Washington County Master Gardener

Guest Speaker Series

The WCMGA holds free monthly gardening lectures on the first Tuesday evening of each month (except July and August).  Each lecture features an expert presentation that will keep you fascinated. Lectures are free, open to the public, no registration needed, free parking!   

Check out our 2016 Guest Speaker Series flyer.

Time: WCMGA General Meeting 6:45 PM-7:15 PM, followed by the lecture at ~7:15 PM

Location: First Baptist Church 5755 SW Erickson Ave, Beaverton, 97005  Map
Master Gardener Volunteers: Lectures marked with *MG education credit can be applied toward your Master Gardener program training requirements
Details of upcoming and past Guest Speaker Series can be found here


2016 Guest Speaker Series


Tuesday ◊ January 5, 2016 ◊ 7:15 pm

Topic: Insect Sex *

Presenter: Gail Langellotto

This is a serious, educational, informational talk about insect behavior that only Gail Langellotto — associate professor of horticulture at Oregon State University and state program leader of the Oregon Master Gardener Program — can deliver with a straight face. Be prepared to have some good laughs and learn how misogynistic male bed bugs can be.


Gail Langellotto



Tuesday ◊ February 2, 2016 ◊ 7:15 pm

Topic: Old Portland Gardens as Depicted in Hand-Painted Glass Lantern Slides

Presenter: Matthew Cowan

Matthew Cowan is Archivist for Photography and Moving Images at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland. He will take us back in time with a pictorial history of old Portland gardens using technology from another era: A glass lantern projector and hand painted slides.


Matthew Cowan



Tuesday ◊ March 1, 2016 ◊ 7:15 pm

Topic: Climate change and Its Effect on Plants and Sustainable Design: Where do we go from here? *

Presenter: Marilyn Alexander

Marilyn’s early years found her working in a wholesale greenhouse as she completed her Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from Washington State University. After graduation, she gained practical experience in nurseries, florists, and landscape design — and raising her two children. She has recently retired from a full-time 11-year position as a Landscape Technology instructor at Portland Community College. As a dedicated educator, she hopes to continue part-time teaching in landscape design, designing landscapes for clients in the greater Portland area and volunteering for landscape design organizations such as APLD and ANLD. And, of course, essential to her life will be time to have fun in the garden, enjoy the great outdoors, create beauty through textiles and savor moments with family and friends.


Marilyn Alexander



Tuesday ◊ April 5, 2016 ◊ 7:15 pm

Topic: Growing Hops

Presenter: Patrick Leavy

Hops have been grown on Patrick Leavy’s Willamette Valley family farm since the 1920s. Their Organic Hophouse, founded in 1989, was the first certified organic hop farm in Oregon. Their harvesting facilities include the picking machine and the drying house. The farm provides organic hops to brewers around the country and Canada.


Patrick Leavy



Tuesday ◊ May 3, 2016 ◊ 7:15 pm

Topic: Growing Roses *

Presenter: Rich Baer

Rich Baer has been a member of the Portland Rose Society for more than 30 years and has served two terms as president. He also is caretaker of 800 roses in his Southwest Portland garden. Rich Baer has degrees in plant pathology and physiology.


Tuesday ◊ June 7, 2016 ◊ 7:15 pm

Topic: Horticulture and Sustainable Landscapes in Portland Parks

Presenter: Robin Akers

Robin Akers is the Senior Portland parks horticulturist. He will speak on sustainable landscape and low-care plants. His talk will touch on the Portland International Rose Test Garden, Pittock Mansion (perennial borders and shade gardens), Tanner Springs Park (urban meadows and pollinator gardens) and species rhododendrons.      


Tuesday ◊ September 6, 2016 ◊ 7:15 pm

Topic: The Herb n’ Homestead

Presenter: Cindy Shapton

With more and more people wanting to grow organic food and medicine in their backyards, knowledge of herbs is essential. From companion planting to compost tea to feeding chickens to seasoning dinner to insect bite relief, herbs are a gardener’s best friend. These amazing plants are at home in flower beds, vegetable gardens, rooftops and containers, making it easy for everyone to be able to grow and use fresh herbs no matter where you call home.
Cindy Shapton is a garden writer, speaker, herbalist, designer, Master Gardener and a contributing garden expert to Tractor Supply Company’s ‘Know How Central’. She is known as The Cracked Pot Gardener, the title of a column Cindy wrote for the Williamson Herald. Cindy writes articles for many magazines and is a regular contributor for State-by-State Gardening and The Tennessee Gardener.
She is the former owner of Hyssop Hill Herb Farm in Franklin, TN and the past president of the Williamson County Master Gardeners and founder of the Bloom n’ Garden Show, an annual lawn and garden show powered by the volunteer effort of Master Gardeners. Cindy is the author of The Cracked Pot Herb Book – Simple Ways to Incorporate Herbs into Everyday Life.

Cindy Shapton


Tuesday ◊ October 4, 2016 ◊ 7:15 pm

Topic: Hand-Forged Garden Tools

Presenter: Bob Denma 

Red Pig hand forges garden tools in their shop in Boring, Oregon the old-fashioned way, with steel, fire, an anvil and hard work.  They craft an impressive range of tools, including rakes, dibbles, hoes, trowels and saws.  Need help getting rid of weeds?  Red Pig offers over a dozen tools for weeding alone. First Baptist Church 5755 SW Erickson Ave, Beaverton, 97005.


Tuesday ◊ November 1, 2016 ◊ 7:15 pm

Topic: The Power of Plants: The Role of Plants in Watershed Restoration *

Presenter: April Olbrich

April Olbrich has been the Coordinator of the Tualatin River Watershed Council since 2003. The Watershed Council plans, develops and implements projects to maintain and restore the biological and physical process in watersheds for the sustainability of the communities.  First Baptist Church5755 SW Erickson Ave, Beaverton, 97005.



Tuesday ◊ December 6, 2016 ◊ 7:15 pm

Topic: Growing & Hybridizing Irises 

Presenter: Steve Schreiner 

Schreiner’s Iris Gardens, in the heart of the Willamette Valley, cultivate 200 acres of Iris and is the largest grower of Iris in the United States.  It has been family owned and operated for nearly four generations.   The American Iris Society has awarded Schreiner’s Iris Garden the Dykes Memorial Medal (its highest award) eleven times. They have also won many other national and international awards.First Baptist Church 5755 SW Erickson Ave, Beaverton, 97005. 


* Class is approved for MG Education Credit

2015 Past Speakers


Tuesday ◊ April 7 2015 ◊ 7:15

Topic: Prairie 101

Presenter: Lynda Boyer  of  Heritage Seedlings

* MG Education Credit

Courtesy Heritage Seedlings
Lynda Boyer photo
Lynda‘s passion for discovering prairie and species habitat treasures has influenced her studies and career. Her Master’s thesis from Portland State University focused on a rare Willamette Valley endangered larkspur. As a botanist for Marion County, she focused on developing native and sensitive species protection. Now, at Heritage Seedlings, she facilitates restoration of prairie, oak, and riparian habitats. Lynda also manages native and upland prairie seed propagation projects, and educates and encourages local students and wildlife researchers to enhance their stewardship projects.


Tuesday ◊ May 5 2015 ◊ 7:15
Topic: Small Trees in the Garden
Presenter: David Leckey of  Oregon Small Trees http://oregonsmalltrees.com
Small Trees by the pond

Courtesy: Oregon Small Trees


Tuesday ◊ June 2 2015 ◊ 7:15 pm

Topic: Ascending the Giant Trees

Presenter: Will Koomjian ◊ Ascending the Giants

Courtesy: Ascending the Giants

July and August

No Guest Speakers


Tuesday ◊ September 1 2015 ◊ 7:15 pm

Topic: Using Native Plants in Your Garden

Presenter: Weston Miller ◊ OSU Ext. Horticulture Instructor

* MG Education Credit

Native Plants

Ocean Spray Courtesy: Oregon StateHorticulture Department


Tuesday ◊ October 6 2015 ◊ 7:15 pm

Topic: Full Frontal Gardens

Presenter: Lucy Hardiman ◊ Garden Designer

* MG Education Credit

Image of Lucy Hardiman

Lucy Hardiman

Courtesy: Perennial Partners

A revolution is taking root in front gardens across North America. Gardeners are casting off the yoke of tradition and reclaiming their front yards as canvases for personal expression. Water guzzling lawns and traditional foundations plantings are being replaced with walkways, terraces, art, ornamental plantings and vegetable gardens. Planting beds are even jumping the sidewalk as street side grass boulevards yield to low water or vegetable gardens. Playful and eye catching front gardens speak to the street engaging neighbors in a dialog about the delights inherent in taking the time to slow down and enjoy vistas of bold colors, bird song, fragrance and the flight of butterflies. Slides from around the Northwest illustrate the creativity and artful designs of gardeners in private, commercial and municipal venues who are gardening in the public eye.


Tuesday ◊ November 3 2015 ◊ 7:15 pm

Topic: The Kalapuya peoples of the Willamette Valley

Presenter: Ginny Maffitt ◊ Botanist for Tualatin River and the Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuges 

 The Kalapuya peoples lived in the Willamette Valley for at least 10,000 years, but disappeared into the U.S. army’s Fort Yamhill and ultimately the Grand Ronde reservation with very few traces over a century ago. Ginny Maffitt’s program will show drawings and photos of homes, dress, foods and some customs of the nearly 15,000 people found here when pioneers arrived. While only a few folk still claim ancestry to these gentle people, the tribes of the Grand Ronde are continuing to gather artifacts for local museums and continue to relate the history. You may have had neighbors on your land from years past and not even been aware of their existence; come and learn about the indigenous plants they used and how their use of fire left the Willamette Valley as the beautiful open prairies called the “land of milk and honey” by early settlers.


Creative Commons licensed by [CC BY-SA 3.0] http://www.nwplants.com/images/commons/Camassia_leichtlinii_suksdorfii_jen0512043.jpg


Tuesday ◊ December 1 2015 ◊ 7:15 pm

Topic: Best PNW Varieties of Fruiting Plants

Presenter: Monica Maggio ◊ Core Home Fruit

* MG Education Credit

Courtesy: Monica Maggio Core Home Fruit

Monica is an engaging speaker who will share her expertise for gardeners to gain a basic understanding of

  • How Pacific Northwest regional characteristics affect growing fruit
  • Common problems gardeners may face growing fruit in our region
  • The basic needs of fruiting plants
  • Successful tree fruit and berry varieties for the Pacific Northwest!

Monica Maggio‘s mission is to continually harness and cultivate her inner plant nerd in ways that benefit the greater Portland metro community. As a Master Gardener and WSU Extensions Services instructor, former Arboretum Manager for the Home Orchard Society, and current owner of Core Home Fruit, she has seen firsthand how people take better care of plants once they know they can eat them! She is delighted to share her knowledge and passion for home grown fruit with the Washington County Master Gardeners!

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OSU Extension Service Education Center
1815 NW 169th Place, #1000
Beaverton, OR 97006

Phone: 503-821-1150 ext.2


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