Master Gardener Program — College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Volunteers make a difference

Kathie Griffin

The SaddleBrooke Master Gardener Volunteers love gardening and can’t stop talking about the unique challenges in growing plants in the high desert. As a part of University of Arizona Pinal Cooperative Extension, our mission is to provide the public with research-based home horticultural information through educational programs and projects. We love to share our knowledge and experience with our neighbors in SaddleBrooke!

If you’ve ever wanted to become a Master Gardener, SaddleBrooke has one of the best training programs in the state. There is no wait list, no interview process and our $130 fee is low compared to Phoenix at $275 and Tucson at $200. Your commitment upon completing your training is to give 50 volunteer hours on approved projects by the end of 2016. You’ll join a great group of volunteers and be able to choose from a variety of projects. We do everything from meeting with homeowners to identifying plant issues, to sponsoring or giving horticulture lectures, to assisting with an after school garden project at Mountain Vista Elementary School in Oracle. If plant propagation is “your thing,” we do that, too. It’s not all work and no play either. We have frequent field trips to conferences, nurseries and botanical gardens just for fun as well as to expand our plant knowledge.

The only prerequisite is a love of plants and willingness to share your knowledge. No experience is necessary; we will train you. Reserve your spot in the next Garden and Landscape Course for Master Gardeners. It will begin on September 22, 2015, at The Preserve Clubhouse from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The course will be held on fifteen consecutive Tuesdays through January 19, 2016. (No classes will be held on November 24, December 23 or December 31.) To register or for more information contact Kathie Griffin [email protected].

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Ask Your Master Gardener and Plant Sale will be held on September 17, 2015, in the MountainView Ballroom West and Breezeway from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

The SaddleBrooke Master Gardeners will be available to answer your plant questions. Bring a sample or a picture for identification. As an added bonus there will be plants for sale. The plants are grown by the Master Gardeners and we love to tell you all about them and how to care for them.

Greg Starr returns to SaddleBrooke! Spicy Shrubs for Desert Landscapes will be presented in the MountainView Clubhouse Ballroom West on October 15, 2015, from 1:00 to 2:15 p.m.

Ask Your Master Gardener will be from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m.

The SaddleBrooke Master Gardeners are bringing back one of our most popular speakers with Greg Starr’s return to The Brooke on October 15, 2015. Join Greg while he paints a picture of your desert landscape using his ten favorite desert adapted shrubs. Visualize a cacophony of color as you stroll through your yard full of tantalizingly perfect plants that have beautiful flowers that will attract a variety of wildlife including butterflies, hummingbirds and bees.

Greg is an author, speaker and well recognized agave expert. He regularly makes appearances throughout the southwest United States. In 2009 Greg entered the world of literature as an author with the publication of Cool Plants for Hot Gardens. Greg’s second book, Agaves: Living Sculptures for Landscapes and Containers, expands on the existing literature by the inclusion of recently described species and some lesser known ones, updating the horticultural information on some well-known ones.

Master Gardeners will be on hand before the talk to answer your plant questions. Bring any samples or pictures of your problem plants or pest issues for better analyses.

Need a house call? Sign up upon arrival and Fred and Pat Flanagan will arrange for our volunteers to stop by. Or you may contact them at 520-407-6459 or email at [email protected].

If you have questions about these programs or want information on how to become a Master Gardener, contact Kathie Griffin at [email protected].