Coconino Master Gardener Association

Honey bee sipping nectar and gathering green pollen from a Rocky Mountain bee plant inflorescence in Hutchison Acres 5 miles northeast of Flagstaff.

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

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Plants for the People

Hi Friends,
Our garden is exploding right now, and it feels so good. Witnessing it grow, flower, and fruit has been such a delight. It's the type of delight that is born of deep ancestral belonging, deep roots in the Earth. We know we were meant for tending the garden. It's like we can feel the delight of the plants as well right now when we water, weed, and witness. These feelings are that much more pronounced when we care for the native plants who have deep roots in this soil here along the base of Mt. Elden. We are walking them back home, and finding ourselves and our roots along the way. This is our garden love song.

CONTAINER PLANTS: Hope you can join us this week by adding some natives to your home garden or any garden you tend. These plants work well in containers, too. We have a lot of native pollinator plants. We are selling them in groups of 6 for $30 or individually for $6. We have lemon balm, datura, clary sage, showy fleabane daisy, penstemon palmeri, white yarrow, blanket flower, white strawberry, black-eyed susan, and native oregano/bee balm. Find more information and lots of pictures on our website. You can place an order here.

SEEDS: We still have wildflower, montane prairie, and native turf seed available. You can also purchase seed packets of a number of species.

LANDSCAPE DESIGN: Jeff has space for a couple more clients if you are looking for inspiration that weaves art, ecology, hydrology and sustainability. We've updated our landscape design page with more photos and couple example designs.

HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF A POLLINATOR 6-PACK with Clary sage, Black-Eyed Susan, and Strawberry:


Here's to roots & belonging!
Molly & Jeff

Bee Pollinating a Rocky Mt. bee plant

This is a second photo of the same bee. He looks like he is either holding on or gathering pollen.

"Here's lookin' at you, kid!"  A native bee collects pollen from a Rocky Mountain bee plant.
photo by Cindy Murray

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Seeds from China

Unsolicited Seeds from China

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is aware that people across the county have received unsolicited packages of seed from China in recent days including many in Arizona.
APHIS is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection and State departments of agriculture including the Arizona Department of Agriculture to prevent the unlawful entry of prohibited seeds and protect U.S. agriculture from invasive pests and noxious weeds. Please do not discard the unsolicited package of seeds received in the mail. Anyone in Arizona who receives an unsolicited package of seeds from China should immediately send or drop off the package to one of the following locations:

Arizona Department of Agriculture
1688 W. Adams
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(P) 602-542-0992
(F) 602-542-1004

Tucson Operations
Arizona Department of Agriculture
Plant Services Division
400 W Congress Ste. 124
Tucson, Az. 85701
(P) 520-628-6314
(F) 520-628-6961

Yuma Operations
Arizona Department of Agriculture
Plant Services Division
1931 S. Arizona Avenue Suite 4
Yuma, AZ 85364
(P) 928-341-1758

(F) 928-341-1750

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Flagstaff Community Market

Flagstaff Community Farmers Market's Public Re-Opening
Flagstaff High School 400 W Elm Ave
Sundays 8-1

Online Store Hours: Monday 12pm- Thursday 5pm
Pick up Sundays 8-12

Shop online Monday 12PM-Thursday 5PM under "SHOP NOW" and pick up your purchase Sundays between 8-noon at the Flag High lot *Please Note: The "SHOP NOW" button and link is only visible from Monday 12PM-Thursday 5PM. This gives us time to communicate with farmers and gives them time to harvest for Sunday!
​Enjoy nourishing yourself and your loved ones with healthy food!!!
šŸŒ±Thank you for your supportšŸŒ±

We will still be offering a pre-purchase drive through produce, local meat & honey, tamales, salmon, bread & more!

Volunteer Pollinator Garden at Kachina Wetlands

Help Establish a Pollinator Garden at Kachina Wetlands

Tuesday, August 7, beginning at 8 am

Volunteers are needed to plant 400 milkweed plugs and 30 shrubs in gallon containers.
You will need either a garden trowel or a shovel to participate in this event.
Also, bring a hat, sunscreen, water, and gloves

Directions: Drive 6 miles south of Flagstaff on I-17 and take the Kachina Blvd exit. 
At the bottom of the off ramp, turn right onto Tovar Trail and follow it one mile to the end, then turn right into a dirt parking area.
If using a cell phone for directions, enter 2375 Utility Road, Flagstaff, AZ

The pollinator garden is being funded through a Partnership Grant with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
For questions:

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Arboretum Plant Sale

Annual Plant Sale
 Link for plant selection and purchase:

Plants for the People


Hi Friends,
With this heat, even our established plants are wilting a bit in the midday sun, our new plants are definitely wilting, and we are wilting as well. We've been protecting our new plantings with coverings of straw and leaves, giving them a brief hose and wetting the ground to increase the humidity directly around them, and in some cases, covering them with row cover (or even a sheet would work, just be sure it is vented). These measures relieve the pressures of dry air and drying direct sun, allowing plants to photosynthesize without losing as much moisture to the air (which causes them to wilt). Also, be sure to water the plants regularly with long deep waterings so they aren't also struggling with dry soils.  We've posted pictures of our protection measures at the bottom of the email if you prefer a visual. Until the rains come, we're holding our breath, tasting the air in sweet anticipation for the full start of the daily monsoon parade, and standing watch in the garden. Fortunately, this is a nice way to pass the time these days.


Shrubs and Perennials
We have a few extra plants from our recent 300 plant order. Most of these plants were pre-sold, and this is what is still available. These plants were grown in New Mexico. 

We have small quantities of plants right now, orders are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Mountain Mahogany - #5 pot (similar to 5 gallon) - only 1 left - $35
Fernbush - #1 pot (similar to 1 gallon) - only 1 left - $12
Apache Plume - #1 pot - 4 left - $12
Lemonade berry/3-leaf sumac - #5 pot - 3 left - $35
Caradonna sage - #1 pot - 3 left - $12
Desert 4-O'clock - #1 pot - 8 left - $12

Locally Grown Plants

Clary sage - 4" pot - $6
  • These will likely bloom next year. Clary sage gets these beautiful lavendar stalks around 3 feet tall, makes an excellent cut-flower, leaves can be dried and used for cooking, attractive to many types of pollinators, and smells incredible. 
Alpine strawberry (white soul & pineapple mix) - Pack of 4 plants - 3" pots - $15
  • White strawberries that taste like roses & pineapple. Makes an excellent ground cover and is fun for foraging kids (and the young at heart). 

Native Turf Lawn - low water green lawn.
Mountain Prairie Mix - mix of grasses & flowers for low-maintenance beauty
Flagstaff Wildflower Mix - get the right blend of drought-tolerant flowers
Seed packets of native grasses & wildflowers - choose your own!

Landscape Design
Jeff is available again for ecologically-based landscape designs. He collects information on various aspects of your property, what you are hoping to create, and thoughtfully develops a design that is low-resource emphasizing on-site and locally-sourced materials, low-maintenance, great habitat for pollinators & song birds, and is most importantly, beautiful. Find out more here.

Photos of protection measures for plants - waiting for the Monsoon!
Ways to create shade for your new plants.


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

CMGA Monthly Meeting

Coconino Master Gardener Meeting Agenda
Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 6:30pm
Zoom Meeting

6:30-6:35pm   Welcome-Sue Madden, President    

6:35-6:40pm   Introduction of Speaker—Hattie Braun

6:40-7:45pm   Education: Cindy Murray “Getting to Know Our Pollinators”

7:45-8:25pm   Business Meeting:
MG Coordinator Happenings—Hattie Braun
·         Updates on Meetings, Events, Seed Library, Garden Resources
·         Other
Summer CGMA Meetings – Sue Madden
·         August 13, 2020

Financial Report – Jeff Best

Next meeting:              August 13, 2020

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

MNA Tuesday Plant Talks

I thought Master Gardeners might be interested in the upcoming topics for the Tuesday plant talks that we record at noon from the Museum of Northern Arizona. These can be watched live or later on the MNA Facebook page. (
Stay safe,

Kristan Hutchison, Director of Marketing
Office phone: 928-774-5211, ext. 273 Cell/Text: 360-265-8357
See attached file for details or follow the classes on the calendar.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Plants for the People


Hi Friends,
Next week is National Pollinator Week! We love pollinators, in fact, Molly studied pollination ecology in grad school. Have you been seeing the native bees coming out since it warmed up, they come in all shapes, sizes & colors? Did you know the Flagstaff area is home to 359 bee species??!! That is a lot of bee diversity, and studies have shown over and over that backyard gardens make a big difference for sustaining healthy pollinator communities. Sometimes it feels like we are powerless when it comes to environmental problems, but this is something YOU CAN DO! We wanted to share some information about pollinators and guidelines so that you can be sure your yard is awesome pollinator habitat!

PERENNIALS. We are still taking orders for shrubs and perennials.
These are coming from our friends in New Mexico around the first week of July. You will be able to place orders until June 30.

SEEDS. Early experiments with our Mountain Prairie and Native Turf seed mixes show that you will get success if you want to seed now and lightly water everyday until establishment. Other options include seeding this fall or early spring. 

LANDSCAPE DESIGN. Jeff still has some availability for landscape design services. He just finished a design that increased wheelbarrow access to a backyard and increased privacy by using perennial food crops (we love stacking functions!). He is currently working on a design to increase flood protection for a house in Sunnyside - flood protection & perennial garden beds - YES! 
Find out more about his approach to ecologically-based design here
Feel free to share our website or this email with other native plant & pollinator lovers out there!

Happy Gardening,
Molly & Jeff

Friday, June 12, 2020

Advanced Northern Arizona Native Plant Class

What:  Northern AZ Native Plant Class
Coordinator:  Gayle Graytop
When: July 22-August 19, 530pm - 730pm weekly
Where:  Zoom
Cost:  $50-100, registration required.
See link below for details.


Monday, June 8, 2020

CMGA Meeting Agenda

Coconino Master Gardener Meeting Agenda
Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 6:30pm
Zoom Meeting

6:30-6:35pm   Welcome-Sue Madden, President    

6:35-6:40pm   Introduction of Speaker—Hattie Braun

6:40-7:45pm   Education: Jim Mast Growing Tomatoes

7:45-8:25pm   Business Meeting:
MG Coordinator Happenings—Hattie Braun
·         Updates on Meetings, Events, Seed Library, Garden Resources
·         Other
Summer CGMA Meetings – Sue Madden
·         July 9, 2020
·         August 13, 2020
Summer Events Update
·         Flagstaff Tour of Artful Gardens - Loni Shapiro/Sue Madden

Financial Report – Jeff Best

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance

From Bill McDorman
Like so many, we at Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance are deeply devastated by the current and historical treatment of our sisters and brothers in humanity. While we are in the midst of our spring campaign, we would like to take a pause and acknowledge the deep-seeded impacts of racism. Together, we must stand and combat the racial inequalities pervading this country for far too long.
Compounded by the pandemic, the “struggle to breathe” is hitting black communities and all communities of color the hardest. In lieu of an appeal for donations to our work at this time, we ask that you consider giving to the efforts of others to assist people impacted by racism, racial trauma, and/or those being gravely affected by COVID-19.
Please take part in this critical moment in history by becoming more informed and involved. Join your voices with those who are long overdue to be heard and supported. Here are some websites where you can donate or learn more:

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Local Weeds Weekly YouTube from Extension

We have a new program that we will do weekly: highlighting a weedy plant. You will find it on our YouTube channel. If you would like to star in one of these videos, if you have a weed patch that you would love to see on YouTube, or if you have a weedy suggestion, just let me know.
Hattie Braun
County Director
Assistant in Extension
Master Gardener Program Coordinator
Coconino Cooperative Extension
University of Arizona
2304 N. 3rd St.
Flagstaff, AZ  86004

Friday, May 22, 2020

Photos from Jeff Best

From Jeff Best's yard in Flagstaff:

 Junko nest in Red Hot Poker in April 2020
 Rain chain in recent storm in May 2020
 Honeysuckle in morning light  in May 2020

The eggs hatched 2 weeks ago.  We had chicks for a few days.  Then mother probably took chicks from nest.


Monday, May 11, 2020

CMGA May Meeting

Coconino Master Gardener Meeting Agenda
Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 6:30pm
Zoom Meeting

6:30-6:35pm   Welcome-Sue Madden, President    

6:35-6:40pm   Introduction of Speaker—Hattie Braun

6:40-7:45pm   Education: Companion Planting-- Julie Lancaster

7:45-8:25pm   Business Meeting:
MG Coordinator Happenings—Hattie Braun
·         Updates on Meetings, Events, Seed Library, Garden Resources
·         Other
Summer CGMA Meetings – Sue Madden
·         June 11, 2020
·         July 9, 2020
·         August 13, 2020
Summer Events Update
·         Garden Sale - Kari Usher/Liz George
·         Flagstaff Tour of Artful Gardens - Loni Shapiro/Sue Madden

Financial Report – Jeff Best

Next meeting:              June 11, 2020