet at the campground amphitheater. 
· Evening Program at Pine Grove Campground, Saturday 3
7:30-8:15pm. Volcanoes of North America. Come listen in to a tale about the fiery effects of volcanoes in northern Arizona and beyond. Pictures of awe-inspiring eruptions and the stories of one man’s traveling adventures will inspire you to embark on your own bold wanderings! Program conducted by volunteer park ranger Eric Zeliff.      
Sunday, September 4th
· Guided Nature Walk at Dairy Springs Campground, Sunday, September 4 3-3:45pm. A fun 45-minute (1/3 mile stroll) family nature walk along the Dairy Springs Loop Trail with Ranger Richard McGaugh. No dogs please. Meet at the Amphitheater. 
· Evening Program at Bonito Campground, Sunday, September 4
7:30-8:15pm. Volcanoes of North America. Come listen in to a tale about the fiery effects of volcanoes in northern Arizona and beyond. Pictures of awe-inspiring eruptions and the stories of one man’s traveling adventures will inspire you to embark on your own bold wanderings! Program conducted by volunteer park ranger Eric Zeliff.
Monday, September 5th
· Guided Nature Walk at the Lomaki Pueblo, Monday, September 5 10:00-11:00am. Ancient Peoples. Join volunteer Rangers Jeff and Donna Cooney, on an easy mile round-trip walk to explore an ancient pueblo built along a small canyon. Meet at the trailhead for Lomaki Box Canyon Pueblo in Wupatki National Monument. Drive north on H-89 and take the Sunset Crater Loop Road (Forest Service Rd. 545). This road can be accessed near milepost 430 & milepost 444. Park entrance fees apply. · Guided Bird Watching Walk at Walnut Canyon National Monument, Monday, September 5 10-11am. Bird walk. Explore how birds make a living where pine forest and rocky cliff habitaeet along the canyon rim with ranger Zack Zdinak. Meet at the Walnut Canyon visitor center for an easy 3/4 mile stroll along the canyon rim. Bring your binoculars if you have them. Park entrance fee applies.
Arizona Snowbowl
· Friday, September 2 through Monday, September 5th
10:00 am-4:00 pm. Ranger Talks with the Roving Rangers atop the Scenic Chairlift Ride. The grandest view in the   Southwest at 11,500 feet elevation. Arizona Snowbowl Chairlift fees apply. For more information call 928-779-1951 or visit:
 These informative programs are presented through a partnership between the National Park Service (Flagstaff Area National Monuments) and the United States Forest Service (Flagstaff Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest).
Cancelled in the event of rain, lightning, fire, snow, or high wind

Zackery Zdinak
Interpretive Ranger
Coconino National Forest
Phone: 928-527-8290
5075 N. Hwy 89
Flagstaff, AZ 86004


Saturday, August 13, 2016

CMGA Garden Tours

The second garden tour for the summer was at Susan Lamb and Tom Bean. It was a perfect day to visit their natural/native gardens. We had more than 35 people even though it is outside of town on Lake Mary Road. Susan provided a handout summary of her garden (I will add an attachment later), gave us a tour, had some demonstration grasses in vases for us to learn, and fed us.

These garden visits provide an educational opportunity that often gives you  ideas for your own garden. You can also get educational credit to maintain your status as a master gardener. If you are showing your own garden you also get volunteer credits.

There are two more opportunities this August to visit gardens:

Saturday August, 20, at 10am
Visit the gardens of Riordan Mansion. This has been a master gardener project for several years. Debi Stalvey and Gilli Thomas head up the project this year.
Directions: 409 W. Riordan Road. Take Milton Road  south from downtown and left at Riordan Road. It is on the right.
If you want to take the house tour after, reservations are suggested for a Saturday. There is a fee for the tour.

Saturday, August 27th, at 10am 
We will tour the Doney Park garden of Loren and Joyce Cunningham.
The Cunningham's are pleased to invite you for a tour of their garden at 8775 Leah Lane.  To get to our house, take 89A north past the mall to Silver Saddle.  Turn right on Silver Saddle, go down about ¾ a mile, turn right again onto Leah Lane, and 8775 is the fourth house on your left.  It’s a white house with green trim.
Their mature garden features many native as well as non-native species.  There is a water feature, greenhouses, a vegetable garden in raised beds, and more recently-planted, a mini apple orchard with an evergreen buffer.

Come join us!
Loni Shapiro (

Monday, August 8, 2016

CMGA Monthly Meeting 8/11

Coconino Master Gardener Meeting Agenda
Thursday, August 11 – 6:30pm
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church
1601 N. San Francisco

6:30pm – 6:40pm             Welcome – Jim Mast
       Fall cleanup ticket sales
       Officer nominations/volunteers needed for next year
       March 28, 2017 Master Gardener Conference in Clarkdale
6:40pm – 6:50pm             Coconino County Fair – Carol Burris
6:50pm – 6:55pm             Introduction of Speakers – Loni Shapiro
6:55pm – 7:55pm             Education:  Edible Local Native Plants – Sheila Murray
7:55pm– 8:15pm 15 minute break
8:15pm - 8:25pm              Business Meeting – Jim Mast
       Discuss display in the floriculture building at the fair
Financial report – Sue Madden
Committee Reports:
       Volunteer Support – Crys Wells
       Fundraising – Sherline Alexander
              Garden Tour wrap up
              Calendar (Tammy Valdovino)
              Fall Garden Clean up
       Continuing Education – Loni Shapiro
       MG Projects – Jackee Alston
       Historian – Tammy Valdovino
8:25pm – 8:30pm             Gardening Questions? 
Next meeting:                  September 10 (Saturday) – CMGA recognition picnic

Thursday, August 4, 2016

AZ Native Plant Society - Prescott

Arizona Native Plant Society
Chapter meetings and evening programs are held the 2nd Thursday in March, April, May, September, October, and November at 6:30 p.m. at the Highlands Center for Natural History, 1375 S. Walker Rd, Prescott AZ. (928-776-9550), unless otherwise noted.

Glassford Hill Field Trip:

Saturday, August 20, 2016 - 7:30 AM
Glassford Hill Summit Trail
Prescott Valley, AZ

We will explore the new Glassford Hill Summit trail in Prescott Valley. This wide 2- mile switchback trail ascends about 1000 feet in elevation to the summit. We’re not sure what to expect, but with all the nice monsoon rains we've been getting, there should be some nice grasses and forbs blooming. Please contact Sue Arnold at or 928-910-9507 to participate. Meet at 7:30 AM in the Sam’s Club parking lot near Carl’s Jr and Chipotle. We will carpool the short distance to the trailhead. Bring water and snacks for the morning. We should be done by noon.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Flagstaff Chapter: Native Plant Society

AUGUST Meeting
Speaker: Nigel Sparks
Talk Date: August 16, 2016
Talk Time: 7 p.m.
Talk Title: Native Plant Propagation Techniques

 Description: The use of native plants for landscaping is beneficial to pollinators and birds. Native plants are used to the extremes in environment here in Northern Arizona and use less fertilizers and water to grow.  Nigel will explain how to propagate native plants from both seed and cuttings. He will also explain how to choose a plant that will survive in different types of soils and microenvironments found in the area around Flagstaff. 

Speaker Bio: Nigel Sparks is the owner of Flagstaff Native Plant and Seed here in Flagstaff. He has extensive experience in propagation and landscaping with native plants.

Talks are now at the Pearson Building on the Museum of Northern Arizona’s Research Campus, across from the main campus off HWY 180.

Walk Date: 8:30 am, Saturday20, 2016
Walk Leader: Susan Lamb
Destination: Walk to Skunk Canyon, Walnut Canyon Study Area, Coconino National Forest

Walk Description: On our walk of about three miles round-trip to Skunk Canyon, we will see plant communities in a number of microclimates created by different soils and solar aspects. We will walk on unimproved trails and disused Forest Service roads, so be prepared for walking on uneven terrain and for short stretches up- and downhill. 

Logistics: Our walk will begin on private land just off Lake Mary Road. Meet to carpool or to follow the lead car at 8:30 am on Saturday, August 20, at the OneAZ Credit Union, 321 South Beaver (corner of Beaver and Butler). Be prepared for warm and/or rainy weather with sun protection and water. Trail snacks recommended.

 Writer/naturalist Susan Lamb keeps an almanac of over 200 plants that flower along the route of our walk.

2nd AnnualFlagstaff Tour of Artful Gardens

Home of Haring and Gurdarshan Khalsa in the County Club Area

On Saturday, July 23rd, the 2nd Annual Flagstaff Tour of Artful Gardens was held. It was a great success again this year, thanks to the co-chairs (Colleen Tucker and Jennifer Quartermain) and the many master gardener volunteers (Molly Larsen, Carol and Vic Hudenco, Martha Davis, Patricia Foster, Diane Flook, Andrea and Galen Guerette, Ann Beck, Amy Caldwell, April Smith, Cindy Krznarich, Colleen Barnhart, Crys Wells, Darrin Palean, Deb and Tom James, Hattie Braun, Gillian Thomas, Joe Fritgler, JoAnn Alarcon, Kari Usher, Kay Balzer, Linda Guarino, Sue Madden, Susan Thompon, Valerie Watson).
Seven beautiful gardens were open to the public on a sunny warm day (Debi and Noah Stalvey, Christia and Joe Fresquez, Jann and Patrick Shiels, Olivia White Hospice Home Garden, Haring and Gurdarshan Kalsa, Sherline Alexander and Gary Pisaro, Sunny and David Evans).

One of several vegetable raised beds at the home of Sherline Alexander and Gary Pisaro in the Country Club Area

This was our 2nd annual fundraiser and we were able to raise enough funds to be able to again provide garden grants for 2017.
Thanks to all who volunteered to host this inspiring fundraiser (gardens and volunteers)!

Loni Shapiro