Chapter Chat - Sept 2023

Next Chapter Meeting
President's Message
Education Garden Update
Learning Garden Update
Upcoming Events
Book Review
Tuesday, October 3, 2023
7:00 - 8:00 PM PDT - Free Webinar, Open to All
Registration Required
8:00-9:00 PM PDT - Members Meeting

*We Study Gardens: An Update from OSU’s Garden Ecology Lab
Gail Langellotto, PHD Professor of Horticulture and
Statewide Extension Master Gardener Coordinator, OSU

Click Here To Register

Since 2016, the Garden Ecology Lab at Oregon State University has studied local gardens, as well as the gardeners who tend these unique spaces.
  • What native plants attract the most bees and beneficial natural enemies?
  • Do native cultivars retain the same benefits to wildlife as their native progenitors?
  • Do the garden systems that are tended by Master Gardeners align with what we teach about soil health?
Get the answers to these questions and others and hear what we are planning to study next!

Dr. Gail Langellotto started the Garden Ecology Lab at OSU to generate regionally-relevant and science-based information about sustainable gardening in Oregon.  She has a PhD in entomology from the University of Oregon and led the statewide Master Gardener Program in Oregon for 15 years.  She has studied the ecology of beneficial and pest insects in an array of systems, including SE Asian rice, Hawaiian papaya, Mexican rain forests, California cotton, Mid-Atlantic salt marshes and urban gardens in New York City and Portland, OR.  She is currently a Professor of Horticulture and Principle Investigator of the Garden Ecology Lab at Oregon State University.

*Approved for one hour of Master Gardener education credit.
Rain, thank heavens! And Portland’s pearly gray skies have returned. Though by the time you are reading this the sun may be out again.
Chapter business is picking up:
  • It is time to renew your membership,
  • The Board will present the slate to fill open positions at the October Chapter Meeting
and we’ll vote in November.
  • In November we will present the 2024 budget for approval in December.
  • Planning for Gardenfest 2024 is underway
One Board position is open – OMGA Representative. It is a great way to get involved and learn more about the broader Oregon MG community without a large time commitment. Here’s a link to the description:
If you are interested in exploring this further, please contact me at or the incumbent, Karen Graham at
And I look forward to seeing you all at our Fall Social Saturday the 14th at the Education Garden.

We had a very busy September…

Backyard Habitat Gold Certification
The Education Garden was approved at Gold Level for the Backyard Habitat Certification Program administered by the Portland Audubon Society and Columbia Land Trust. Reviewers visited the garden on 9/6/23 and were impressed with what we have accomplished. It was fun meeting the new technicians and having them also use the review as a training opportunity. We look forward to having the garden referred to as an example of BHCP certification for public gardens. Thanks to Jack Shorr for managing our application and to Robin Carpenter who accompanied the reviewers. Thank you everyone who has ever had a hand in creating and caring for the Education Garden.

Hedgerow Addition
In our quest to add more native plants, we asked PCC Rock Creek and received another ~225 sf to expand the Pollinator Hedgerow.  If you are interested in joining in on this project, contact Susan Albright.

New Tuff Shed
On 9/20/23 the new Tuff Shed was installed and is ready to house materials for our education and outreach initiatives.  Thanks to the board for approval of additional funds, which, along with gift funds for the Education Garden and generous donations from Susan Albright, Lisa Hansen, Shari MacDonald, and Sue Ryburn, allowed us to fund this addition. 
Installation was fun and efficient with great teamwork to create the gravel pad on 9/13/23 and installation of the new 10’x12’ Tuff Shed 0n 9/20/23.  Our thanks to Ron Spendal, Susan Albright, Lisa Barnhart and Sue Ryburn for machine operations and to James Galbreath for providing some of the gravel.  

Hardy Plant Society of Oregon (HPSO) -Plantfest
The HPSO Plantfest returns as an in-person event at PCC Rock Creek.  Attendees are invited to visit the Education Garden following the always engaging lecture and plant sale. In 2019, the last time Plantfest was held in person, we had over 150 visitors to the Education Garden. It is an opportunity to share some of what WCMGA is doing at PCC RC for those of us who are also attending the lecture.

Planning for 2024
The garden team completed a review of plantings to identify where we need to make changes for plants that have been so successful, they have outgrown their space and need pruning/shaping, to be moved, removed, or replaced. 
Plans are underway for 2024 education outreach.  If you have an interest in sharing information on a topic for the In the Garden Series using the PCC Rock Creek facilities and/or the Education Garden, please contact Susan Albright or Sue Ryburn.

Other happenings in the garden:
  • Mark your calendar for monthly Garden Team meetings via Zoom on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 6 PM. The next meeting is October 18th  at 6 PM. A link will be sent to the entire Ed Garden email list before the meeting.
  • Weekly Work Parties are on Wednesday mornings.  If you would like more information to volunteer,  contact Susan Albright or Sue Ryburn .
Many improvements are underway in the Natives Garden led by Kari Woyak with support from many gardeners. Bitter cherry and fir trees that had outgrown their space and were damaging the deer fence were removed. A new bench was installed, and new native plants will soon be added to the space.
The Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest class on September 16th was well attended. Attendees learned great information from Sandy Japely, benefited from her extensive experience, and were able to see many of the recommended plants in the garden.
We are very grateful to Claire Howarth, granddaughter of Nancy Howarth, for the Nature Sightings board that she designed and created for the Learning Garden. Claire, a member of Girl Scout Troop 40765, completed the project working towards her silver award.
In addition to the improvements in the Natives Garden, Master Gardeners completed fall maintenance projects. Thanks to Bob Campbell, Dorothy Erpelding, and many others for sanding and painting the gazebo and sanding and staining benches.
Despite challenges from deer and rabbits, a bountiful harvest continued in the Vegetable Garden with all the produce going to a local Food Pantry. The squash in the three sisters’ bed exceeded all expectations – over the deer fence and up the adjacent tree.
Join us on Saturday, October 7th, at 10 am, to learn from Master Gardeners Jennifer Rosenquist and Cindy Muir methods for dividing your plants successfully. Some plants take a delicate touch; others respond well to brute force.

Learning Garden regular work parties are on Thursday mornings. Come volunteer at a time that is convenient for you between 9 am and 1 pm. For more information contact Steve Kister or Robin Burnham
Multiplying your plants by dividing them can be one of the most satisfying methods of plant propagation. Some plants take a delicate touch; others respond well to brute force. In this class, Master Gardeners Jennifer Rosenquist and Cindy Muir will demonstrate methods for dividing your plants successfully.

Jennifer has had a lifelong interest in making things grow. She became a Master Gardener in 2017 and loves working alongside her fellow Master Gardener Volunteers in the Veggie Patch at the Learning Garden at Jenkins Estate. On nice days she enjoys bicycling around her Hillsboro neighborhood.

Cindy became a Master Gardener in 2004. She's a regular at the Learning Garden work parties (Urban Edibles, Carnivorous Plants, Pioneer Herb Garden), a member of our Propagation Team, and part of the Grow-One, Give-One Team. She also volunteers to help or deliver more classes and working plant sales. When not volunteering, Cindy may be found in her own garden being helped by her Bulldog, Fannie Wiggles.

Approved for one hour of Master Gardener education credit.

For more information, please go to
Join the Washington County Master Gardeners to learn how to dig and store dahlia tubers over winter. Participants will learn when and how to dig tubers in the fall as well as various storage mediums and conditions to ensure optimum survival. Non- digging options will also be included. A demonstration on digging and dividing tubers will be given.

Kimber True, OSU Ext. Master Gardener Volunteer, will lead the class.  Kimber has loved gardening all her life and became a Master Gardener in 2022.  She grows over 200 varieties of dahlias on her "urban flower farm" in the coastal foothills of Forest Grove. When she's not in the garden, you can find her enjoying travel, hiking, and her exuberant grandchildren. Passing along natural history and the beauty of flowers is an important way that she likes to give back to her communities.

For more information:

For more information about getting around the PCC Rock Creek Campus
PCC Campus Accessibility Map
Join Chapter members to celebrate our beautiful fall season at our Chapter’s Fall Social event at the Education Garden at PCC – Rock Creek campus on October 14th from 1-3pm. Bring books with both gardening and other topics to donate to our popular Little Free Library located at the Learning Garden. Blue Bags will be available for you to take home and fill with returnable bottles, cans, etc. which will be credited to the WCMGA account when they are turned in. Collecting and delivering for redemption returnables in the Blue Bags has earned nearly $2,600 for our Chapter’s General Fund!
"Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits."                                                                          Samuel Butler
This book includes plants of which we have some idea of their influence in the history of mankind such as rice, coffee, tea, tobacco, and the opium poppy. You will also find plants which may not come to mind when considering plant influence on our civilizations. For instance, the inclusion of wild cabbage, onion, cilantro, cinchona, cilantro, crab apple, white willow, dog rose, and others may surprise you. For me all the plant candidates, even the ones I thought I knew about, had histories of which I had little or no knowledge. While each entry is concise, there is an overall sweep of information which covers politics, medicine, mythology, history, geography, science, herbalism, religion, and more.
Mr. Law identifies each plant with its native range, type, height, and primary denotations of edible, medicinal, practical, and commercial. The text is wonderfully illustrated with botanical drawings, historical photos and drawings, artwork, ancient wall paintings, and Japanese wood blocks. These come from many different countries and time periods. He also includes fact boxes with more information about the plant or associated plants. The illustrations and inclusions bring the plants to life for the reader. 
The book covers plants from Agave to Zingiber officinale weaving together the economic, political, and agricultural history of the plants. Be sure to check out the wide variety of the further reading list which includes topics such as, “global trends in the condom industry, the world book of whiskey and infantile scurvy.” It is also a convenient read as each entry is two – eight pages and can read independently of each other.   
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